Just Me and My Peeps

I don’t know, social networking in business just hasn’t really taken off like it has in hipper social circles (Facebook, MySpace). LinkedIn and Jobster are closer but are more recruitment networks than business social network sites.

HRmarketer.com launched a social networking community forum earlier this year where HR suppliers can talk marketing/PR shop and ask each other questions, discuss the HR marketplace, present partnership opportunities to each other, gather market intelligence (in an intelligent professional way), discuss each other’s horoscope and why mercury is in perpetual retrograde crashing my computer every other day…

And while we’ve had some success connecting marketing and PR professionals online (who are HRmarketer members), it still hasn’t fully taken off in our industry. (We do have some fantastic “social networking” and “user interface” upgrades coming to HRmarketer.com in early 2008 – look for our announcements.)

Business networks are important. I don’t think anyone would argue that. You’ve probably been involved in user groups, online forums and messages boards, email lists, and the like. But social networking with peers and business associates (and competitors)?

Well, according to an article in the Wall St. Journal today titled Social Networking Goes Professional, that’s changing (and exciting!).

Like blogging in business, social networking in business has been slow to take off because “employees are wary of disclosing too much to potential competitors, and loose-executives can easily embarrass themselves and their companies online.”

Plus, business professionals are limited in how much time they can invest in online networking, especially if the immediate benefits to them aren’t clear.

What is clear is that there are more business-related social networking sites today and more on the way, and social networking will continue to become more and more specialized within industries, professional affiliations, you name it. It’s yet another evolution of the traditional to the online, and we’ve already heard success stories from our own members about fledging partnerships forming in our HRmarketer community forum.

Say that five times fast, hit submit and don’t look back.

Colin Kingsbury from HRMDirect nailed it earlier this month when he wrote: “Social networking is not a product, it's a protocol, and I fully expect the market ten years from now to be vastly more fragmented than it is today.”

Posted by Kevin Grossman

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