The Role of Online Networks
Conclusion: Networking has been a vital element of the Internet, and in organisations it has been formalised on the Web through sites such as Ryze or MySpace. Much of it involves business and technology professionals, and even people with specific political interests. Networks support and stimulate each member, and if harnessed with an agenda, even one as normal as bulk-buying discounts, they can exercise considerable influence.
Networking cannot fulfil all the communications and commercial demands of an organisation; however organisations could be using online networking to their advantage if it fits in with their communication aims.
Networking can be utilised by organisations in two ways:
To generate new contacts or leads
To gain a better understanding of a group or target market.
Initiatives in this area should be tested where possible on sites and through online networks. Adding networking as part of their Web communications can offer organisations a valuable means of working with customers and users and is a means of learning what users and consumers think.