In an earlier post titled “The Purpose Factors” we examined the purpose of participating in the multiple mediums of the virtual world. Based on some observational data and interviews there seems to be a lack of purpose yet a hope for one to emerge.
In our earlier post we state “The critical shift which will facilitate the emergence of The Relationship Economy will be when individuals step back from the hype and define their purpose in using social networks to reach individual objectives that have affinities to economic and social gains.
A rationale and strategic purpose for individuals is one defined around a return on their investment in time spent using social networks for individual purposes.”One might justify a return on time spent with claims of making new friends, enjoying the exchanges of ideas, thoughts, experiences etc.
One might suggest that the medium creates value by offering learning opportunities from the vast audience of diverse individuals willing to share their expertise on any particular subject matter. With the ongoing addition of new media to the medium one might enjoy accessing live or on demand audio and video programs for entertainment. Whatever the justification may be the bottom line is that most are using all the mediums as consumers of media, few are effectively using the medium for personal economic gain.
The Cost vs. The Promise of Gain
There are millions of people blogging as a means of expression. Some chase the mean hoping to make money off of ads, i.e. Google adsense.
Some get excited about affiliate marketing programs and subsequently peddle products through their blogs and web sites hoping their viewers will “click” on an offer. Others look for a combination of products, technology and methods to make incremental income from each hoping the sum of the parts justifies the cost of time.Everyday there are new products or technology promoting a promise of “How to make six figure incomes off the internet” that remind us of yet another MLM pitch we’ve all heard before.Social networks are a buzz of users promoting their causes, interest and businesses hoping to attract other users to “spend their time” interacting in yet another group.
Facebook is exploding with groups and just recently Linkedin followed form and made group formation easy for anyone to set up then invite the masses to join. The networking platform operators are adding new applications daily all centered on enticing us with widgets, gadgets and “toys” to further express ourselves or become affiliated yet with another media. Recruiters are all over the place hoping to establish a relationship with potential candidates that can fill new job openings.
To say the least, all of this has become a huge drain on personal and professional time and it has become habit forming for millions of adults, not just kids anymore.
When will a general business purpose emerge?
While one can see and understand the personal purposes a business can only justify the cost of time or investment based on a definable return, whether immediate or in the future. Certainly recruiters and marketers have found a business purpose in use of the medium but there is a host of other business segments, both individuals and organizations, waiting for a new model to emerge that justifies the time to learn, leverage and facilitates measurable economic gains.
The medium enables relationship reach which is an important part of any business. The value add for business will be when the medium enables richness in transactions amongst relationships that facilitate exchanges of goods and services at less cost than existing means. This is when The Relationship Economy will emerge with new methods of commerce.
What say you?