Photo by Marc Smith
Social networking sites have become so popular that they have touched our lives in ways we would probably never have conceived. They were originally built to create an environment for people to have lighthearted conversations with close friends, but had to evolve to something more complex when they caught on with the rest of the world. As they reached new demographics, they added additional services to try to appeal to everyone.
The problem is that audiences have come to expect social networks to provide features that they were never intended for, nor ever will be able to provide. Many professionals have looked for a network where they could share data and technical advice with each other to make their projects work more effectively. Some have tried to use social networking sites for this type of work, but most have come to the realization that social networks are not set up for managing complex projects like this.
The solution to project management is probably going to come in the form of collaboration networks. Collaboration networks are more specialized than social networks and are built for the sole purpose of exchanging large amounts of data and for professionals to actively provide technical advice to each other.
Collaboration networks are just starting to gain popularity in the corporate environment. One of the leading collaboration networks right now is MindTouch. MindTouch lists its purpose as “assembling organizational genius into strategic content and enabling enterprise collaboration for rapidly developing business applications.”
There are many other collaboration networks that have gained a lot of attention, some of which are very specialized. Some of them include:
- Oomycete Molecular Genetics Research Collaboration Network
- Sterling Commerce Business Collaboration Network
- Network World
The phenomenon of social networks has given the illusion that success in the online world is only about reach. However, one of the lessons in business is that specialized services often are more successful because they provide a more important service for their clients.
Most entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from collaboration networks because there are many niche networks that may be targeted specifically for their field. Many experts claim that because they are going to maximize project management capabilities and efficiencies they will be the next big trend in online business.