Monday, May 24, 2010

Thoughts on Alternative Narrative of Social Networking Phenomenon

Perhaps its all about another desperate attempt to instantiate delusions of grandeur on the part of corporations.

A learned lesson of the Web about 6-8 years ago was no site can hope to capture users' sole attention.

To be sure, portals always tried to be that "one site". Granted, Yahoo goes back to the inception of the Web. But the battle came to a head some years later, when there was a pile on to be "THE" portal of record. But who won in the end? Google. An empty page with a textbox to enter a search term.

Corporations had a difficult time giving up on the hope of being "THE" site, and the mentality that users will spend, or care to spend, a vast amount of time on their site. Related to this desire is a desire to be ON THE (potential) CUSTOMER'S MIND. Mindshare. Similarly, a need to MANAGE customers... to hang on to some kind of control. Granted, its likely such CONTROL isn't even really necessary to succeed as provider of goods and services. But corporate mentality and record keeping require it.

So, having failed to be on the customers mind for the majority of the customer's online lifespan, corporations were seduced by the promise of SOCIAL NETWORKING as a means to be in the (potential) customer's online manage and keep track of. This imperative may in fact be the driver behind SOCIAL NETWORKING and the Web 2.0 interconnectedness pursuit.

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