The more people I talk to and the more research I do a consistent theme stands out. People don’t resist change they resist being changed. In the social networking space most users want improvements while operators resist the very improvements users want. Instead operators throw out features to copy competitors or features they dreamed up with little customer feedback.
When I think about all the social networking platforms out there several issues show up as “the blinding flash of the obvious” in terms of what should change for me to save time and be more productive.
Jumping from one network to another and signing into each is a ridiculous requirement only reflecting the closed environment and mentality of the operators. The signing in process is not a differential rather a requirement that begins a process. The process is connecting, reading, watching, interacting and searching for opportunities to expand relations and knowledge. The differential in networks is the people who use them and how the networks are structured and organized around “networking as a process”. The silo mentality of today’s operators create barriers to entry and hinder productivity from the users perspective. It would be beneficial if network operations step back and took a lesson in understanding variation and its cost and impact on customer satisfaction.
One network offers rich media while another doesn’t offer any. One network controls your invitations while another doesn’t. Another network remains way to open in terms of unstated rules while another network stays closed in terms of strict unstated rules. Variation in process may seem like a differential but as we scream towards a relationship economy variation must be reduced or value cannot be optimized.
Optimization of the system of networking begins with the users in mind and ends with innovation. Facebook recently opened API’s and Linkedin is apparently following suit. Go figure. The mice will follow the maze that they themselves created as a paradigm of thinking within their closed walls. Optimization of the parts does not optimize the whole. System optimization requires coordination and cooperation of the parts which requires leadership. Improving a system requires ongoing customer feedback. But who in the market today is leading?
The Theory of Knowledge requires new theories, not old ones. Knowledge depends on theory. Information is not knowledge. Experience teaches nothing without theory. Practice makes permanent, not perfect. Copying examples does not lead to knowledge. The landscape of social networking promises to bring some interesting and new mediums for business and personal life objectives. However much of today’s leadership theories are reflected by the silo thinking of their particular networks or the copycat mentality. But who in the market today is leading?
The future holds a new paradigm for users. We will have our own Network Portal, on line and mobile versions that sync, from which we will have many options to choose which functions and features we want. We’ll decide which feeds from what networks we want appearing in our custom designed portal. Not unlike creating your own blog, your custom designed portal with have numerous plug in functions and features but you design it for the privileges and preferences you want. Your portal will be rich with multi-media and instead of being served ads you’ll choose which ads interest you at any particular time. You’ll sign into your portal once and from all the other networks you’ll decide who you want to connect with and communicate with. You’ll decide what communities of interest appear on your portal and you’ll have the power to change than at anytime. You will be able to watch custom news on topics that your interested in whether personal or professional.
Sounds a lot like Google+