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Social Networks, Online Applications and Investing

Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:15 pm
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Comments: 0 Views: 1131
On the surface it seems that social networks are composed solely of children on facebook, or needy adults who use myspace. And for the most part that is all you will ever hear about the idea. If you listen to the mainstream media, or even business blogs, everyone has a sense that if something is not currently profitable then it must be a fad or needs to be rethought. Well I think that these people miss some basic ideas.

Technologies in the past, and social networking is a technology, usually did not instantly have a direct market or really even need one to eventually thrive. Whatever you believe, whatever you want to invest in or be a part of, whatever misconception you take away from the evening news, this technology is growing quickly.

If the global markets do poorly because of mortgage difficulties, or if the Federal Reserve raises or lowers interest rates, or even if taxes are changed, the world will continue to move. Because it is so easy, and basically it is, to create, manage and challenge larger companies with small (or large), highly effective social applications, people will continually find new and interesting uses for this technology. One should not underestimate the energy people will put forth when they can.

And yet I read that many investors are leery of investing in such companies, but whether you invest in them or not, they will continue. Downturns do not deter people from visiting more places online, or coming up with new ideas. Maybe it is good that there have been no large web 2.0 initial offerings. But really it does not matter, the ideas will continue to move and challenge those before.

And yet currently I do not find much use for this technology. Most of the online applications that utilize these ideas are too consumer (dating) focused or companies have not yet thought to try to develop something useful for their customers, of which I am one. Currently available online applications such as google docs or salesforce are not useful for me. But considering servers are cheap, bandwidth is plentiful and most decent stuff is open-source -- or just develop your own, it seems that there will be a lot more opportunities around, no matter what state the financial markets are in.

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