Social networks are everywhere. Just consider the amount of media attention they're commanding. It seems that just about every consumer marketer has plans to digitally embrace and engage their demographically distinct consumer.
More recently, however, we're beginning to hear more about businesses getting their feet wet with online communities and socially networked environments. Some hope to better connect with vendors or suppliers. Others to bridge employees. Still others to mine customers.
Cisco, IBM, Pearson Publishing and the CIA(!) are just a few off the top of my head, but there are countless more.
So with that intro, I'm off tomorrow to Vegas for what may be the first conference focused exclusively on how online communities make good business sense for businesses. One of the organizers, Shared Insights (my client), specializes in...guess what? Building communities and social networks for the enterprise. You may remember the company as one of the enabling partners in the collaboration between Pearson, Wharton and MIT Sloan to write a business book (We Are Smarter Than Me) entirely as a wiki.
Anyway, lots of bold-faced names in the community building and proselytizing business will be at the inaugural Community 2.0 Conference including Lenovo's David Churbuck, Yahoo!'s Elizabeth Churchill, LiveWorld's Peter Friedman, Corante's Francois Gossieaux, MySpace's Shawn Gold, HBS's John Hagel, Shared Insights's Barry Libert, About.com's Scott Meyer, Wharton Publishing's Tim Moore, Craig Newmark, Patricia Seybold, Google Inc's Rajen Sheth, The Conference Board's incoming prexy Jon Spector, SAP's Mark Yolton and others.
I hope to pop out some posts from there early next week, so stay tuned.