Step aside from all the hype, excitement and disruption of Google’s OpenSocial project and what you’ll see is a time saving opportunity in the not too distant future.

At a gathering last night I became ‘as excited as Scoble*‘ trying to explain what OpenSocial meant to the online landscape. And yes, my personal show was complete with arms flapping, heightened voice tone, and even forgetting where I was in the point I was trying to get across.

My friends and associates (who are not geeks and many don’t even own a website) listened and watched for 5 minutes as though I had 5 heads.


Thankfully two entrepreneurs in the room ‘got it’ and wanted to talk more about it – making me feel not quite so ‘fringe’ and nerdy.

So let’s talk about what OpenSocial and those Scoble videos mean to you — the online entrepreneur with a well defined target market — and let’s do it in a less sensationalist manner than I displayed last night.

Then: Last year the experts stated that everyone was on MySpace. (Everyone except my immediate circle of friends and family apparently. I simply couldn’t stand the interface and all those ugly pages…) Experts said that it would take something truly drastic to draw MySpace users elsewhere.

Now: Everyone is on Facebook. Experts agree it would take something truly drastic to draw them away.

I’m going to step back from the research and disruption conversation (watch the videos* if you don’t know what that means) for the moment because I want to talk ‘concept’ in this post.

Into the Future: Google has opened up the social network API (aptly named: OpenSocial) allowing programmers to create all those fun (and even the useful) applications that we’ve come to love on Facebook but can’t always ‘carry over’ to other sites, including our own. Google has opened it up so wide that those apps will be portable to multiple Web 2.0 enabled sites.

I know the videos in the last post seemed more for the corporate level marketers, but stretch to imagine all the marketing magic possible for the solo entrepreneur.

Really think about this because it’s part and parcel of what I taught in Strategic Social Marketing. I’ve been teaching you to maximize your efforts and save time in two steps (1) research and strategize, then (2) repurpose content whenever possible.

But within (and I’m just guessing here) 6 months that strategy is going to change with web capabilities.

Portable, non-platform dependant, proprietary content.

As I taught you to repurpose your website’s RSS feed on relevant websites (dependant on your target market), so shall you be sharing your flickr photos, your videos, your affiliate datafeeds, your invite list, your product slideshows, your contact information, your url list, and more. On multiple sites. With just a click or two. (Now hold onto that thought for just a moment…)

In Search of Your Prospects

Truth: You already know that you need to be where ever your target market is.

Trouble: Your specific potential customer could be spending their time on any number of Web 2.0 properties.

Fact: You don’t have time to create a presence on all those sites. After all, you have a business to run.

(Aren’t your potential customers already all on Facebook? Sure they are, but have you found or attracted them all yet?)

“OpenSocial will facilitate the ability to create and manage – in a time-efficient manner – a consistent and cohesive presence, on multiple Web 2.0 sites. This will enable entrepreneurs and corporate bodies to reach more people with their marketing message.” –Laura Childs (November 5, 2007 – arms flapping, heightened tone implied)

As a solo entrepreneur:

  1. You can have a strong presence on a number of social networking sites.
  2. You won’t spend more time doing so, have to hire a social media manager, nor drive yourself bonkers doing it.

Now, aren’t you excited about what the future holds for online marketing? Social media? Web 2.0?

Do you have questions? Concerns? Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to respond within 24 hours.

Laura Childs - Web 2.0 Future


p.s. I promise you that there is more to this. More opportunity, more disruption to the social media landscape, more to talk about. This post only addresses the first upcoming concept, and the near-immediate value to small, medium and corporate business.

* Scoble’s first video on the previous post – watch minute 16:00 to 17:05 at the very least – to see the ‘bigger picture’ and to see Scoble’s eyes light up (complete with a very endearing extreme close up).