Experience!Tech Social Media panel

I’m in the panel on social media featuring Jay Goldman of Radiant Core, Jeremy Wright of B5 Media and Tomi Poutanen, former head of Yahoo Social Search, moderated by Jesse Hirsh.

Jeremy: social networks are broken. We have a huge amount of data that we can pivot around people who we know, but we should really be pivoting around what interests us.

Jay: there is a perception of social network fatigue amongst those of us who are early adopters, but the mainstream hasn’t even adopted them yet.

Tomi: “I haven’t deleted my Facebook account…yet”.

Twitter channel: if you have Facebook fatigue, you’re using it wrong.

Tomi: social networks tend to attract like-minded people when they’re starting up, but can grow to a size where they’re too general to have a cohesive community.

Jay: Pownce is like that summer blockbuster movie that you’re looking forward to, but it sucks when you finally try it.

Jesse: should social networks be purely for entertainment, or can they be used in the enterprise?

Jay: different social networks can solve different problems for different people. He goes to LinkedIn to connect to people professionally, but doesn’t hang out there.

Tomi: some social networking apps provide recommendations for purchases, which solves a problem for the consumer.

Jesse: how to balance the need for community with the vision to reach a broad audience?

Jeremy: our community wants to be social.

Tomi: Yahoo Answers failed because there was too much push put into it before the market/community was there that could really use it as it was intended. Facebook Beacon failed because they didn’t handle privacy properly. A more valuable linkage between Facebook and online retailers would be, for example, to see recommendations for a book made by my Facebook friends while on Amazon.

Jesse: is Facebook so far ahead that OpenSocial will never take off?

Jay: the same was said about MySpace when Facebook started, yet Facebook (in spite of still having less users that MySpace) is the social network that we talk about [at least in grownup company].

Jeremy: OpenSocial is like Java for social networks, in the “write once, run anywhere” sense. [Jay commented that this is the part of Java that is least successful since it doesn’t work in many cases]

Jesse: to what extent should privacy be central to any social networking strategy?

Jay: most people don’t know that there’s a privacy problem until someone tells them that there’s a problem; the reaction to Beacon was driven by those people who are closer to the tin foil hat end of the spectrum. However, eventually privacy does become an issue and must be respected at the risk of legal action or abandonment of the community.

Jay: LinkedIn is playing catchup with Facebook, although it offers the “degree of separation” measure that’s useful for business people. A lot of the types of connections that he used to have on LinkedIn now occur on Facebook. [I’ve seen some recent writings that indicate the business people are moving back to using LinkedIn for professional networking, and using Facebook for personal networking; this is much the way that I use the two social networks.]

Tomi: combining social networks into one isn’t necessarily the answer: do you want the same social network for everything, or be able to use different social networks to segment your communities? At Yahoo, they couldn’t agree how to merge social networks.

Jay: dataportability.org is trying to solve this problem. This is not a new battle. [In fact, this is really no different conceptually than the problem of islands of information within enterprises, where customer and other data is replicated many times over in multiple systems.]

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