Is Social Networking Ready for Re-invention?

The social networking phenomenon, which so far has been dominated by large, broad web sites such as Facebook and MySpace, appear to be in the process of re-invention. The channel may well benefit from this.

In the future, social networking sites are destined to become much more narrowly focused and niche-oriented, attarcting users with stronger interests in more specific topics. This message was brought home at a MediaBistro Circus conference keynote address delivered by Chris Andrews, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. To be sure, this trend has already been underway with the rise of business networks liked LinkedIn. Distribution companies such as Ingram Micro and other channel players also have capitalized on the phenomenon, utilizing social sites as a collaborative tool to bring channel partners together. In some cases, such networks have been used by VARs to recruit employees.

The point is, smaller seems to be better when it comes to social networks, which means the number of contacts may wind up being a lot less important than the quality of them, Of course, that's a lesson that long predates the Internet, but it's nice to see validated again.


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