Crossing the Social Networking Chasm

David Teten and I just debuted our first monthly column for Fast Company, entitled Crossing the Social Networking Chasm, about how this technology is moving into the mainstream. In it, we look at some of the objections people are raising about social networking sites and re-assess “realistic” expectations of them:

Business networking sites are not living up to the expectations of many people. They don’t effectively represent electronically the complexities of interpersonal relationships. They create awkward social situations that don’t exist face to face — such as how to deal with an explicit request to be someone’s friend, something most of us haven’t had to deal with since third grade. And they don’t prevent spam.

But the fact that they’re not yet living up to their potential shouldn’t blind us from the real immediate benefits to be gained.

We then look at five key benefits of online social networks that you can realize immediately:

  1. Searchable directory
  2. High visibility at low cost
  3. Receptive audience
  4. Easy group-forming
  5. Get visibility into the networks of your connections

Read the full article at Fast Company, and we look forward to your comments.