Social Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn allow users to connect, share resources and ideas, communicate and so much more. Connection is at the heart of all Social Networks, yet the communities themselves are separate islands. Currently, your experiences within each Social Network are not seamlessly connected across the Internet. You have usernames to log into your Facebook account, other passwords for your email accounts, and a separate login altogether to get into your favorite ecommerce Web sites. We are developing relationships through Social Networks, but those relationships are confined within each Social Community.
Jeremiah believes that the Social Web is going to develop into something even larger and more connected than what it already is. In his article, Jeremiah states “Portable ID’s and the changes they enable will transform how consumers and brands will use social networks to interact.” He believes we will see the progress at work later this year, with the further development of technologies such as OpenID and Facebook Connect. These technologies are already opening the doors for users to integrate different facets of their online experience. Improvements to these technologies will allow people to create seamless Internet experiences, no matter what they’re doing online.
Though this technology sounds exciting, it will be met with resistance. As the technologies give us a more social and personal Internet experiences, privacy issues may drive some people away. These portable IDs of the future will allow brands to know your gender, location, and other, more personal details, if you so choose. While this may have an amazing effect on personalized, relevant search results, it may also be too much information for some people to give.
Along with privacy issues, these changes in the Internet may lead to an overload of information and connections for some people. These hiccups that our technology may face illustrate the individuality of Internet users. For this technology to truly work, it has to take into account the personal needs and preferences of the users. The successful brands will be the ones that incorporate these changes, work with the technology, and allow consumers to integrate their technology preferences into their experiences with brands.
What are all these changes going to mean for businesses? For successful businesses, these changes are going to mean a shift in marketing and branding. The increase in interactivity will mean that businesses will need to rethink traditional advertising, and focus their budgets and attention on the Internet. Public Relations and Marketing initiatives will fall less on the shoulders of the brands, and be handled more by influential members of Social Networks. Learning how to reach those influential users, how to appeal to the masses on Social Networks, how to increase online visibility through both Social Networks and Search Engines will be the tickets to future online successes.
Companies will need to embrace these technologies, and actively work to brand themselves online, staying current with changing practices and trends. Times are changing; technologies are shifting faster than ever. Now is the time to begin adopting a proactive, forward thinking strategy for your future online.