Social Networking: The Role of Meta-Networks

May 28, 2010

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you name it – we have it.  Each of these are gigantic social entities, we can create networks within these entities.  For lack of a better phrase I call these meta-networks. I am sure the pundits have a better term for these.

Meta-networks have led to creation of sub-networks.  For example, in LinkedIn any one can create groups and sub-groups within groups.  Groups are either temporal or permanent in nature.  I call temporary groups social linkages.  A classic example of a social linkage was evidenced by the events in Iran which could easily have been suppressed without these meta-networks.  The viral effect of sub-networks and social linkages is phenomenal.  From the simple photo libraries on Picasa to the video libraries on YouTube to the custom enterprise networks on Twitter and Facebook, these meta-networks have created the opportunity to create content at will.  Will these meta-networks survive and become the mega enterprises of tomorrow or will they be gobbled by the existing enterprises? Just imagine if IBM purchased LinkedIn!

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The other side of outsourcing

May 5, 2010

In the book “Outsourcing America: The True Cost of Shipping Jobs Overseas and What Can Be Done About It”  (Published in 2008 by AMACOM, a division of American Management Association).  The authors  Hira brothers  argue that outsourcing jobs overseas is deleterious to the health of the American Economy.  To add salt to injury, a University of California study concludes that 14 million white-collar jobs are vulnerable to being outsourced offshore.  Given the high rate of unemployment, outsourcing jobs is getting bad press.  Lou Dobbs of CNN made a career just on this topic.

Enough gloom, let me narrate a real story about a real company based in California that manufactures a Green Technology product, one that converts radioactive waste to harmless reusable materials.  This company has a patented product and builds its machine in California.  Guess where the big markets are for this product?  No prizes awarded for guessing China and India.  The more China and India buy these products, the more jobs in California.  Admittedly this is one example, and you cannot extrapolate on a single datum.  However, the message is loud and clear.  The way for America to forge ahead is innovation.