Social Networking: Transforming Our World
In many ways, the Internet revolution was just the beginning; the real revolution, taking place now, is social networking. As we discuss in the following chapters, social tools such as wikis, blogs, tags, interactive games, and ratings that enable folksonomies18 (among others) are at the heart of the Social Age and represent a key value proposition for your business.
The speed with which social networking tools have been embraced is stunning. Every month millions of people and businesses are jumping to get connected, whether to satisfy a basic social need or to sell their products through this powerful new “electronic word of mouth.”
As recently as 2002, blogs were considered arcane technology used mostly by geeks to share their thoughts and witticisms. But the plummeting cost of communication and pervasive social technology has in many ways encouraged the soaring adoption of blogs and other social networking tools in just a few years.
Today, a tsunami of blogs comes from all levels of expertise, from professional writers to rank amateurs. People can’t get enough of social tools. Seemingly overnight there are a host of social tools available online, including MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Orkut Windows Live, Classmates, Cyworld, Bebo, Hi5, and others.19 Like-minded enthusiasts can connect on 24hTennis, Taltopia, Travellerspoint, Librarything, GoodReads, MyArtSpace, CakeFinancial, and others.20 You can celebrate your heritage on BlackPlanet, MiGente, Geni, and many others.21 While you’re at it, why not expand your business network with LinkedIn and Plaxo?22 All these relatively new sites, attracting tens of millions of visitors each day, are the direct result of the revolutionary changes of the Social Age.