Monday, January 23, 2006

Social commerce, Identity 2.0, and Yahoo Shoposphere

Hard as I try to present myself as a Malcolm Gladwellian compu-sociologist, I am humbled each week by Google Analytics' unflinching report that, once again, my most popular topic is "Sears customer complaints":

The global popularity of my one unremarkable tale of refrigerator woe reminds me how small my "real audience" (of social capitalistas) is compared to the number of everyday online consumers.

These two worlds are about to combine in an exciting new way. Yahoo recently unveiled "Social commerce" (via the Shoposphere) -- conveniently omitting the credit due to the folks at Social Physics for coining this term. For more on the growing buzz around social commerce, see "The beginnings of social commerce" by Geniune VC and "2006 trends to watch: social commerce" by Micro Persuasion.

I think social commerce is going to go very far in ways both good and not so good. On the good side, part of the technology fueling social commerce is increasingly mature infrastructure to support online indentity. This is truly revolutionary Web 2.0 stuff IMHO. See Higgins and this extremely slick presentation by the CEO of sxip for interesting work in Identity 2.0.

On the less good side, I took a quick look at Shoposphere and found the whole concept of socializing via gadget recommendations rather depressing. Can't we bond over something more meaningful than iPod Nanos? See this NY Times critique of viral marketing for more on that lament.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License and is copyrighted (c) 2006 by Connective Associates except where otherwise noted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel ya on this one. My site consistently has more users searching for "superman cake" or "american airlines complaints" than anything else. Of course I have a much higher count on my Feedburner numbers than on my actual page traffic. I like to convince myself that that means more people like my actual content than happen upon my site. Yeah yeah, that's it!