Vendor Communities and Social Networking


Lately I have have spent time studying vendor eco-systems and the communities that they are built up of. It was interesting to find how static the communities really were. The whole idea of a cutting edge web community is fostering participation by the members. The motivation to participate derives from a need to fulfill fairly basic social needs, such as self promotion and social acceptance. Vendors that choose to recognize alpha users in their communities enabling users to raise their personal status above the masses will foster a higher level of participation from the whole community.

Most of the vendors that I researched sell solutions for collaboration, but only one vendor used spaces to enable multi-party P2P interaction. Solutions have become so complex that one reseller or integrator rarely can provide the whole solution. It would be in the interest of the vendors launch collaboration competitions with the goal of creating new solutions on top of their infrastructure components to answer challenges that their key clients have disclosed.

I believe that since 9/11 and the rise of logistical costs we have invested more into digital communication, but we have followed the old email "fire and forget" paradigm to a great extent. The next generation uses real time communication media. They want to know where their friends and colleagues are in real time and what they are doing. They want an immediate responses with interactive dialog. We are starting to see the rising need to bring social interaction back to communication. Humans are not robots.

Communities that are able to foster more human interaction and adopt to the needs of individual users will grow to be leaders.

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