Ok, enough about Facebook. I’m blocking the tubes with it, and this isn’t meant to be some sort of bizarre stalking homage to the place, so it’s time to move on.
I received an invitation yesterday (actually five invitations in a row from the same person) to join yet another social network called ‘Blu‘ from a company called Blue Freeway. This one is a little different as it’s aimed specifically at marketing professionals (of which I am not one, but I signed up anyway). The intent is to create a broad vertical of like-minded interested parties – in this instance relating to marketing – and offer them the chance to not only network, but pick up information relating to the trade. For example, information about campaigns, industry specific newsfeeds, job openings, best practice and the like.
The logical extension of this is that Blue Freeway will be able to create similar verticals off the same platform for other professional groups (IT managers, HR people, sales etc).
I like the concept, and I think the fact that Blue Freeway will be able to leverage off their existing client base in new media marketing means they can drive usage to a certain extent: why not use the portal for sharing campaign details, correspondence, pitch ideas and usage statistics for example?
What I’m less sure about is the implementation. It’s early days so you can cut them some slack, and I understand the need to get at least something out, but right now the platform offers nothing more than a basic profile page with links to your connections. There’s a nice dashboard concept, but you can only move the standard widgets around, rather than adding or modifying your own.
Still also some issues with the information architecture – far too many clicks to get basic actions like confirming connections done.
I’ve lost count of the number of sites I’ve created a profile on, only to then do nothing with it (and see plenty of examples of that at Thursday Club too, which I’m conscious of trying to address). There is a danger, therefore, that launching without any sort of stickiness or viral nature will give that effect here too.
Hopefully once they launch the campaigns and the meat of the thing there’ll be some very specific added value over LinkedIn, FB and the like.
I can see it being more perhaps of a projects home, maybe with the bonus of being able to bid out on campaigns or work in a virtual teaming environment.
Will report more as I get it.
[btw – obligatory disclaimer .. I am also a Blue Freeway shareholder]