Sunday, June 14, 2009

What is social networking anyway??

Some people think that Facebook is the biggest social networking engine, with 200 million active users, half of which log on every single day. But consider this… Microsoft Live Messenger has 320 million users! Why don’t we think of them when we hear the term “social networking”?

Social networks are online communities made up of any number people that have a shared interest and interact via technological media. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. So why, for example, did Mr. Notorious R.O.B. have a beef with Seattle-based John L. Scott Real Estates selection of Live Services as their tool of choice when venturing into the social networking sphere? See his post here. Mr. Rob – we think you have seriously under-rated Microsoft Live Services.

Microsoft is all about accessibility – they are the masters of the commoditization of geek technology. What I mean by that is that Microsoft has historically provided entrance to high-end, elite technology by making it user-friendly for the masses – from the Windows GUI framework for early PC users to the up and coming Visual Studio 2010 for developers today. And they have done that with social networking from the start. Just because people don’t realize that they are social networking when they are using the Live Services doesn’t mean that they aren’t. In fact, they probably don’t even care. There is a difference between the Uber-Geek who buys into technology for the sake of it being new, and the mainstream user who buys into technology for what it can do for them.

MOST people are mainstream consumers of technology and are drawn to the tools that work. Microsoft knows how to build products that work, and Microsoft is here to stay. There was no risk in John L. Scott using a Microsoft product. Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all the rage today, but are they here to stay?? Is the passive use of a posting service as effective as interactive discussions (thanks Angus)? And while Google is great on many levels, Microsoft Live Messenger is ACTUALLY way more popular, so why would John L. Scott choose anything (anyone) BUT Microsoft Live Services? Check out the new JLSConnect product on By the way, we at nsquared had a little something to do with it… ;)

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