The IoT Show

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Social Email Graph (SEG) bringing all real social interactions online for all ages - Part 1

I cannot get this thought out of my head from the OpenFace panel from Social Graphing Pattern) (Dave, why do you organize such conferences and make us think so we cannot sleep for days?)

I've blogged this live; Chamath Palihapitiya's vision of Facebook is Huge! Inspiring!"- There is one real social network of 6Bil people in the world, we want all social information to flow through Facebook and reach the whole world"

Email is still the killer app of the net with all its limitations. I remember Om Malik saying at Web2.0 Expo in April07, "wish someone would make an email client that will help organize my work flow based on what interaction I follow to get a job done”.

It’s the Social Email Graph (SEG) as I'd like to call it.


Is the solution of tapping your email social graph an evolution for email companies or is it a transition out of email clients as we know them, into an existing social network (like Facebook) or is it a new product that offers email functionality with facility to tap into the social graph?

Who can bag this business? I am torn between my belief in building an open connected web and the business sense that every company would want to get users from another network, but lock in into itself to creative competitive advantage.

The entrepreneur in me says it is possible for any of them and it is a question of execution will power for existing companies or a startup (in stealth) or yet to be born! So I present all scenarios on what I see each player can do to provide a solution to get us - the consumers the best Social Email Graph (SEG) asking for minimum change in behavior and providing maximum value.

A new startup as a SEG player?

A new startup can create a new product that provides email's social graph use cases and current email functionality in one or can add a layer on top of existing email client to add a layer of social networking capabilities. Tim O'Reilly mentioned xobni at the Social Graphing Pattern conference. There is buzz about them because of being techcrunch40, they seem to be working with Outlook API for corporate customers asking us to include our emails to their close invitation list.

Yahoo and Google as SEG players?

I am more of a Y! mail and gmail user and they cover 500Mil users on the web which personally interests me more than Outlook and LotusNotes as a consumer. Y! Mail and Gmail have open APIs, and for what is not open, it is easy to screen scrape for smart developers.

So whats possible with Y! mail or Gmail is possible by any startup or by the companies themselves.

Lets not forget, Facebook can extend into the Social Email Graph (SEG) with its messaging.

As I started writing this article, Kevin Delaney and Vauhini Vara of WSJ wrote about what Yahoo,Google and AOL are going to do to make a social App out of email. I am a Kevin Delaney fan and am thrilled that it validates my thinking.

I'd like to take it one step further.

The real winner to grab the Social Email Graph (SEG) world will have to go beyond finding friends in email networks to providing means to bring more of their real social graph interactions online.

Lets look at it indepth for each player to understand strategic opportunities tomorrow. Got to grab some sleep now!

7 comments:

Sudha (Su) Jamthe said...

Part 2 of this post on SEG=Facebook is here http://coolastory.blogspot.com/2007/10/social-email-graph-seg-facebook.html

Part 3 on how Yahoo can tap into SEG is here http://coolastory.blogspot.com/2007/10/social-email-graph-seg-yahoolow-hanging.html

Some friends have comments on my facebook notes of this post and some are emailing me.

Pl share your thoughts as a comment or trackback from your blog. I am sure there more cooking in SEG space and I am not alone here.

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