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Peru: Facebook and Social Networking

Lately, the attention given to social networks has been strong. Who doesn't receive, even multiple times a day, invitations to subscribe to one service or another? I suppose many of these invitations are sent out by inexperienced users who simply click on “accept” without noticing much what they're doing, which sends out massive mailings to all their e-mail contacts. But, whether that be the case or not, it seems this thing will be around for a long time.

In Peru, by far the most used of these networks is Hi5, but lately Facebook is also obtaining [an inroad]; of course, there is still no comparison in numbers. I don't have data with regards to it, but there must be many tens of thousands of Peruvians registered in Hi5, while Facebook has little more than 6,000 users registered in its “Peru” network. Definitely, or at least for now, Facebook is not the social network your neighbor or your ex classmate here in Peru is using. El blog de Oscar Ugaz [ES], a Peruvian publicist living in Spain, talks to us about this in the post, Trapped in 4 social networks:

(Facebook es) la más completa. No solo las fichas de los miembros sino toda la interacción 2.0 imaginable:, los viajes que han realizado, lo que postean en sus blogs, lo que dicen en twitter, fotos, videos, etc, etc. El contra: aun no esta extendida en Latinoamerica y España por lo que la gente que tengo en Neurona y en hi5 o no se ha enterado de que Facebook existe, o es muy perezosa. Y por otro lado, la gente que tengo en Linkedin no esta tan metida en el mundo 2.0 como para apreciar las ventajas de Facebook (vamos que no todo el mundo tiene que ser un digerati).

¿Cual es la solución? O mantener las cuatro (mucho tiempo invertido) o empezar a invitar a todos a Facebook. Lo que sucede es que no soy de aquellos que manda correos con productos tratando de “evangelizar” (por más que la herramienta lea mis cuentas de correo y haga el trabajo por mi) Y por otro lado soy consciente de que entrar a una de estas redes toma tiempo. (migrar datos, subir materiales, etc, etc). Vamos que la única solución que le veo, y que creo que es lo que debe buscar la gente de Facebook, es crear una herramienta que permita migrar los datos de una red a otra. . En pocas palabras “unirte a nosotros con todos tus datos e info, solo requiere unos pocos clics”:

Y es que creo que no soy el único loco que acaba metido en cuatro de estos sitios a la vez. O por lo menos eso parece.

(Facebook is) the most complete. Not just member profiles, but the complete 2.0 interaction imaginable: trips they've taken, what they post on their blogs, what they say on Twitter, photos, videos, etc., etc. The downside: it is still not extended in Latin America and Spain, so the people I have in Neurona or Hi5 either haven't heard about Facebook's existence, or they're very lazy. And, on the other hand, people I have in Linkedin aren't so in the 2.0 world to appreciate the advantages of Facebook (not everyone wants to be a digerati).

What's the solution? Either keeping all four (a big investment of time) or beginning to invite everyone to Facebook. What happens is I'm not the type who sends e-mails with products trying to “evangelize” (no matter how much the tool reads my e-mail accounts and does my work for me). And, on the other hand, I am aware entering one of these networks is time-consuming (migrating data, uploading materials, etc., etc). Well, the only solution I see, and I think is the one Facebook people should seek, is to create a tool that allows you to migrate data from one network to another. In a few words, “joining us, with all your data and information, only takes a few clicks”. And, it's because I don't believe I'm the only one who is in four of these networks at the same time. Or, at least that's what it seems.

Jesús from X.Blog [ES] tells us in his post, Facebook: the only ring of social networks, how he came across Facebook, and why he decided to join it:

Facebook fue uno de esos encuentros casuales-obligados que a veces ocurren con una aplicación. Entrar a mi cuenta de Last.fm y ver que hay una “aplicación” (realmente son módulos) para Facebook, entrar a mi twitter y ver lo mismo, eso solo entre los dos lugares que siempre frecuento… al final curioseando descubro que hay varios servicios para Facebook: Delicious, Youtube, Flickr, etc etc etc. ¿Y qué es Facebook?, es una red social tipo Hi5, tipo Myspace, y de hecho es la competencia directa a éste último. En cuanto a diseño es simple, sencillo y ordenado. Aunque el servicio es antiguo recién despega por la compatibilidad con las aplicaciones más conocidas de la red, de hecho así yo me animé a inscribirme.

Facebook was one of those casual-obligatory encounters that sometimes occurs with an application. Entering into my Last.fm account and seeing there was an “application” (really, a module) for Facebook, entering into my Twitter and seeing the same thing, that's only at two places I always go to…in the end, out of curiosity I discover there area various services for Facebook: Delicious, Youtube, Flickr, etc., etc., etc. And, what is Facebook? It's a social network like Hi5, Myspace, and in fact, it is the direct competition of the latter of those. With regard to design, it is simple and ordered. Although the service is old, it is recently taking off because of its compatibility with the best known applications on the web. In fact, that's why I opted to sign up.

Additionally, the philosophy of cooperation and its possibility as a business is interesting. Don't believe, however, that is the only thing. In the post Interviews of virtual work at the blog El metaverso de JL Revilla [ES], we discover not-so-obvious-at-first-try uses of this network, as well as other social networks, of course:

Según el WSJ muchas empresas están experimentando con mundos virtuales para entrevistar candidatos. Mayormente se trata de Second Life, pero también es común que empresas como HP, Microsoft, Verizon y otras cuelguen videos en YouTube o creen perfiles en Facebook para reclutar personal. No sé si la tendencia pegará del todo, pero algo sí es cierto: Los ejecutivos de RRHH de hoy toman en cuenta muchos detalles interesantes de nuestra relación con la tecnología. He escuchado casos de algunos que simplemente descartan los curriculums que muestran un correo de Hotmail.

According to the WSJ many companies are experimenting with virtual worlds to interview candidates. Mostly, it has to do with Second Life, but it's also common in companies such as HP, Microsoft, Verizon, and others that post videos on YouTube or create profiles in Facebook to recruit staff. I don't know if the trend will become completely popular, but something is certain: The HR executives of today take into account many interesting details about our relationship with technology. I've heard of certain ones that simply discard the resumés that show a Hotmail address.

As expected in this type of business, because ultimately that is what they are, there is already speculation about the possible purchase of Facebook by one of the giants of the industry; in this case, Yahoo has been mentioned. The blog Software Tecnología Informática Ocio [ES] tells us about this, and other things, in the post FaceBook is going to be worth more than 10 thousand million dollars:

facebook es una pagina web donde se puede contactar con muchas personas alrededor del mundo, siempre hay riesgos en estos enlaces de amigos, puedes tener un amigo que no es quien dice ser. Facebook es una empresa revolucionaria que se esta transformando en la madre de las comunidades del mundo, creciendo de manera extraordinario al ritmo de 1 millón de Facebookers nuevos por semana. Quien no quiere tener esa cantidad de visitantes a la semana?.

facebook is a web page where you can get in contact with many people all over the world, there are always risks in these friendship links, you can have a friend who is not who he says he is. Facebook is a revolutionary company that is transforming itself into the the mother of all world communities, growing extraordinarily to the rhythm of one million new Facebook users a week. Who doesn't want to have that number of visits a week?

But obviously not all the opinions are favorable. In a more or less recent post, ElGonzi.com [ES] discusses an internet rumor and asks: Is Facebook created by the CIA?

…hablando de Facebook, podemos decir que tiene en su base de datos a más de 20 millones de personas a nivel mundial. Toda la información reunida en un solo sitio, lista para que el gobierno gringo pueda entrar y saber más de las personas que inocentemente se inscriben día a día. Esto es solamente un rumor pero hay indicios que podrían corroborar esto… Lean la fuente en inglés que hay links a noticias relacionadas.

…talking about Facebook, we can say that in its database there are more than 20 million people worldwide. All the information is together, in one place, ready so the [American] government can come in and know more about people who innocently register daily. This is only a rumor but there are indications that could confirm this… Read the link in English, with links to related news.

Ernesto, of the blog Consultor Internet [ES], in the post Rentability or “value”? , presents his objections to to what the well-known Martin Varsavsy wrote about Facebook in various posts on his blog. The divergence of opinion is principally on the side of the business model and its real value.

Martin Varsavsky comenta que una empresa llamada Facebook segun el va a valer 10,000 millones de dolares, luego de explicar a que se dedica se deshace en admiraciones a su crecimiento, a lo que hacen y al hecho de que sus empleados se haran ricos …[…]… Si claro, todo suena muy bonito, pero a la hora de la verdad en su articulo no hay ninguna mencion a si se estan generando ingresos o no, solo al crecimiento de usuarios y a lo revolucionaria que es,

me hace recordar la epoca en que los “clicks” o “visitas” eran el patron con que se valoraban las empresas, en lugar de preguntarse si el flujo de caja ya habia llegado al retorno de inversion o por lo menos iba en camino de lograrlo, ahora con esto de la Web 2.0 sin querer veo que esos criterios vuelven a aparecer, no fijarse en rentabilidad presente o potencial sino en el “valor”, …[…]… claro… ahora la idea no es generar ingresos sino esperar a quien nos compre el invento, que si… que esos procesos son a veces inevitables pero no deberian ser la base del crecimiento de los negocios en Internet,

Martin contesta parte de mis objeciones diciendo que esos millones de usuarios seran monetizados por Google (que seguramente sera quien compre a Facebook), y es de ahi de donde sale el valor del negocio. No se …. … esto me suena a “¡mira cuantas visitas tiene esta nueva Web!! ¡compremos acciones!”, bueno, es verdad que el caso de Youtube nos indica que puede llegarse a una rentabilidad debido al alto volumen de usuarios(*), pero claro… la idea de ir siempre a la masa critica y no a la rentabilidad sin un plan de negocios claro no me convence del todo, y es que fueron esos “planes” los que abundaban en la epoca de la burbuja. … Creo que en todo caso la pregunta que debe quedar seria: “el negocio que se esta construyendo, ¿tiene sentido en si mismo o necesita necesariamente ser parte de un engranaje mas grande?”

Martin Varsavsky comments that a company called Facebook according to him is going to be worth 10,000 million dollares, after explaining what he does, he makes statements of admiration for its growth, what they do, and the fact their employees will become rich…[…]… Yes, of course, it all sounds nice; but at the moment of truth, in his article there is no mention if they are generating income or not, just the growth of users, and how revolutionary it is…

…it reminds me of the period when “clicks” or “visits” were the model with which companies were valued, in place of asking themselves if the cash flow had reached the investment return or if at least if it was on the path of attaining it. Now, with this thing about Web 2.0, without wanting to I see that criteria reappear, no noticing the current or potential rentability, but rather the “value”, …[…]… of course… now the idea is not to generate income but to wait for them to buy our invention, yes… those processes are sometimes inevitable but they shouldn't be the basis of growth of business on the Internet…

Martin responds to some of my objections saying that those millions of users will be monetized by Google (who surely will be the one that buys Facebook ), and that is where the value of the business will come out. I don't know… … this sounds to me like “look how many visits this new website has! Let's buy stocks!”, well, it's true that Youtube's case indicates to us that you can attain rentability due to high user volume (*), but of course… the idea of always going to the critical mass and not to rentability without a business plan doesn't fully convince me, and those were the types of “plans” which were in abundance during the bubble period. … I believe that in any case the question that should remain be: “the business that is being built, does it make sense on its own, or does it necessarily have to be part of a much larger [apparatus]?”

In any case, it seems that while not everyone likes it, Facebook is a success in many viewpoints, from the innovation with regards to its 2.0 platform as well as the number of users it gets, that the news of its sale for various million dollars does not surprise us. And of course, it wouldn't be too much to have a look and see if it is what we are looking for with social network material.

2 comments

  • I don’t agree 100 percent with Varsawsky but socialnetworking is big busness right now and is hard to make prognostics right now. It’s the very same thing as we try to say Google will be taken down by other search engines in the near future.

  • Comunidad peru MiPuntoPe.com

    Comense a buscar en google.com “red social peru” y me encontre con una pagina que parece ser la primera red social de peru, enfocado en peru.

    mipuntope.com
    Estube leendo su historia, dice que en menos de 3 meses en linea, rompio un record, que le coloco en los primeros resultados de busquedas como google, msn y yahoo.com como red social peru.

    AL parecer las redes sociales se comienzan mas a extender.

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