Reaping the Benefits of Web 2.0

Comments Off on Reaping the Benefits of Web 2.0
Reaping the Benefits of Web 2.0

According to a new book called Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom:  How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work, and World,1 more than a quarter million people join MySpace, a social networking site, every day.  Facebook, another such site, has 125 million members worldwide.  Put together, they have as many members as the United States has citizens.  In a single day, MySpace has 4.5 billion page views.  There are numerous other social networking sites that boast tens of millions of members in various countries. 

In addition, there are specialized social sites such as LinkedIn for business people, Sermo for doctors, LibraryThing for book clubs, and Flickr for sharing photos. 

Social networking sites usually fall into one of five categories: 

  • The egocentric sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, allow a user to create a profile and develop a network of friends.  They are also a medium for creating a new identity — or multiple identities — and for the publication of songs, videos, photographs, writing, or other artistic expression. 
  • Community-based networks bring together people of the same race, religion, or nation.  They tend to mirror real-world communities. BlackPlanet, for example, is a site for African Americans. 
  • Opportunistic social sites, such as LinkedIn, attract members who want to leverage the Web for business reasons, such as people looking for work, managers seeking job candidates, or free-lance consultants looking for clients. 
  • Passion-centric networks are organized around a hobby or pursuits of some sort, such as people who like dogs or restore antique cars.  Almost any hobby or specialty can spawn such a site.
  • Media-sharing sites, such as YouTube and Flickr, exist so that people can share videos and photos.  They are more about the content than about interaction. 

The stakes in this game are dizzying.  Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion.  News Corp bought MySpace for $580 million.  Microsoft purchased just 1.6 percent of Facebook for $240 million. 

Surprisingly, social networks are not just popular among people in their 20s and teens.  According to the Portland Press Herald,2 the number of people over 35 who are joining Facebook doubled during just two months earlier this year.  Interestingly, the most avid group is comprised of women over 55. 

Social networks collectively make up a big proportion of what we refer to as Web 2...

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
Already a Trends Magazine subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $195/year

  • Get 12 months of Trends that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Trends Research Library
  • Optional Trends monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • Receive our exclusive "Trends Investor Forecast 2015" as a free online gift
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% full refund