Monday, January 24, 2011

Future of Online Networking

Facebook is losing its sheen. With about 13 million* users [as of September 2010] in India alone it is not surprising that many of them have started finding it more of a clutter. Users feel it is does not allow enough privacy and gives less control to the users. Similarly it is the case with websites like LinkedIn which is more for professional networking.

It is true that networking sites like Orkut, Facebook and LinkedIn showed the way, taught the power of networking to the masses and brought out the true sense of web on the internet. Now that they have taught users the phenomenon of networking, the need for more meaningful connectivity has risen. The concept of networking itself has reached a new dimension. While social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn will still rule the roost, there is a certain segment of such users who want to build their own social sphere with more meaningful interactions. People are looking for more purposeful connections. The concept which was more of a fad once has become a necessity and has created demands for websites with improved control features.
There are already few sites which offer networking options to a selected group or provide options to customize your online network for specific purpose. Even corporates go for such networking sites which provide better security and can have better qualitative networking among their employees.
Websites like Ning, GoingOn, CrowdVine, KickApps and Haystack are a few such social networking websites which offer different value propositions to the social networking users.
This is just about a segment in one industry of online social networking. There are many segments to be identified in various industries as these indutries evolve. Read my book to understand the importance of segmentation in the complete 3-Step process of launching your entrepreneurial venture. This book will show how segmentation can help you identify opportunities for your start-up!

*Approximate value; data not verified.