Facebook-Like Platform: Is IBM Running Out of Ideas?

How saturated is the online social media world nowadays? What is the destiny haunting the new emerging social media tools and networks? Did Facebook lead social media to its final stage of saturation transforming it into an otherwise mass media tool? Are there any limits to incremental innovation? And did real genuine innovation just fade away with time and advanced technologies? Are business giants such as IBM really refining existing platforms or just simply mimicking them?

We can all agree on one crucial point: Innovation is key! Yet, if each social network is a scribble, what happens when too many scribbles are painted on the same board? Loss and confusion indeed!

This brings me back to the article that provoked me to write this piece: “IBM Launched World’s Geekiest Social Network, My developerWorks” and my question is very simple here: Why? Why did IBM invest in people, time, money and resources in order to develop yet another social network for users? Is it concern? Care? Appreciation? Enhancing user-experience?

Well, I personally don’t think so!

Allow me to demonstrate using a few simple equations:

  • Our day is 24 hours and this is a fact.
  • Let’s say that the average sleeping hours are 8 per day, which leaves us with 16 hours.
  • From those 16 hours, we work around 8 hours (and some work up to 10 or even 12).
  • This leaves us with around 6 to 8 hours.
  • This time we have left we need to divide between having meals, resting, using transportation, seeing family and friends as well as using the Internet to check out our e-mails, chat, maybe download music, read articles and of course use our favorite social network to stay in touch with our online communities.

Now, the day will never get longer, we need to sleep and work will never end, and those are yet more facts!

If I am using Twitter + Plurk + Ning + Facebook and it is already taking so many hours from my day, hours which could be spent on doing something more interactive, why would I want to waste more time to sign up and learn how to use yet another social network which really is just another imitation of the one I am currently using and affiliated with?

It doesn’t make sense, does it?

Why don’t those big business giants create joint ventures with existing influential social networks to create unique comprehensive value-added experiences for their users? Do they not recognize that with our busy lifestyles, the saturation of Web 2.0 services will eventually lead us to reach a point of maybe just giving up on those services at a certain point?

* I’d like to thank tina_manthorpe for the scribbles image.

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