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Des Moines, Iowa
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Social Networking Going Corporate

Geoff Wood

I'm too old for Facebook or at least I assumed so. I really don't know what "Facebook" is...I heard about it a couple years after college when we were working on the CampusAuthority experiment. Same thing with MySpace, I've heard about it plenty but never participated.

My layman's understanding is that they are virtual 'social networks' allowing users to group and organize other participants into various categories that make sense to them individually. I'm sure that also allows you to meet other folks for various reasons if 'virtual relationships' are your thing.

It's always been my understanding that these types of sites are aimed at kids in college - I think Facebook solely existed on college students.

Earlier this week one of our executives asked me what I knew about Facebook citing an article that he had read in Fortune or Money or some such periodical. Apparently the founder of Facebook, in his young 20's, has already made millions on the app and is now expanding it to the corporate world. Interesting.

Today I got an invitation to another corporate networking site, http://www.linkedin.com, meant to harness corporate connections and contacts.

The folks at nationals(1) for the fratter have created a pdt-exclusive network as well with a company called "affinity circles".

"Social networking" has been hip with the college crowd for a couple years and is apparently making it's move on corporate America. I'm always a little suspect of internet trends like this so I'll probably hang back and watch a bit. It seems likely to me that at some point they'll have to start merging or at least start cross-authenticating because no one wants to have maintain several online accounts just to participate. Stay tuned.

(1)I know "internationals"