A quick scan ofÂ my google reader shows a lot of activity in the social networking / social media / social technology area. A few established sites have reached critical mass. Many manyÂ startups are coming up with a re-hash of the same idea or with ideas which have small incremental worth. I see an interesting trend here, just like the first wave of dot coms. TheÂ lessons from then are worth applying to the situation of today. First, there are many trivial ideas which are getting funded – the next bubble will take care of them.
More importantly, companies and enterprises are struggling with how to best leverage the boom in social media. I think they are missing the point here, just as they did before and are too slow and bureaucratic to catch up. For example I came across this interesting presentationÂ where the CIO ofÂ INTEL spoke about their approach towards social technologies. There is a lot of learning needed here. But it is evidentÂ that the empowerment through social networking will be pervasive.
I also believe that there are many improvements needed with the way social networking happens today. Personally I am alreadyÂ wary of the personalÂ / consumer networking trends: invasive privacy policies, cluttered interfaces, noÂ easy to exportÂ your contacts,Â multiple sign-ons,Â invitations from complete strangersÂ andÂ annoying ads. But thats my personal gripe and perhaps related to my age! Apparently tens of millions of other much younger enthusiasts don’t care.