Elgan: When LinkedIn knows where you are

How mobile social networking will transform business

Within two years, I believe mobile social networking will become the most valuable business application since e-mail.

Instant messaging started out as a social life booster for teens, but evolved into a vital form of business communication. Social networking also got big first on MySpace, where teens decorated their pages with goofy pictures and the latest MP3s, but evolved into a widely used business networking tool on LinkedIn and other sites.

As we speak, the convergence of social networking and mobility is starting to grow worldwide among teenagers and young adults. ABI Research predicts that mobile social networking will reach 90 million new users over the next four years and rake in US$3.3 billion.

Soon, like IM and PC-based social networking before it, the phenomenon will spread to business users for business purposes.

What is mobile social networking?

Mobile social networking is similar to regular social networking, but on a mobile phone rather than a PC, and using location-based applications and hardware to augment social interaction.

Social networking is all about maintaining relationships and fostering community. Obviously, business people need to do that as well. But the mobile upgrade of social networking lets you get out of the office and connect with people face-to-face and take better advantage of in-person meetings and interactions that you're already having.

The idea of mobile social networking is to take advantage of four things:

  • Location, which will be figured out by our cell phones using GPS, tower triangulation (how close to cell phone towers) and Wi-Fi (when indoors).
  • Communication, both voice and data.
  • Social networking software.
  • Products and services.

The secret sauce here is location. Services will know where your phone is, and therefore will know where "you" are. That will improve the relevance of searches and facilitate real face-to-face interactions that will change how business works.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Elgan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?