Cisco: Now it’s Tribe

Cross-posted from the OC Report:

Is this the beginning of the inevitable consolidation that seems to be coming in the online community space?

First it was Five Apart, a community platform company. Yesterday Cisco announced it was buying Tribe. Thanks to Mukund for the heads up.

From TechCrunch:
“The hope is to use the two company’s technology to help Cisco’s corporate clients build their own social networks, so it isn’t clear whether or not the Tribe service itself will live on.”

Just to give a hint at what is to come, check out Jeremiah Owyang’s (update: sorry about that JO) coments on the infrastructure field being overcrowded and his list of 37 white label services.

What’s going to drive / driving the explosion in online community interest? Some companies are starting to see real, tangible value from their communities (read: ROI). Other companies are comfortable with the investment for affinity purposes, especially when the investment is compared to other programs like brand campaigns and advertising… or even the cost of simple, global marcomm web sites. The rest are struggling to figure out a strategy, or simply just don’t care.

My belief is that every organization that values their business, brand equity and customer base will figure out some sort of an online engagement with their audience over the next 2-3 years. This engagement will be a bi-directional and networked style of communication that will involve a sincere attempt at relationship building. Scoble said something a couple of years ago about every corporate web site being replaced by a blog at some point (sorry, couldn’t find the post). At the time, I thought he was nuts. Now I think, at least in spsirit, he was 100% on the mark.

What do you think?

Bill Johnston - Founder, Structure3C. Former Head of Community at Dell & Autodesk. Mobile: (415) 233-6914 Twitter: @billjohnston LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/billj In a sentence: Seasoned online community and social media executive and advisor with over 15 years experience developing large scale online communities, social media initiatives and successful online product strategies.
2 comments
  1. Bill great thoughts

    However you win the award for the most unusual spelling of my name like no other 🙂

    from Jeremiah Owyang

  2. Bill
    Thanks for the pointer to Jeremiah’s blog. Its a great post and since I had a list of 20 that I started at about the same time, its very useful.

    BTW I like your photos of the setting sun on Flickr.

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