Monday, August 25, 2008

Comparing Social Networking to Online Communities

Comparing Social Networking to Online Communities

By leelefever on December 7, 2004 - 9:08am.

Lately I've been promoting the possibilities of using social networking to bring managers together within an enterprise. Recently, after introducing the concept, a teammate said: This is just another virtual team/community collaboration tool we;ve seen a lot of those and they never work.

While my introduction to the concept surely played a part in this perception, I couldn't help but wonder about the real differences. What are the significant differences between social networking and more traditional online communities? How would I describe the differences?

In my mind, they are different. Social networking represents a related but significantly different animal than more traditional online community / collaboration tools. Before going forward in comparing the two, let me be more specific: I mean 'social networking' to mean sites /communities like Orkut, Tribe, Ryze, etc. I mean 'traditional online communities' to mean discussion or message board-based communities ... .

Following are the points that I believe make the biggest differences:

  • Use of the Member Profile
  • Identity without Collaboration
  • Explicit Relationships with Forums and People
  • New Forum/Group Creation
  • Network Centric Navigation


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seeing as that there are now so many social networks catering to such a wide range of niches, my biggest problem is finding ones relevant to me and related to my specific interests or product niches. Google seems to be inefficient and returns alot of irrelevant results. A cool site that I use is this huge index of social networking sites.