As Fast Company's erstwhile "social capitalist" and founder of the magazine's readers' network, the Company of Friends, I feel the need to defend my friends working in social software.
While the business model for several of the services has yet to be proven -- with Meetup, whom I visited during last year's CoF Roadshow, seemingly solid -- the potential and promise of social software is clear. Particularly the more business-oriented services such as Ryze and Ecademy.
Business 2.0 recently ranked social network applications as its technology of the year, and Seth Godin's November column in Fast Company introduces Joi Ito, who's made ample business use of social software and related online technologies. (Until the entire November issue goes live at the end of this week, check out a recent Wired profile of Joi.
I'm sure we'll see some shakeout in this space soon -- and I'm sure we'll see some services change as they adopt the best practices of competitors. But for now, if you search almost any of the above networks, you'll see that I'm a member. And I encourage FC Now readers to experiment with the services themselves!
This month's Business 2.0 newsstand Web access code is B2NOV1256.