Social Networking for Business – More details on Conference (Jan 2008)

Update: Jan 14th. This is still going to happen but later in the year. Leave comments if you are still interested.

The very rough timetable for the Social Networking for Business Conference is below. It’ll be on a weekday, around mid-January in Dublin. I’ve not figured out all the costs yet so not sure of the charge but it looks to be around 200 euros for the day, that’s if I get good sponsors too. I have speakers in mind for most of the slots and most have agreed to do it. However if you are interested or want to recommend people or recommend putting/removing a slot, let me know. I want to make this as useful for people as possible. If you’re interested in coming along, do also let me know.

1000 -1030 Group discussion: What is social networking/how should businesses use them?
1030 -1100 Advertising + Marketing in Social Networks overview
Coffee: 1100-1130

Case studies (From companies that made/make money via working on Social Networks):
1130 -1200 Bebo
1200 -1230 Facebook
1230 -1300 mySpace

1300 – 1400 Lunch

1400 – 1430 Feed Marketing and Widgets
1430 – 1500 Plugging into social networks(making money from building apps, from having apps built)

1500 -1515 Coffee

1515 – 1545 Doing PR on social networks
1545 -1600 Putting it all together: Running a social networking campaign
1600 -1630 Final Panel Discussion with input via questions raised during the day

24 Responses to “Social Networking for Business – More details on Conference (Jan 2008)”

  1. Is this a series of product pitches? What happened to asking Accenture or SAP – they’re the ones who know about this stuff Damien. Is advertising the only model you can come up with? Sorry mate – looks lame.

  2. hmm – dennis makes a point which kinda surprises me. SAP and Accenture are not the names that spring to mind when I think of Social Networking for business. Care to follow up with some links to stuff that will help me get my head around that point Dennis?

    In the meantime go for it Damien – I will be attending and fully sure it will not be a series of product pitches 🙂


  3. Damien,
    Sounds a bit like some of the things I mentioned a while back (on FB I think) about recommended practices for Social Networking. I’d be interested in attending this.


  4. I’m with Keith on this Dennis, what do either of those companies do in this space?

    Or does Accenture now hawk intranets, lotus notes,sharepoint, workflow wikis, blogs, second life, social networks?

  5. Hey guys don’t you all do your own homework? LOL 😉

    Ahem – Accenture has built an internal FaceBook style app for its 40K employees etc . As I understand it, they’re using it to ditch significant past investment. You can be sure that will end up on the price book.

    SAP has Harmony which is again an internal (at the moment) social computing app but which may be commercialized at some point.

    On SAP, they have a community of 950K developers and 200K business process experts that have blogs and wiki capability. Both of those are external facing and under constant development.

    What about Confluence with their recent Sharepoint stuff? How about Blogtronix – they’ve got a Reuters community with 70K users and ANO project I can’t name with 130K users slated? Other communities of varying sizes are being built on this platform which ain’t as pretty as others but it has what business needs.

    If you want to get serious about social networking or rather social computing, then you all need to play where the big boys do and not with the consumer facing stuff. That’s because in the business world SLAs are important. You’re not going to get one of those from Facebook any time soon. You’d probably struggle with Google but that’s another story.

    That’s why I’ve consistently said that while Facebook is a good metaphor it isn’t the baked article. No-one I know takes FB seriously as the tool for business. Except Scoble with his online Rolodex of 5,000. Even he says FB sux.

    You might also want to think about change management.

    When it comes to making loot off these things, that’s a whole new ball game and none of the apps mentioned in Damien’s run down are going to do it unless you’re merely concentrating on the ‘build to flip’ model. There was a piece on this in TC recently as I recall looking at the Long Tail.

    If you’re talking about making loot off the community, again, these platforms are NOT the way to go. Neither are the traditional ad-sense style models.

    Bottom line – the innovations are not really happening in consumer – they’re being modeled much more precisely in business which is learning from consumer fast tracking. Because that’s where the long term future and money lays.

    If you think all this through I’m sure you’d end up with something pretty unique and a far cry from the endless stream of me-too BS conferences I see springing up all over.

  6. Here’s a link from Social Text that might help generally – note market sizing statements:

  7. Are you talking social software or social networks Dennis? Wikis etc are social but they are not networks.

    Would Accenture/SAP show these apps or just talk about them? Has Loic got them in for Le Web?

    An analyst’s report that puts the market size between $1 and $3 billion? Can they do any other ranges?

    I think I’ll set up Bob’s Discount Analysis and Acupuncture shop. We’ll only do market sizings from €20m to €500m for the smaller consultancy houses and their customers.

  8. Conor – I’m not going to get into a definitional pissing contest but even Facebook doesn’t say it’s a social network but a utility. Wikis as we’re implementing them are part of the landscape for businesses looking at social networks. I’m socializing a business wiki with customers right now. A non issue as far as they/we’re concerned.

    As for showing: Accenture? Can’t say, SAP might. Depends on a number of things.

    Loic’s not really interested in enterprise. He’d like to get SAP there – I’ve been involved in that discussion. He’d also like to get Oracle but they don’t get it any of this stuff very well.

    The Gartner figs were far more conservative but in general I don’t understand the snark. What I can say is the value of stuff I’m working on runs $0.5 million per annum. And that’s after we got the delivered price down significantly.

  9. Dennis – passing through briefly but thanks for the fleshing out of your initial comments 🙂


  10. Tom Raftery says:

    Excellent input Dennis,

    Craig Cmehil from SAP would be a good speaker to come over and discuss what SAP have done on their developers network.

  11. Paul Walsh says:

    I personally have no interest in SAP and internal networks.

    I’m interested in business to business and business to consumer. Furthermore, I’m personally not interested in very small technical implementations such as wikis, blogs, twitter etc. I’m interested in the wider picture of how FB and social networks such a Bebo and MySpace are used to help generate more revenue and/or raise the profile of brands.

  12. @keith: thanks – truly, I’m trying to be helpful here…

    @Tom Raftery: Craig is one of the real shining lights so yes. He’s honest and tells it as it is.

    I don’t say that as a matter of nepotism – read my ZDN blog to understand my position.

    I’d also suggest Marilyn Pratt who is in the ‘make it work’ trenches and is up against all sorts of issues. Disclosure: I’m trying to help those folk based on current experience. This is a moving target.

  13. @Paul Walsh – if you’re interested in B2B then you’re missing a trick by ignoring what SAP is doing and misread what I’ve said above. Remember this is a $13bn rev company looking to hit $75 bn in 3 years (their ability to do so is another issue but stick with me on this.) They have a lot of influence in B2B.

    Parse that against Gartner low estimates and ask yourself where the money truly lays. Also check Mike Prosceno’s post about consumer attracted ad revs and then weigh that against business markets as you know them.

    Food for thought? Methinks this kind of discussion is both seminal and fruitful.
    I don’t say that as a matter of nepotism – read my ZDN blog to understand my position.

    I’d also suggest SAPs Marilyn Pratt who is in the ‘make it work’ trenches and is up against all sorts of issues.

    Disclosure: I’m trying to help those folk based on current experience and as of the time of this post I am NOT rewarded by SAP.

  14. Paul Walsh says:

    @Dennis – I wouldn’t have thought for a second that you were voicing an opinion in return for $. You might have done this already, but do you have any links to use cases that I could look at?

  15. Tom Raftery says:

    Damien, the Accenture example that Dennis referenced was discussed in For Immediate Release back in April (

    IBM also has some interesting stuff going on – not sure who would be good to talk to there but Mathias Zeller in Adobe ( is an interesting guy in this space.

  16. Damien says:

    I think there is definitely a good opportunity to organise an Enterprise level conference on Social Networking/Social Computing/Social whatever, not just for Ireland but for probably the whole of Europe. I have zero interest in something like this though and Accenture’s, SAP’s or IBM’s walled off Intranet 2.0 initiatives, rebadged as social networks also don’t interest me.

    My “lame” conference will continue with the same structure.

  17. All this stuff happens on two levels and they run in parallel but with very different dynamics. Two different audiences and good not to confuse the two.

    Run with yours as you say Damien and let multinational enterprises have their own day 🙂


  18. Tom Raftery says:


    I didn’t call your conference lame.

    You hadn’t responded to Dennis’ suggestions so I was merely adding to them in case you were interested in following that line.

  19. Don’t know what happened re: double posting of part of my last diatribe – must be me…

    Damien – what *you* are interested in (or I for that matter) and what *might* be interesting are not necessarily one and the same thing. Putting ‘business’ in a title has meaning and it is in that context that I made the suggestions/remarks that I did.

    Internal is a misnomer – SAP’s SDN network is 950K people. 90+% are external developers and other types. Same at BPX. Check:

    Sun/IBM etc, a lot is in the public domain.

  20. Brendan Hughes says:

    Damien. From the perspective of someone focused on b2c from a large company I think you’ve hit the nail with this conference. If that’s who you’re after then I think you’ll have a full house. I think there are definately lessons to be learned from the big organisations’ internal use of social networks, but it would be great to see some externally focused case-studies too.

  21. If you are interested in the Consumer to Consumer space, or even the Music business to consumer space, facebook and my space are good places to start looking at their platforms of collaboration. If you are interested to understand what happens.. there will be a web2summit in Berlin later this year where all those companies will be talking about their business models… I just went to the SFO venue… pitty it is by invitation only… Both the consumer space as well as the business space are changing… I concur with what Dennis says above.

  22. Anthony says:

    Any news on this Damien?

  23. Hi Damien,

    When is this? I would like to attend.


  24. Hiya,

    I’m interested, if you could let me know where and when, I’ll be there

    Thank you

    Regards, Dave