Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Are Social Networks Working for Businesses?

Social networks definitely get their fair share of hype but are they actually providing any true business value?

Assessing the business value of Web 2.0 is similar to assessing the business value of an analytical (OLAP) database in that the real value of an OLAP is not in the database itself but rather in the "knowledge" gained by analyzing the "patterns" of data within the database. Web 2.0 is the philosophy and associated web-based tools (such as twitter, linkedin, facebook, myspace, orkut, etc.) of creating a more "personalized", "humanizing" web experience. Just as in the case of an OLAP database, the real business value of Web 2.0 is neither in the philosophy nor in the toolset but in the "relationships" and personal information captured about the users that was previously unavailable in Web 1.0. Companies across the world are burning midnight oil trying to decode all of this new data about online relationships hoping to strike gold with profitable insights. Companies such as Facebook have grandiose visions about changing the way people interact over the web and even displacing Google as the "search engine" of choice. Decoding these online relationships in the sea of data within the depths of Web 2.0 could be just the keys needed to unlock unheard of riches!

* Originally posted on ebizQ Forum on June 30, 2009

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