Friday, August 21, 2009

Power to the People

Jermiah Owyang, esteemed social web analyst for Forrester Research, outlines a new social history that consists of five eras:

1) Era of Social Relationships: People connect to others and share
2) Era of Social Functionality: Social networks become like operating system
3) Era of Social Colonization: Every experience can now be social
4) Era of Social Context: Personalized and accurate content
5) Era of Social Commerce: Communities define future products and services

Much of the discussion surrounding paid social network research is about big brand names wanting to understand how to adjust their marketing strategy. But wait a sec. Can someone please stop defining me as a consumer? 

What was a particularly interesting to me the evening of the Social Media forum had to do with a conversation before the panel with my two seat mates, who were also gobbling wonderful pastries. The two user interface designers and I commiserated about our mutual Facebook accounts and being consistently approached by people we didn't know who wanted to join our network.  But is it just a numbers game? A kind of "my network is bigger than your network" thing? 

From my end of the sidewalk, it's about why we connect to people that asks for more definition.  More later.

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