Economists think about reality in terms of markets. In practice, a market is just an abstraction, and drawing the limits of markets out of actual information is a difficult task.
Consider the social networking market today and one can easily conclude that the rate of change makes it difficult to actual put boundaries around the definitions of “the market”.
Systemically speaking, some well differentiated markets are transformed into new ones, because of changes in the technology and the demand that cause the products or services of the original markets to end up by serving identical needs to the same customers. In such a situation, firms are faced with big opportunities and big potential drawbacks
Those that is able to correctly foresee the future developments can gain an important head start and position themselves so as to obtain an important competitive advantage. On the other hand, making irreversible investments in the wrong technology can seriously threaten the competitive position of a firm. This is the dilemma all of us.
Social Technology is Converging
There are different technological segments currently operating independently but on the fringe of convergence. Consider what is happening in the telecommunications industry. Consider what is happening within the social media space. Consider what is happening in the cable broadcasting space
Now consider on line social networking technologies. Everything is rushing to “open”. Open means transparent distribution and ultimately technological barriers become transparent. When you consider new developments within the social space” common themes are becoming clear. These include:
- Aggregation of “social news” generated by users is an attraction, i.e. Socialmedian
- Aggregation of friends activity is an attraction i.e. Friendfeeds and twitter
- Aggregation of social contacts is an attraction i.e “friends connect”
- “Aggregation of blogs by topical category is an attraction, i.e. Alltop”
- Social Broadcasting is an attraction i.e. YouTube, etc.
Convergence usually comes from outside an existing system and led by those watching the fringes. Our conclusion is that the obvious is starring us all in the face but the chaos of the moment distracts us from seeing the obvious.
From our perspective convergence is not a question of will it happen but rather an issue of when. What is missing to usher convergence in?. Knowledge.
What say you?