Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, recently said that LinkedIn will be a leading indicator of a company’s ‘economic graph’. Mr. Weiner believes that the professional networking site will evolve into something similar to Facebook but, instead, will map professional relationships and knowledge across the globe as opposed to Facebook’s social relationships. He sees companies using LinkedIn to evaluate a workforce in an area to see if it's equipped with the skills to get the jobs that will be emerging so that companies continue to stay on the cutting edge.
On the other hand, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg used the term ‘social graph’ when describing the technology that maps social relationships and knowledge across the globe. Zuckerberg's vision for the world is one where people are connected to each other for all time. Open Graph and Timeline were two unrealized attempts at reaching this ideal. The recently released Graph Search may help him to solve this puzzle. Facebook Graph Search focuses on people, photos, places and interests. This new type of search replaces Facebook's more limited search tool and lets users perform specific searches that connect the dots between people in their network.
What will meetings technology in the enterprise become? The answer may be that meetings technology is an evolution of users wanting to combine their professional and personal relationships with real world application. On the one hand, LinkedIn caters to a b2b market while Facebook serves b2c companies through its advertising and apps. What is lacking in both these contexts is the blurring between professional and social networks. Creating real world spaces where complex interactions (economic and social) take place while data is gathered may be the advantage and future of meetings technology.
Owning tools and technology like meetings technology and mobile apps created advantages in the past few years. However, in the future, when everyone has access to the same tools and technology....then having it isn't much of an advantage. I’m betting the new advantage will be a company’s network - the connections with its brand and how well companies know and use those connections. Meetings technology has the ability to be the ‘socioeconomic’ graph that creates brand building through marketing efforts but also gathers data about a company’s workforce and its clients.