: Tim Oren, a blogging VC (there are lots of them, eh?), joins in the discussion of active social software (Friendster and its friends) vs. a passive network structure on top of the existing social software called the Internet. He says:
Weinberger also quotes Jeremy Zawodny: “Start thinking about how adding a social networking component to existing systems could improve them.” Umm, in that case, folks, what you have is not a business, and not a product, but a feature.
No, think of it another way, Tim: By adding that networking component you take things on the Internet that are not now businesses — e.g., blogging, forum communities — and you add value and turn them into businesses by enabling targeted marketing; market research (for example, checking on what influencers are saying about music or movies or products); commerce (imagine recommendations from your Amazon friends) and more. That’s the secret sauce that turns a mere burger into a Big Mac.