Guest post from Chris Windley of the Centripetal Network. Chris, Chris Butler and I have just launched the Centripetal Network. If you like what you read below, please click over to our Facebook page to “like” us and get the latest updates on the network. We’re quite excited by this and think you will be as well!
One definition for Centripetal is ‘tending to move towards a centre’ ( the opposite of centrifugal – moving away from the centre )
The definition that is more relevant here perhaps is tending to unify.
We are interested in the unification or the bringing together of networks.
Let’s think about some business networks which operate on social principles:
In each of these networks we will assume, for now, that the Pareto Law rule applies – 80% of the activity comes from 20% of the network population.
Probably though the serious, professional networkers represent a very low percentage of each networks population – let’s say 3-5%.
These networks are geographically focussed or dominated
- WeCanDo.Biz -UK
- Brandergy – East Coast, US
- Topexecutives – Brazil
- Dealerelite – US
- Motortradebook – UK
- Ecademy – UK
- Asmallworld – Switzerland
Some are vertically focussed e.g. SMB Business, Motor trade, Travel/Lifestyle/Luxury.
Most of these networks are controlled or restricted entry.
Professional Networkers consist of ( using the ‘Tipping Point’ definition ) Mavens, Connectors and Salespeople ( many great networkers are a combination of two or more of these skills ).
We postulate that what is required is a ‘central node’ which connects network owners and Super or Power networkers.
Some networks have broken through the glass ceiling of numbers and geographical spread – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin but others have basically failed to do this so far.
Some have partially failed e.g. Xing and MySpace and others have failed completely.
A lot of the networks that we mentioned have single owners or very small teams. They are hard working, dedicated people.
They don’t seem to have mature or clear monetisation strategies. ( Asmallworld perhaps excepted )
They must deliver value to their members in order to monetise and whilst such value may be obtained within the network we believe that additional and probably greater value can be achieved by connecting network owners / community managers together and by connecting Power networkers together on an on-demand basis.
What we have seen is that network owners want an independent network that they connect to ( i.e. although they are prepared to join other networks they would prefer to promote an independent network in order for their Power networkers to connect with another network’s Power networkers.
This is the central node we speak of .. The Centripetal Network.
Ideally, network owners and Power networkers would share in the success of the central node thus increasing the desire to join and make it work.
Once in place this Centripetal Network will become VERY powerful.
If Power networkers are searching for something or somebody they will likely use their own virtual networks, probably spread across a number of actual networks e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Brandergy, WeCanDoBiz and Asmallworld and then if they don’t find the person that they want there they will look through the Centripetal Network to other networks.
Similarly if they want to get a message out to a wider audience than just their network they will go to the Centripetal Network.
Anyway let me know your thoughts below …
Written by Chris Windley of Centripetal Network
A paper has been written on The Centripetal Network by Kevin Werbach at The University of Pennsylvania
This post is not directly related to that paper
©2012 The Centripetal Network
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