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Social networking evolves

india Updated: Aug 16, 2007 19:32 IST
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"Evolution is fascinating to watch"
Shana Alexander

We are an electronic civilization and as it spreads deeper our family, professional and social lives are getting increasingly electronic. While sms today speaks the language of our personal and professional relationships, the web and internet are increasingly driving our personal and professional lives. Consider the case of social networking. Orkut probably has been the largest facilitator of getting old friends and family together in the recent history. Perhaps Google itself didn't anticipate the revolution Orkut would bring about and has only recently started taking the "Orkut business" seriously. Social networking has become such a huge revolution that by the time I write this there must be atleast a good triple figure clone of social networking sites on the web. It isn't any longer about just a forum where millions of Internet users connect, express themselves and communicate. Social networking is now evolving to another level and getting into areas as interesting as jobs to food and much more. Revenue models unknown before are evolving around social networking sites.

Food on your network - iFood.TV

How about a site where you can connect with other people with diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and countries, make friends, chat about shared interests etc. All this sounds quite mundane for a social networking site, right? Ok then how adding an ingredient of culinary traditions and culinary curiosity. IFood.tv does exactly that. It's probably the only site that focuses on connecting people through food. What's more you can load and create your own videos, you can use text (blogs, comments) or pictures or video to interact with other foodies. Hence people who love food can create their own online food channel, it could be either textual (blogs, comments), pictures or video. There is more you can upload your own recipes along with learning and sharing with others foodies. iFood.tv goes further you can even view multiple channels or simply decide which cuisine you want to focus on. According to the iFood.tv founders Nitin Agarwal, Sharib Khan and Alok Ranjan "The common thread is simple- share and spread your love for food."

Online Recruitment gets a social networking twist

The growth of social networking can be gauged by the fact how it is spreading into our social and professional lives. If iFood.tv was about taking food on the network and a bit on the personal front then on the professional front sites like techtribe.com and yellojobs.com are adding a twist to online recruitment by combining a social networking angle to it.

We all have heard about job sites. Techtribe.com and yellojobs.com have brought the power of personal referrals in recruitment. While techtribe.com has a program called 'frontfoot' which they claim is the world's first referral recruiting service of its kind. A simple successful referral could earn Rs 10,000 plus more for other referrals. Plus they have a quality control mechanism to keep the weed out.

Yellojobs.com on the other hand recently introduced a referral driven online recruitment service, called YelloRewards, under which employers can offer cash rewards to those who refer their friends to the posted jobs. The company hopes to place over 50,000 candidates annually by this model. The revenue model is also a bit different in terms of subscription. While other job portals charge a subscription fee from companies, yellojobs.com allows them to place ads for free, provided they pledge to pay cash reward to the referrer when they hire a candidate. The reward amount could be Rs 5000 or more.
Taking social networking seriously
Social networking is about serious business now. Consider the case of Google renewed emphasis on Orkut and the activities it is conducting there now. Earlier this month Google conducted an opinion poll on the Orkut site to celebrate India's 60th Independence along with its users. The seriousness can be gauged from the fact none other than Google India's Managing Director, Shailesh Rao sent a message to its users saying, " We are proud to be a part of India's 60th Independence celebrations and know that the energy, enthusiasm and conviction so apparent throughout Orkut communities will be on display as we ask users for their opinions through this poll. Orkut has always been associated with youthfulness and zeal and w e are very pleased with the response and affection that Indian users have shown towards Orkut."
On the other hand the success of these sites can be seen from the fact iFood.tv is about to launch a new feature called the ifood explorer based on a p2f2p (person-to-food-to-person) concept. According to the founders "The purpose of this is to simply reflect the interconnections or the links between multiple individuals in the network, a host of foods, food products, restaurants and relevant information."

The Last Word

Social networking with a twist is the new mantra in the world of ecommerce. As our friends, jobs, foods get transformed into their electronic avatar one wonders what's next on the agenda.


Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist at www.cyberzest.com and edits www.thebusinessedition.com you can email him on puneet@cyberzest.com

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