This was a really interesting video which I found on a Science, Culture and Knowledge blog. I think the guy speaking in this video is right in many ways as he describes how he thinks social media is potentially going to change the way the whole world does business.
You can see how his ideas could be applied with respect to data and electronic information (including music and video). Although I am not sure how it relates to physical products, other than perhaps sharing manufacturing information. But you can see how sharing and providing information or services for free has huge potential, particularly from an advertising perspective or by then offering further services that could potentially be offered at a price.
The key to success is of course traffic or visitors to the site. You only have to consider what YouTube did for someone like Susan Boyle from Britain has got talent, or the little kid who made his parents a fortune when his little brother bit his finger.
The response was astonishing in both cases and it was by using the power of this media while they went viral and got visited by millions of people that the people involved were able to cash in on the popularity of these events.
In both these cases the reaction was not really predictable but they did demonstrate the true power of the Internet. So from a business perspective being able to identify events or information that has the same level of appeal to a worldwide audience has got to be attractive to the business world.
Of course it is not just YouTube that has seen this level of success on the Internet, we have already seen evidence of the popularity of media sites such as FaceBook and Twitter. They have gone exponential, even though they are really at what you can only describe as the fledgling stages of their development. FaceBook I would say at this point is ahead of Twitter and is adding a business perspective to what they do. Of course the whole basis of mediums such as FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube are that they are provided to the general public for free (the basis of their popularity) but they are now looking to charge for some of the business aspects they now offer.
Analise Friends Reunited and I think a key factor to why they are losing out to the other media sites was initially trying to make people pay to communicate with one another through their service. I think this was one of the biggest reasons they lost ground to sites such as MySpace and FaceBook (who offered the same facility for free) and ironic that they now also offer free communication. Clearly then social media sites need to be very careful about what they charge for and what they don’t because any competition that comes into existence will be looking at how they could gain popularity by offering the same services for free as a way into the market.
In a way individual blogging is following a similar format, particularly blogs that have been monetized or offer products and services for sale and where opinion, information, and other data is offered for free. In return the blogger is looking for traffic to visit their site and use their adverts or make purchases.
You will also hear about how you need to find a niche market in order to do this successfully. Well a niche market is exactly what Susan Boyle found inadvertently. She offered something seen as different to all the other products on offer which satisfied the need of very hungry market. In this case I think the market didn’t even know it existed until it found the product.