Over on Smoothspan Bob has an interesting ten point plan for LinkedIn to become the true killers platform. Bob’s recomendations include;

1. Build, Buy, or Partner with Xobni and Nail Down the Outlook Connection

2. Start a Coffeehouse with WebEx to Foster More Interaction between LinkedIn’s Members

3. Expand LinkedIn’s Premier PeopleSearch Status to a Full Ecosystem with API’s, Toolbars, and Widgets

4. Overhaul and Tune Up the UI

5.  More Mobile Hotness:  Personal CRM for Road Warriors

6. Do Some Heavy Lifting in the CRM and Marketing World

7.  Get More Private and Premium White Label Services for Companies

8.  WebMentions:  Link out of LinkedIn to web mentions

9.  Better Searching inside LinkedIn

10.  Create a Business Relationship Semantic Web

All Bob’s ideas are sound. But I can’t help but think that he’s missing the point here. The big social/business networking players have eyeballs. That is their one and only selling point. Incrementally rolling out functionality is all very nice but it’s not going to revolutionise the way we do things, neither is it going to truly break the monetisation conundrum that all these players have – eventually someone will get more eyeballs, or add some new widget, or undercut their rcing.

No I think the issue is finding the revolutionary idea rather than the evolutionary one. Bob is fond of saying that not all players can be platforms, but these players ARE already platforms, they should leverage that fact to create a completely new ecosystem.

So how does this look you ask? Well it looks less like an augmentation and service offering to/of the real world, and more like a shft of the real world. In the same way that VoIP is a paradigm shift for  voice communications, creating complete disruption (over time) so too should the network players be looking for the truly disruptive idea.

Anyone out there ready to crack that nut?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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