Imagine how Portable Social Graphs Will Impact the Web

Over one year ago, we defined the Social Graph as an online representation of our relationships. These graphs define our personal, family, or business communities on social networking websites.

Razorfish, an Interactive Firm owned by Microsoft serves the largest brands in the world. When I first met with them earlier this year, they were just growing their practice, primarily lead by Shiv Singh. In fact, their CEO told me that social at the time, was just one component (a small one at that) for their agency. Things are starting to change, since we met a few weeks ago in SF, they told me that social media practice has extended to many of their accounts and will likely increase during the coming year. You can visit their blog Going Social Now, to learn more about their focus on the social web.

The above presentation helps to visualize how social technologies change business, ecommerce, and corporate websites. When I heard Mark Zuckerberg tell us how Facebook connect would be linked with different websites, I had a feeling of how dramatic this would change the web –and wrote this piece What ‘Facebook Connect’ Means for Corporate Websites.

Key Takeways

  • The social graph, when linked with traditional websites will radically change how we find, research, purchase, and support products.
  • Reviews, ratings, and critiques about products will become more relevant as you can start to get information from your own network.
  • Soon, social technologies will be pervasive and will impact every website –even if they choose not to participate
  • Brands, and their interactive marketing agencies, are starting to include social elements in all aspects of their marketing efforts.
    • WebSuccessDiva Marketing

      I think the aspect of social in all marketing will develop into a huge gray area, where the lines are not clear and the entire face of traditional marketing changes. Great stuff 🙂

    • Some great points brought up here and i think the concept of ‘portable’ social graphs certainly will form some aspect of the future. What I don’t totally buy is that these will be owned by either google or facebook unless they bring remarkable value to the customer (end user). It is all fantastic technology and great theory, but I think both facebook and google in their mad rush to ‘own’ the customer will continue to focus on their value as opposed to the utility and value to the customer. The winner will be the most open and flexible and it might not be either facebook or google. Include them on your plans for sure look for more open approaches that put the customer in control of their own network.

    • The Amazon example isn’t a good one. Amazon already has a huge amount of data on frequent shoppers to the site.

      What I put into Facebook doesn’t give Amazon anything more useful than they already have on me.

      I don’t see this as anything revolutionary or “game changing” as the presentation implies. Although they could use data to suggest things, I don’t see why this is so amazing.

      Also, is Facebook trying to monetize merely by becoming the world’s largest affiliate? That seems like a weak model for what they potentially could do.

      We’ll see how this stuff plays out in the wild of course, but if I’m an e-commerce site SEO, blog referrals and the like still seems like the best option. People don’t go on Facebook to shop (or click ads). We’ve proven this time and time again.

      http://www.centernetworks.com/facebook-ad-campaign-results

    • yes, this is interesting, this is a bit old in my view.But than again this is MSFT we are talking about here 😉
      At Blogtronix we are going to tun on our social-content graph in the next version in January and this will transform the way we look at social/content relations both in the enterprise and in the consumer social networking markets. I should put my internal ppt on slideshare I think at this point. This is part of our much more complicated Smart Social Networking, which powers our Enterprise Social Platform.

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    • This seems implausible. The notion of connection through the social web across multiple e-commerce platforms makes sense, but I just cannot see facebook at the heart of it.

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    • Adam the difference is the reviews on amazon will be from people you actually know.

      Also, you can see which one of your friends has used this product in their real life: maybe reviews, pics, and if they recommend it.

      This could increase relevancy and trust, as we know from research, consumers trust people ‘like them’ more than all others.

      http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2008/04/29/who-do-people-trust-it-aint-bloggers/

    • Karl, you’re right it is great technology but how Facebook, Google and Microsoft bring their solutions to market will determine who succeeds over the long run. It should be open and flexible and our social graphs maybe shouldn’t be the assets of a particular social network. But then its also our social graphs that give those businesses value. The fact remains though that Facebook Connect was first to market with it and therefore deserves a lot of credit.

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    • @jeremiah – ahh, that either wasn’t clear (or i’m not reading well enough)

      will be interesting to see how this stuff plays out in the real world…

    • Daniel Stern

      @Adam Singer –

      In addition to what Jeremiah elucidated, Facebook Connect enables connected sites to see the profiles of Facebook Connected friends. In my opinion this allows sophisticated enough FCed sites to contextualize a given user, opening up opportunities that are limited only by 3rd imaginations. Think about: personalized advertisements on Amazon suggesting birthday gifts for a shopper’s girlfriend. (Or maybe for a sibling leveraging application info?)

      The other thing that I think you might have missed is the fact that user activity gets broadcasted back to that user’s facebook newsfeed (should they elect for that to happen)… this form of advertising I think is different than regular display advertising on Facebook, and Im not sure if we know how effective this is. Ultimately I am not sure there is a clear revenue stream for Facebook using this model, but there is no reason why Amazon would want to pass up that kind of exposure when all they have to do is integrate Facebook Connect. Seems like a nominal cost given the potential yield.

    • good post, although your blocking me on Twitter still leaves me to think that you may be mentally ill.

    • Hey Jeremiah,

      I really enjoyed these slides. Definitely an interesting thought on different methods for online marketing.

      I wonder about the implications this has on privacy and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) though? If an individual were to use Facebook Connet, would they have to agree that Amazon could use their Social graph for these placed marketing techniques? Would these permissions even be asked of the individual?

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    • I think a lot of people are missing the point here.

      What Jeremiah is underlining is the continuing social revolution. Even ‘big’ brands like Facebook have to take heed of the emerging technology that is born of each of our innane desires to interact with eachother. And we will succeed. If we can’t do it with the help of a big brand we will find another way.

      As much as I love the principle of the discussion here I believe that the term social graph is confusing.

    • yes, this is interesting, this is a bit old in my view.But than again this is MSFT we are talking about here 😉
      At Blogtronix we are going to tun on our social-content graph in the next version in January and this will transform the way we look at social/content relations both in the enterprise and in the consumer social networking markets. I should put my internal ppt on slideshare I think at this point. This is part of our much more complicated Smart Social Networking, which powers our Enterprise Social Platform.

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