Marketing Academics Pt.3

Marketing Academics Pt.3

Introduction

With an assumed knowledge of what a social network is, from here on, a further assumption will be made: social networks are tools for the function of commerce. Social network competition has brought a new round of investing and speculation to the Internet, not seen since the dot-com crash of the late 1990s. Today, social networks are appearing almost as fast as did the online businesses of bricks-to-clicks transition of about ten years ago. Social networks are now at a point where owning a personal/private network is as simple as owning a webpage (Krugg, Kris). Not only can anyone join a social network such as Facebook, but any technically savvy person can now design their own.

As The Future of Entrepreneurial Development

An unfortunate element of any new fad or trend is the over-hyping by mainstream media. In the December 27, 2007, edition of the Vancouver province, an article promoting a Montreal based company called Capazoo appeared with the subtitle, Innovation: Well-heeled Start-up Using Fictional Money to Change Internet Economy (Rocha, Robert). What Roberts, or at least the editor, fails to inform the reader is that this social network’s business model, with its annual subscription fee of $25 plus regular real currency purchases for fake currency is simply insane. In an earlier interview with Dealmaker Media’s CEO, Debbie Landa, she reviewed a blog post of mine on a nearly identical company, EWIE.com. My post offered no hope for the start-up and likened its value proposition to snake oil. Mrs. Landa’s response to my writing was, “You were too nice.”

Upon close inspection, it becomes readily apparent that there are only a few legitimate players in the social network game, with Facebook and LinkedIn being the most popular for customer service and recruitment respectively. There are, however, innumerable knock-offs. It is important, therefore, for any human resource or marketing decision maker to fully understand the network they may become affiliated with or are currently being courted by. The difference between a Facebook and an EWIE is no different than a prime-time spot on network television and that of a spot immediately preceding a 3 am the infomercial. By refereeing to Appendix 1 – Social Network Usage, a better tactical decision can be made to ensure the best fit for inquiring human resources or marketing manager.

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