This article is having a fairly good diffusion in Latin America (at the moment it has appeared on Calle50 in Venezuela, MateriaBiz in Argentina, and El Semanario de México), so it is time to leave it cited here like everything one is doing. It is purely informative on social media.
The network on the network
In this, apparently recursive title is possibly one of the most daily realities of our professional activity: the appearance of social networks on the Internet on which to dump our information and contacts. Sites like Facebook, Linked In, MySpace, and many others with a very strong viral spread: overnight, a series of friends start knocking on your electronic door with invitation messages that, precisely because they come from friends, become hard to ignore. A click away, a personal file appears that we must fill in, and a space in which to receive information and maintain contact with those friends, and apparently interesting value proposition. However, things start to get complicated when it escalates, and we find more invitations from new social networks,
First, let’s examine some characteristics of social media services: the notion that the network could be an ideal environment for these types of applications comes from times before the popularization of the Internet, with books such as “The network nation”(Hiltz and Turoff, 1978), although it was not articulated as such until 1995 with Classmates.com, a network designed to maintain the links between former classmates. The characteristics of computer-mediated communication allowed a person to represent their social network with a much higher level of structure than they could keep in their head or on their agenda, and with much more advantageous incorporation of metadata and relationships. Thus, we began to have social networks of various natures: with specific orientation (LinkedIn for professional contacts or Match.com for sentimental contacts) or with a general-purpose, almost of the type “networking through networking”, such as Orkut, MySpace, or Facebook.
The aforementioned Facebook was, in this environment, a whole renewing force: after a relatively discreet development over several years, the company created by Mark Zuckerberg decided, in May 2007, to offer an API (Application Program Interface) that would allow developers to offer applications of all kinds to your user base. The call, despite forcing programmers to write in a non-standard language (FBML, or Facebook Markup Language instead of the usual HTML, HyperText Markup Language), was a critical and public success: in a short time Very briefly, Facebook became one of the most valuable properties on the Internet, with enormous dynamism, growth of 5% per week and astronomical valuations (Microsoft paid, last October, $ 246 million for 1.6% of the company). Definitely,
Facebook’s move was answered shortly after by the Open Social initiative, a surprise launch by Google in the form of a platform that brings together the largest social networks in the world, and that aims to counteract the appeal that Facebook has for developers: if they create applications in Open Social, they will be able to do it using standard HTML language, and they will be able to offer them within a wide variety of social media to a huge set of potential users. It is still too early to see the reactions regarding Open Social, but without a doubt, this strategy has come to demonstrate some of the most interesting and provocative ways to compete in today’s business: the value of platforms, and the value of the opening.
Social media have matured, and each day they bring us closer to a unique profile and less painful maintenance tasks. In addition, they transfer elements of all kinds to the network: we can use one to see the contact information of a friend, but also to send him all kinds of “lighter” questions, from criticizing a movie to inviting him to a virtual daisy (which yes, it has not been perfected yet to taste the same as the real one). Without a doubt, networks are here to stay, and represent a completely logical use of the Internet: soon, our profiles on certain social networks will be the usual way of interacting in circles that will include everything from the purely personal to the most professional and will represent from the permanently updated agenda, up to the central link of our relationships of all kinds.
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