Research on the Grow of networks from business to social use.

The growth of online social networking in business falls somewhat in the realm of unintended consequences. Online social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace, were supposed to change everything. Most experts believed that they would become the horsepower of the new economy, driving new customers to businesses and ad revenue that more than paid for itself.

The reality is that sites like Friendster or Xanga barely held on after reinventing themselves and their purpose multiple times. It turned out that people were far too busy interacting with each other to really take the time to go buy much, and they tended to resent efforts to increase advertising, or, even worse, the use of their online profiles to generate marketing profiles.

Business Uses for Online Social Networks

Here are some of the ways that social networks have been used by businesses:

  • Functioning as an online rolodex, often with much personal information
  • Connecting with experts and sources when researching proposals
  • Develops a more immediate connection with business contacts
  • Puts businesses in touch with a widespread work force from which to gain exactly the right people for a given project.
  • Useful collaboration tool for meetings with people in disparate locations.

In some ways, the social networks are as much a revolution to the business world as the telegraph and telephone were. But that kind of connectivity does not come without a price.

More information

Examples of networking sites in common usage and those that especially for artists and designers. is a free social networking website and collaboration tool aimed at academics and researchers from all disciplines.

Launched in September 2008, it became one of the largest social networking sites for academics in 2010.   It has been called a “Geni-portal for researchers

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