Business social networking

Breakfast With Jeff Pulver In London

Next week I will be attending a Social Networking Breakfast organised by Jeff Pulver in London. For those of you that don’t know him Jeff was one of the pioneers of VoIP and ran the Voice On The Net conferences (VON).  VoIP is mainstream these days and Jeff has shifted his focus to Social Networking. 

Being a user of sites such as Facebook and Twitter I am a strong believer that the structures underlying what might be called the whole “social networking phenomenom” will server the business world well.  This is why I am attending the breakfast. I want to understand how best to use these tools to further my business interests.

This is despite the “not for business use” stance of Facebook. The interesting thing for me is that you can use Facebook to build relationships and get a message across without having to sell. In fact one of the things I like about Facebook is that I don’t feel I am being sold to. I don’t mind the notionally well targeted ads (I keep getting pitched singles dating agency ads though which as far as I know is not good targeting 🙂 ).

I am quite happy to mix personal friends, customers, suppliers and business colleagues as friends on Facebook. After all people do business with people.

As for next week this is an open event. It is being held at the Institute Of Contemporary Arts, 12 Carlton Terrace, London between 9am and 12 midday. Jeff would I’m sure appreciate advance notice of attendance and you can register your interest at this Facebook Event Notification.

For those of you who can’t go don’t worry. I’ll report back although it won’t be the same as being there.

PS I first met Jeff at one of his VoIP industry Executive Summits at Cannes in theSouth of France.  It must have been around 1998/99 and was my first foray into VoIP for my then employer. I recall sitting down for three days just writing page after page of acronyms for decoding later. I don’t anticipate the same problem next week.

Jeff Pulver
Jeff Pulver
Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

2 replies on “Breakfast With Jeff Pulver In London”

I keep getting pitched singles dating agency ads though which as far as I know is not good targeting 🙂 )

If your wife is on facebook, maybe it knows something you don’t? ;o)

A lot of people are setting themselves up as social networking savants, and are looking for the golden solution for businesses to create value using social networks. But if you ask me, the best use of, say twitter, is as a customer care solution.

Comcast, Firefox, and Evernote track the use of their names and respond to customer gripes directly – also people follow them as a result. It’s rather cool for companies to be proactive about problems. To actually seek you out and offer a snippet (140 characters or less, lol) of advice. Made me think they care…

Of course selling these services as a future cost-centre will not make many managers bite your hand off, but more and more companies are understanding the value of proactive after-sales support. It’s not very tangible, but sure it could create a heap of value going forward.

Companies getting involved in social networking need to careful. People are cynical and they don’t like to think they’re being played. Also, people are creative and could create a whole load of negative attention if companies move too recklessly into what is perceived as personal space.

You might find this interesting, if you haven’t already seen it.

There are opportunities, no doubt. But there are minefields too.

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