Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Doing Business with Social Applications

Sometime back, I was discussing with my fellow architect – ‘I am reading a lot of books on the topics of my interest & am also part of lot of special interest groups online. It would be interesting to know what the revered members of those groups are reading and if I find them too valuable, I may eventually buy those books as well’. Sounds very natural. Isn’t it?
Last week, I see LinkedIn launching a social application platform with 10 different applications. And one of them is Amazon Reader, which enables sharing the reading list with one’s network. On seeing the application snippet in LinkedIn home page, I said to myself ‘Wow!!’. There are two reasons behind the Wow factor – One, my idea was kind of realized J and another on the true platform potential of LinkedIn that can open up whole new set of opportunities. But I do feel LinkedIn is slow in innovating and it could have rolled-out these applications much faster to the market earlier.
The surprise does not end there. There is much more exciting partnership announced between SalesForce.com and Facebook. Now, people can develop ‘business’ applications using Force.com platform and host it on Force.com site. However, they can integrate those apps with Facebook using Facebook provided toolkit.
Yes, I said ‘Business applications’. They are not just ‘Social applications’. If you want to just develop ‘Social Applications’, you can just go ahead and use Facebook’s F8 platform. However, the intent here is to merge the business/Enterprise world with Social world. And I see this partnership as the first step towards that trend.
The business applications developed using Force.com can easily leverage the social graph and network of Facebook. It really meshes the two different worlds. As an example, can I mesh the Sales leads with Social Graph or Recruitment Ads with my network? The possibilities are endless.
When the Big product vendors are taking years of time to deliver incremental innovation, Here we are Social /Web 2.0 companies showing the way with radical innovation! Kudos!
Am looking forward to see exciting new business apps within the social network!.

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