For may of us, the recession is not over. In fact, it’s still in full swing. Unemployment may hit 11% this month and 17% are underemployed. Just in case you’re wondering what underemployment looks like – think of a PhD serving you food at your favorite eatery. I’m wondering if all this “good news” is pushing us towards Jeremiah Owyang’s 5th era of social web – social commerce: communities define future products and services. This is already happening in some sense as evidenced by Icelantic skis; putting themselves in the customers shoes. The only difference is that a business is collaborating with customers to create the product. Owyang’s definition is more about peers with intent creating a product/service.
The reasons for/signs of this are
- Economic necessity
- An increase in democracy in the work place
- The emergence of the employee brand and the continuing evolution of the personal brand
- Increasing number of niche social networks (via Twitter lists, etc)
I believe number four is key and frankly can exist just about anywhere. Facebook group, Twitter List, or a site specific to people’s interests such as Brighton Robotics. “Now that we’ve have found a community with a common social object – let’s do do something. Let’s build something.” That will be the thought behind the social commerce.