Age old Social Networking

Given that I am in India and facing immense pressure from everyone I know (and that includes my mother) to get married, I thought this piece by old pal Bundeep is appropriate.

She is the Goddess of Social Networking. If she blesses you with the right connection, she can change your life forever. She is worshipped by the millions who seek her out. Devotees construct Web sites for her as if they were temples. She sustains a $6.5 billion industry that grows annually. What’s more, she’s been doing so for thousands of years—long before the Internet and the term social networking came into vogue. She is every Indian’s aunt, affectionately and reverentially called Aunty-jee (jee is a suffix to denote respect, as in Gandhi-jee). And she single-handedly drives the very Indian industry of marriage brokering called matrimonials.

Drawing an interesting parallel between arranged marriage business, and social networking services, he has come interesting conclusions.

For social networking to be fully monetized, the nodes in the social network need a convergence event. These events provide a focal point where new networks are created and existing ones utilized. That’s why Aunty-jee needs a wedding. Her monetization is in the form of gifts, party invites, and a cache of social capital. So, here’s the prediction. While some money will be made by social networking companies by subscriptions, online transactions, and licensing of software, the really big money will be made by the vertical integration of online networking and offline networking.

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