Advanced Social Networking
I still don’t have a Myspace page; perhaps it was the idea of being involved with anything that had to do with News Corp? But more likely, it was that my kids told me it was already considered over-the-hill when Rupert laid down his billions, with new networks on the horizon.
Somehow I managed to join LinkedIn during its first heyday, and now it has come back again, and I have some hundreds of thousands of connections or contacts. I also joined Plaxo, and am now getting Pulsed regularly. Someone seems to have put me into a couple more recent networks, and these days I find myself getting new invitations to new nets on a pretty regular basis.
Having networks makes sense, and making them interoperable makes much more sense; we really shouldn’t have to join every one to be part of them all.
One of my early problems with the concept was that one couldn’t use the network for business, which was essentially all that I wanted to do. That took a few years to work out.
Most recently, a German acquaintance of mine, Lars Hinrich, has started what looks to be the most successful business network in Europe, and I must say I like its structure and rule set: it’s made for business. You can see it at Xing.com, and you can even join a new SNS Community that our longtime European Director of Operations, Kai de Altin Popiolek, has been assembling.
Working in Xing suggests to one that social networking has now grown out of the teen matchmaking phase, and into something adults would use for their daily or business affairs. I expect this kind of net, and perhaps Xing in particular, to have very strong future acceptance in the business market.