Jeremiah Owyang has an interesting posting on his Web Strategy blog titled “Web Strategy: How To Integrate Social Technologies with Virtual Events“. Jeremiah notes that the integration of social technologies should apply to both virtual and physical events – by way of these principles:
Three Principles Of Modern Events
To be successful, virtual –and real world– event planners must abide by the following principles:
1. Events should integrate with existing communities and social networks where they exist.
2. Events should have a strategy that includes the before and after –not just during.
3. The audience can assert control over the event, so encourage audience participation and know when to get out of the way.
I left the following comment for Jeremiah:
I’m a big fan of social networks – today, my primary networks are Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. That being said, I’ve considered today’s social networks to be a Version 1.0 of Web 2.0. Now that social networks have built a critical mass of audience/community, I think that some key technologies can advance us to Version 2.0 of Web 2.0. Some examples:
- Presence Indication – While Jeremiah blogs that email was the first social network, I think of instant messaging as the dawn of social networking. So all the way back in the mid 90’s, we had a technology to allow us to connect with friends, family and colleagues – and, provide presence indication. I knew if my mom, colleague or best friend was online – and if they were online, they could indicate to me whether they were available or “Away from my desk”. While some social network sites include in-page presence indication (including Facebook, with its Facebook Chat), I’m surprised that presence indication (and chat) have not been more tightly integrated into the core service of social networks. If I’m running a social network site, but my users are using AOL IM or Skype for presence indication and text/webcam chat, then I’d want to build better presence/chat tools into my core platform. Or, integrate existing technology, so that my users launch their IM client within my service.
- Personalized Spaces – Facebook has done a great job in allowing me to post pictures, videos, links, status updates, etc. What about blending the existing technologies/applications within Facebook with virtual world technologies to create a virtual room (for personal use) or a virtual office (for b-to-b use). Vivaty is thinking along these lines, as they’ve integrated their 3D virtal world technology into Facebook. So within Facebook, I can build a personalized room with Vivaty and invite my friends (or colleagues) to visit and interact with the objects I’ve placed in that room (e.g. perhaps a link to a movie review).
- Profile Matchmaking to Extend Your Network – Virtual Event technologies have their roots in b-to-b use, in which virtual event show hosts tend to collect a deep registration profile on attendees. This provides data points that allow the virtual event platform to recommend like-minded attendees (who have similar profiles). For personal use of social networks, matchmaking may not be relevant – you know whom your friends and family are and you’re probably not inclined to go find new friends (with the exception of a social site for online dating). In a b-to-b setting, however (e.g. Linkedin), profile matching can be very powerful, as it allows you the potential to extend your network. B-to-b networking sites that combine presence with matchmaking can create a powerful combination – imagine that I find like-minded people. Instead of pressuring them to accept me as a connection, I can chat with them (based on presence indication) and introduce myself. Later, both parties may be comfortable enough to become connections within that social network.
I’d be interested in your thoughts – what related technologies should social network sites look to build or integrate?
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The major virtual event platforms have all, to this point, been developing their own core networking platforms to allow users to create profiles, find each other (including that matchmaking service) and interact. The game changer will be one of them integrating facebook connect so that you can “bring your network with you” to any event. I’d argue that LinkedIn would be a better option, but their API is far more restrictive (something that I believe is holding them back from significant advancement).
Steve – agree with you on those points. With the majority of virtual events being b-to-b these days, the question is which ‘network’ is more relevant. Right now, I’m thinking my Linkedin network is more applicable at a b-to-b virtual event compared to my set of Facebook friends. That being said, Facebook Connect integration would be powerful.
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