Social Media and Network Effects

Heather Green

I was talking recently with Ben McConnell and Jackie Hubb, consultants who run the Church of the Customer blog, and they explained their theories on the rise of customer evangelism. One point that struck me was the role that the services such as Flickr and YouTube have had in making social media take off. Putting up a video clip or a photo is an expression of self creativity and is another form of media that contributes to the splintering of the mass market.

But having a service where you can aggregate those mini pieces of media together and that helps you share them even more broadly, to syndicate them in fact, turbocharges that new media. This way, content begets content, McConnell and Hubb explained. That's classic network effects. That means that the percieved benefit of content grows as the community does.

I remember when I first started looking at video blogs around 18 months ago, what struck me was how they exploded the traditional video model. But they still needed something to help more of them break out. iTunes clearly helped, but the network effects of these other platforms is even more powerful.

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