There’s a critical analysis of the recent Facebook craze here in the Economist, arguing along solid economical reasons ….
There’s less to Facebook and other social networks than meets the eye
[…] the future of social networking will not be one big social graph but instead myriad small communities on the internet to replicate the millions that exist offline. No single company, therefore, can capture the social graph
This article also holds some learnings for the design of social network infrastructure in the enterprise, but the one above is central in my mind: You better start with the individual knowledge worker that is embedded in small communities of practice – and provide the means for a range of networks, organizational settings and “blended arrangements”, i.e. allowing for diverse mixtures of real-life and virtual networking.
After all, this is what McAfee’s SLATES concept calls for – emergent, freeform collaboration, i.e. letting the communities and networks evolve and emerge from the factual interactions and work practices.
And yes, the importance of small networks and platforms to support them could also be discussed from a business model innovation perspective, well at least for “people who are interested in how Social Networks will play out“, especially in the NGO- and nonprofit-space (more on the upcoming NGO-BarCamp).