It is amazing how fast social networking is growing. Every time I am giving a presentation I always ask my audience how many people use one or more social networking sites like Facebook, MySPace, Hyves, LindedIn or another. Since a year this percentage is growing from 20% to more than 70% nowadays. I think especially business oriented sites like LinkedIn made social networking more “salonfähig” than before.
Social networking is I think an area where the idea of “the rich get richer” is especially true. After all, once you have many customers you tend to have more people sending invitation and there is more chance that people send invitations to you. One would expect that only some big sites remain and that newcomers have a hard time growing.
Therefore it is surprising that a new one, Plaxo, is really flooding my e-mail box. Many contacts have send me an invitation. After 10 invitations I decided to take a look, make an account and start using it too. I was a bit weary for this since using lot’s of sites is awkward, I thought.
But I must say this is a sticky one. Firstly they are very easy to link to your existing social networking site like LinkedIn. Secondly they use something they call “pulse”. On plaxo you can fill in the blogs you write, the photo sites you use and all other exhibitionist’s methods and they are shown in a log to all your contacts. This resulted in several comments on the photo you see above, I did not realize that it would be shown to all (welcome to the world of total transparency). Before I wrote about small world networks. One of the effects I see by using Plaxo is that you can see that lots or your contacts make contact with people you also know (and since you see this in the “pulse” you immediately connect to them too …).
One of the interesting developments in social networking is OpenSocial from Google, used by Plaxo too. Google failed miserable with Orkut and other social tools they developed. So they decided to create an API that makes it possible to integrate all social sites in an easy way. And thereby minimizing the advantage you have by having lots of members since everything integrates easily. And thereby minimizing your disadvantage when you have failed miserably in creatign you own social site. You have to admire them…
I came across this article in the paper on Saturday about the fact that civil servants are adding and changing information on Wikipedia during working hours. Some time ago I blogged about the Wikiscanner and of course one can see more and more how important transparency is. There have been numerous cases where with the help of the wikiscanner people have been found out while trying to create their own truth …
However, the question is how are we going to deal with this transparency. Of course ciivil servants also use the Wikipedia during working hours and of course they sometimes also change information. Just like people in companies and people at home. Wherever we are we still remain individual human beings. One of the effects of Web 2.0 is that the different roles we have are more and more blending together. At all times of the day we are private person, employee, citizen, husband and father and can switch easily between all these roles.
Somehow we have to learn how to deal with this transparency. The fact that information came from a computer within a public department has nothing to do with the department. By locking the access to Wikipedia only image may be gained but civil servant will lose access to important information. We have to accept the fact that also aberrations are visible.
Before they existed also and we knew they did, now we can see they do.
I read this post at salesforce:
Salesforce.com is considering bringing to market a new service enabling companies to share leads, opportunities and custom objects with each other (assuming both are using salesforce.com). What would you call this service?
If you have another name suggestion please post it in a comment.
This seems a rather interesting application of Web 2.0 sharing of information. Companies sharing leads in a network through their CRM system. There are of course a lot of questions like how do you protect your leads against competitors, how easy it is to create rules how to share and such. But still, the idea has a huge potential I think.
I think the most interesting new adaptations of technology are the ones that make clever combinations of the real and digital world. You might say the ones that live in symbiosis, where the digital world feeds on the physical world and vice versa.
Second Life I do not like since it merely involves the digital realm. Meeting somebody from a discussion group in real life creates great physical meetings and makes the discussion later on more interesting, knowing the other person also in real life.
At the moment I am talking to an organisation involved in the safety sector. Practice for them is extremely important. Problem for them is that practice in real life is difficult and expensive. Not all situations can be created in real life (too costly or physically so destructive that it can not be done). On the other hand practice in the digital world does not feel real. It is hard to substitute loud noise, a roaring fire and wind and many people putting pressure on you. In a game you also can get the adrenaline working but different …
The idea of the project is to set up an environment where digital and physical practice is completely intertwined. A group of policeman can be training in a special trainings village while their physical coordinates are transferred to a simulation environment. The commander can than command the real people who are training as well as digital troops. These two world you might say feed on one another, like the fish help the turtle to stay clean buy picking of the algae and getting a good meal by doing it.
I think we all know the sorry feeling that we lost track of people we knew and worked with in the past but lost sight of. In the past it a was always very hard to find them again. Since some time now there is a new social network called LinkedIn. The idea is that you can find people by name and that they themselves keep their profiles up date. Meaning you can find them on their current e-mail address.
By using it I already found some old friends from the places I worked, colleagues, customers and partners. It even integrates into outlook and recognizes people you may know from all the old e-mails you have sent (I have an archive of all my mails from 1997 and on)
This linking to each other creates an interesting web. You can normally see the acquaintances of other people and and have a look at their network. Potentially you can get an introduction for people you wish to contact. One of the other interesting features is that you can pose a question that others can try to answer.
It seems to be growing explosively, especially in the Netherlands…
I think one of the reasons it works is that the identity of the people involved is (on average) accurate. People are who they say they are. After all, the network is also meant for finding real people and real jobs. So there is no use in providing false identities. I am really curious in how this network is evolving. Another interesting aspect is that the network that people build based on their role is becoming more their own instead of their employers. This may create a feeling of independence (which is a good thing in my book). Potentially the added value for the users is much bigger than it is in networks like facebook since it keeps track of how your career evolves after graduation.
I sent them an e-mail to find out if it is possible to get (anonymously) their data on the linkages between people. This of course is a small world network but it is interesting to find out what kind of people are the connectors, what is the average separation, and so on. I have not yet received an answer…
You can find me on linkedIn .