The concept that a company should be leveraging social networks and other Web 2.0 technologies to drive business is hardly new. From Facebook to Ning, there are multiple ways of going about doing this.
But the folks at Broadvision are arguing that social networking is too strategic to your business to be left running on general purpose platforms. Instead, Broadvision argues that a business needs access to a social networking platform that will allow it to easily launch multiple social networks that are all easily integrated with each other. And when the time comes, just as easily remove a social network.
According to Broadvision's chief marketing officer, Giovanni Rodriquez, social networks as they evolve are going be a lot more dynamic. Many will exist around a fad or a particular product, while others will suddenly want to be integrated with other social networks as the conversation on those networks changes.
Broadvision this week upgraded its Broadvision Clearvale social networking platform, which Rodriquez says is specifically designed to meet the needs of businesses that want to leverage a service to create, launch and manage social networks.
The Broadvision Clearvale platform now includes a Clearvale PaasPort capability that makes it easier to segment services on a social network, giving them the option to charge for access to some premium services or just move people deeper into the social network as they voluntarily give up more information about themselves.
In addition, the Broadvision Clearvale platform includes a new MyStreams data streaming and filtering system that can be personalized by each user of the service. That approach, says Rodriquez, helps increase affinity on a social network by giving users more control over their experience.
Finally, Broadvision is pricing social networking service around a usage model, which means that a business doesn't have to keep paying to support a social network that no one is actually participating in.
There's no doubt that social networks are the next big business medium. The more seamlessly integrated a business can make their social network, the more usage they are likely to see. But like all new things, social networks for a business are going to be prone to a lot of trial and error. So any approach that mitigates the risks of social networking in the context of the business is going to be worth a look.