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Essay on Impact of Social Networking

Essay by   •  February 24, 2012  •  Essay  •  934 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,733 Views

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Social networking has redefined and reshaped our every day lives. It has certainly gained tremendous popularity and has become a powerful tool on a personal and professional level. I just read a book entitled "33 Million people in the Room" by Juliette Powell and I am amazed at how social networking has been taken to a whole new level - with creative and innovative individuals finding new ways to make use of the social networking model.

This book has certainly changed my outlook on social networking and opened up my mind to other possibilities. Although I am still skeptical about signing up to certain websites that may not be as secure, overall, I think the pros of social networking outweigh the cons.

Social networking has certainly seeped into our daily lives. For instance, it has significantly changed the user experience in online shopping by making it easier and more engaging. My shopping habits may not have changed but I now approach it differently. I used to call family or friends to ask them for their second opinion or product recommendations. Now, I just check online communities with their blogs and reviews on almost any item I am planning to shop. These communities have collectively become a strong voice that can influence shopping decisions. It has certainly made it easier to research a product and check other people's feedback. In a way, word-of-mouth is amplified in a social network as it can reach out to a larger audience.

There are also sites that are really successful in enabling people to post their videos and messages and share their thoughts and ideas to the public. These sites have become a platform for internet celebrities to be 'discovered'. I am impressed with the story of Johnny Chung Lee in Powell's book. Lee hacked the Wii remote and repurposed it to create low-cost technology devices that could be made at home. He posted videos on Youtube and it attracted 10 million hits in less than a year.

Lee has certainly accumulated a massive fan base in so short a time. Should Nintendo be concerned? Their Wii remote sales may have increased for a different reason - potentially hacked and used for different purposes. Should companies encourage this kind of innovation?

As a business person, should I consider this a threat or an opportunity? This is certainly a grey area and I can see some companies not necessarily welcoming this type of innovation for a number of reasons. It may come with some risks but I think there are a lot of untapped potentials for businesses to capture a new market.

Some entrepreneurs have certainly used social networking as a platform to launch unconventional business models. In one of the book's case studies, a couple of college dropouts founded online retailer Threadless based upon the idea of customer "co-creation". It is based on a simple but interesting

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