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The truly incredible rise of the networking humans...
‘Man is a social animal...’ and there’s nothing so strange about it. So while ‘keeping in-touch’ comes naturally, there comes another need for revitalising and expand each one’s existing contact list... With technology complementing even this aspect of human behaviour, such interactions have been taken to new dizzy highs, with the power of the World Wide Web (better called ‘www’)!
Yes, the internet has introduced a wider & endless avenue, one which is better termed – ‘networking’. The new trend is highlighted by sites like MySpace, Facebook, Orkut et al (sites like hi5 are already old now, phew!) and the likes that link millions together, such that an individual today has little options left besides being drawn by the magnetism that attracts all attention towards these networking options that are available so easily...
And however powerful the concept of virtual networking might have become, the fact remains that even the biggest names in this field wouldn’t have ever imagined the powerful reach and revenues associated with this new found rage. Youngsters today have close to 300 networking sites – both big & small – to choose from that best suits their unique tastes and interests them.
This leaves the whole lot of opponents scrambling to retain their members, making them all vulnerable to the fancies of these young bloods. Commenting on the scene in India, Neha Gupta, Sr. Research Analyst, Gartner says, “The internet penetration in India stands abysmally low at less than 1%, so at present the social networking sites have a very limited impact on the Indian population – both in terms of business and social impacts. As India moves forward in its goal to achieve higher internet penetration, social networking sites like YouTube or even an Indian replica of “Cyworld” (an internet community) can be used as a tool (equally by the governmentas well) to increase awareness and interaction.”
Currently the social networking market in US is ruled by MySpace which holds nearly a 80.74% share, distantly followed by Facebook with a 10.32% share and India’s alleged favourite ‘Orkut’ trailing behind with just 0.26%! The rankings submitted by Hitwise, an online monitoring service, also stated that in US alone, the traffic to the top 20 social networking sites jumped by 11.5% in a matter of a month from January to February 2007.
The huge boom in this field has also resulted in players toying with newer ideas. Business networking also appears to be on the rise as contestants look to developers to get them in the ‘league’. Sites like Linked In aren’t looking for gaining popularity with huge number of members on their list. Instead, their target is the slightly older and professional generation looking to compare business techniques. On the other hand, we also have someone like IBM which has whipped up ‘Lotus Connection’ through which teams share documents & work on projects. On the social front, Nike enables its users to connect to millions of Nike users worldwide.
Indeed, networking has become quite addictive today, but as long as this proves healthy for the emotional being, who cares whether it’s business or err...personal!
4Ps B&M research: Aveena Lopes
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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2008
An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).
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