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« Collaboration Requires Contribution | Main | Blogs: Foundational Tools for Network Building »

November 21, 2005


David McCulloch

I’m curious as to hear more about the positive responses you’ve received to your assertion that networks (or more to the point, links) are where the business value of Peer Media resides.

Rather than pin-point the blogosphere's business potential, I fear the position largely misses it! Sure, it’s important to draw traffic to Web sites, but it’s really hard to persuade visitors to return to a Web site if its content is poor.

I believe the business opportunity presented by the blogosphere really resides in the dialogues and discussions blogging technology facilitates between networks, not the networks themselves.

Take the developer blogs of our client, eBay, for example. That eBay has formed a network of users and developers who visit these sites is nice, but for eBay the real value lies in the interaction its blogs facilitate between the company and its customers – and between the customers themselves.

Perhaps this is more of a complementary position than a contradictory one, but I'm interested in your views, nonetheless.

Elizabeth Albrycht

When I originally wrote this for Blogging Planet, it got many comments along the same lines of what you said, David, especially about the value of content. I am not denying its value! Far from it. However, there are a wide variety of other things to pay attention to besides content, which was what I was trying to get at with my 10 tools for network building post:

A few points of clarification. One, I am not saying that links are where the business value of peer media resides. We are talking about networks of people connecting with people, not links. Nor am I talking about drawing traffic to websites. The concept is much broader than that - of building a network of people who are talking to you and your organization, but even more importantly, talking to each other about you and your organization (among many many other topics). I think you are focusing on an object view of links/networks as technology not as groups of people, as I am. I do believe there is business value in conversations, of course. I am trying to get at a way of describing this that business people can understand (outside of fuzzy terms like "markets are conversations"). Your example of eBay fits exactly into what I am talking about.

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