Numerous individuals and groups are trying to make sense of social networking and there seems to be no clear conclusions as yet. For example, if you are not in sales or marketing (yes, we are all in sales and marketing), what are the benefits of social networking sites such as LinkedIn? Are Facebook, Twitter, and the like useful business tools? What about social bookmarking tools such as delicious, digg, and technorati?
However, there’s no question the pool of online social media users is growing. A Pew Research Center report released earlier this month on “adults and social networking services” pegged the share of adult Internet users who keep a profile on an online social network at 35 percent and growing. In a set of predictions released this week, Forrester Research analysts said 85 percent of U.S. online consumers will be using social web content by the end of the year.
But [General Catalyst Partners managing director Larry Bohn ] said the smart money now isn’t in drawing users, who are flocking to the established social-web giants. Now, good investments against the social web are business-to-business plays that allow companies to tap into new customer bases that the major online players have already aggregated, he said.
Against this backdrop of market saturation and evolving business models, how does one make personal sense of the all-too-many social networking tools out there? As a first step, perhaps, tech consultant Dennis McDonald has create a map of his tool space that is both informative and exemplary. A larger version is here. Some tools are listed as "account deleted," several facebook groups, for example. Dennis has not indicated why he finds some tools more useful than others. Dennis?