FRIENDSTER, THE ENTERPRISE BUSINESS PLATFORM?
HatTip to Valerie. I don't read SiliconValleyWatcher everyday, so I received an email link to this post by Tom:
I ran into Dave Kochbeck, Director of Operations at Friendster, at a Novell/Horn group media roundtable earlier in the week. He's a very interesting guy and he completely remade my impression of Friendster.
The original social media network is growing up; and its going to be making its platform available to other businesses. In other words, as Dave said, "It has to be about more than just getting teenagers laid." That's a killer quote - Dave knows the value of a soundbite.
Friendster as an enterprise platform makes perfect sense. After all, business relationships are all about personal relationships. And Friendster has been developing some algorithms that map relationships between people in interesting ways - though that work is still in the lab. (full post)
So I read the headline, "Friendster-the enterprise business platform," and I'm thinking that I must be reading The Onion. Then I'm imagining a man with a Friendster t-shirt and hat drowning in the middle of vast ocean... stretching for a life-preserver that slowly floats by (don't delete my profile, guys:). Since they missed the News Corp. luxury liner that MySpace jumped into, Friendster seems to be splashing around for a business model.
Enterprise platform? If they really do go this route, they need an obvious name change, identity make over, and overhaul in their platform. This is no nip tuck job, more like carve and shove. Can you imagine them going to executives at Boeing, "Hi, we're from Friendster, an enterprise solutions for your business needs..."
Of course, I work for GoingOn Networks, which isn't that much of a better name for a enterprise platform company :)
Tom's comment, "Friendster as an enterprise platform makes perfect sense," sounds like its out of The Onion too. I don't think Tom has tried out Linkedin or Visible Path who are much further along in the corporate space for social networks. I don't want to poke too much fun since Tom wrote about GoingOn in the space below his Friendster post and he says he might try us out. I just found this notion of Friendster shifting gears and moving into the enterprise space funny.