Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Beyond Facebook

An article I found on bizjournals.com examines the new trend of companies looking to cash in on the rising success of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The article entitled 'Beyond Facebook' focuses on two companies, Caring.com and iMantri, that have followed this trend and developed a special niche for themselves within the market. Attempting to capture the growing Web traffic and available ad dollars in the field, Caring.com and iMantri have developed social networking sites focused on capturing both the 37% of adults that visit social network sites as well as the business professionals who are on the online world. Realizing the demand for such a site, Caring.com created a site where adults who are caring for aging parents can log on and receive expert advice as well as the ability to connect with others. Since the creation launched slightly before Thanksgiving the site has been growing at a rate of 15% per week.
iMantri looks to develop the online niche for the business or professional networking scene and has developed an online social networking site where people can logon for free and be paired with a mentor. The site helps people create goals, track progress, and seek advice from peers.
I think both of these companies have good ideas for their business, for as mentioned above 37% of US adults currently logon to social networking sites, and this number looks to increase to 50% by 2011. By taking advantage of this new technology it opens the door for a company and helps get their name out there. I think it is especially cool that it allows a small company the chance to flourish among a world of increasingly large corporations. A small site such as Caring.com or iMantri allows a user to feel more comfortable and open to sharing. I look to Facebook and MySpace to inspire many more of these companies into jumping into the social networking trend.


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