Seth Priebatsch claims the social graph is built and I think he’s right. We’re connected online to people we should be connected to and they are likewise. It’s all set up – but now what? I feel a bit like I did at one of my old school exams once I had filled in all the details on the front cover. Details like name, date and candidate number but then drawing a bit of a blank on the opening question requiring an explanation on the relationship between Lady Macbeth and her husband. What does one do next?
Communication channels between friends and work colleagues are well established (via Facebook and LinkedIn to name the largest) and embedded tools for better search and increased variety are increasing. The communication that still hasn’t found a natural home is that from the mass of people and companies who want to sell us something, the sales-force. From selling cars to a credit checks, anyone with anything to sell are considering the web. Are sellers and groups (those who have a sales target) destined to be an integral part of all of these technologies where their importance imparts a significant influence in the development of the web?
Once there was an established postal system, junk mail began, later as the telephone became ubiquitous then machines were made to make automatic selling calls, similarly with emails and now the new mediums. Sellers don’t seem to provide the innovative platforms and instead seem to react to them as they appear. There are many examples within Facebook from games to dating to Maketplace.
New communication methods don’t seem to be created to satisfy the original needs of sustaining a sales force, but it seems that these sales forces have become interwoven into the internet.
Although there are commercials and banner-ads in almost every page you see, I suspect our networks will move on without them and that intrusion and disruption will eventually decrease. Whether sales forces in their quest to obtain return on investment will ever actually become a force for good is a little harder to foresee, but I hope so.