Göran Askeljung: This is my private blog and does not necesserily express the views or share the motives of any organisations I work for. All rights reserved © Askeljung 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Social Networking growth and the missing bits

Are SN growing as a result of Broadband access and Mobile-, Tele-, and e-Working?

Now we know: A recent investigation over the "future of the Teleworking" in Great Britain, Germany and France, prophesies a dramatic boom of teleworking. In only 15 years numbers will grow twelvefold. The SI project of the European Union concluded there was approximately ten million Teleworkers in the EU in 2002 - which corresponds roughly to 13 percent of the workforce. So how many Teleworkers will we have in 15 years... ?(Numbers from the German Der Spiegel here: http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,395489,00.html)

The Articel goes into explaining the difference in numbers, but the point is another really: How will we work in the future?

Recent developments in the popularity of Social Networking Sites leads us to safely presume this is not a coincident. Online access and broadband growth, globalisation and increased competition, are some major factors involved in driving the need people has to interact over the internet, as life-time jobs gets rarer and portfolio careers develops as a mean for survival.Ecademy has brilliantly shown the way, and delivered what people need to successfully interact online. Other SNS has grown in popularity as they have specialised and niched themselves, sometimes going more for quantity and reach, rather than for quality and depth.

What does the future hold? I believe we will see the need to interact over multiple SNS raise as people want to be part of many sites – indeed I am too – to enhance their exposure in the Market and their “connectiviness”. Thus, there is a need for new types of services, that would enable you not just to synchronise your contacts over multiple SNS with your PIM (ie Outlook etc), but also for CRM and SFA functionality, together with collaboration spaces for people who need to work or want to share information together.

I would love to see a service that would automatically analyze on what SNS all my contacts are part of and tell me what information is available on them there. I’d like to have an already filled CRM system with those contacts, automatically having analyzed who is working in what organisation and proposed accounts for me. Or think about Peer-to-Peer capabilities and collaboration spaces: Click on two contacts you would like to share information with and instantly a link is sent over Email to them, showing documents and pictures from our last meeting available in a common protected area.

All kind of specialized services pop up these days: We have a Plaxo for keeping our Contacts synchronized and use Spoke or JigSaw for researching prospective clients` maybe, but where are the services I need when PM isn’t enough to be an effective Teleworker outside any one company but interacting with many?