Today’s internet communities are a fad, social networks will dominate

Jouko Ahvenainen of xtract has this fantastic post at forumoxford

The basic premise is: Communities / Social networks as we know them today are a fad – However social networks (as a philosophy) will dominate

Jouko’s post below ..


There has been an active discussion whether social communities are a fad. I also asked here a couple of weeks ago, what is the relationship of real social networks and communities people create around them in the Internet. Finally I have come to some conclusions in my thinking.

Here is my prediction: Internet communities as we know them today are a fad, but social networks and communities will be a fundamental part of all Internet and mobile services and marketing.

I just flew from London to San Francisco and had time to read some articles and really think this question. Communities like Facebook and MySpace are now very popular, but I see they are only the first step and still quite artificial social networking between people. Advertisers have seen the value already today. Individual community services comes and disappears but the phenomenon itself will live. And we have already seen that people are not always loyal to a community service.

But this is only a starting point. People have many other services they use daily in the Internet. They live with their mobiles 24/7. It cannot be so that your social activities and at the same time community marketing intelligence is limited only to certain web sites. Social network awareness will be a fundamental part of everything people develop for the Internet and mobile in near future. And community marketing intelligence will live inside all services and platforms in the future to offer better usability and more relevant and effective advertising.

This is also why mobile data is so powerful if we want to know the real social networks for advertising and better usability. Today it is operators’ data to analyze social networks as Xtract already does but in the future it will be much more data from handset and also from Internet and Mobile Internet usage. And those who own the data and powerful tools to find relevant out from the data will be the big winners.


I agree .. and I said once at a presentation ..

Content may be king – but metadata is King Kong! i.e. he who owns the metadata about the customer will be the real winner. Operators have potentially a strong case here – definately. Assuming they use the right tools and have the right mindset

Jonathan Marks added ..

I asked the CEO of Flickr if she could guarantee me access to my own photos in 2012. In fact she couldn’t. Since I keep a copy of what I upload to Flickr, if I lost access to my photos it wouldn’t matter so much. But all the effort put into labelling material, building sensible collections, tagging etc which builds value to a collection, I see no guarantee that I would be able to download that at any time in the future. My time, my effort, but apparently not my data.

and as I said in the last blog .. Google’s answer to facebook .. I totally agree with Dave ..