Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Social Networking Goes Professional

On beyond Facebook. On beyond LinkedIn. Jessica Vascellero's story in today's Wall Street Journal, Social Networking Goes Professional, highlights the growth of social networking sites targeting professionals.

Unlike relatively simple message boards that are open to all, these new sites -- including Sermo.com for doctors and INmobile.org for the wireless industry [and AdGabber.com for those interested in advertising] -- have features such as profile pages showing professional credentials; personal blogs that function like a kind of online diary; links to "friends" online; electronic invitations to real or online events; and instant-messaging.
These sites offer more than just the general networking found on LinkedIn or the broader socializing seen on Facebook. They are focused on a particular group of professionals and hope to offer a compelling business benefit that attracts and holds a community of users. The story points out that social networking has been slow to catch on among professionals. Most executives lack the time to invest in online networks and are willing to do so only if they can envision a clear business benefit from participating.

"Professionals are fairly protective about their social networks which they
spend their whole lives to build," says Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, assistant
professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. He adds that
the appeal of social networking is limited largely to industries where workers
are fairly isolated from their colleagues on a day-to-day basis, like medicine,
construction and sales.

1 comment:

Oliver Picher said...

Also check out this blog post from Ben Worthen of the WSJ -- Social Networks for Everything.

"The trend towards niche networks makes sense because many adults don’t just want to meet new people for the sake of meeting new people the way teenagers do – they want to meet people they have something in common with..."