Cloud Computing Is Enabling The Next Phase Of The Internet Evolution

Carlota Perez wrote a book titled “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital” (2002) that is a real interesting read.  Perez says that there have been five historical waves of economic and social transformation in the developed economies of the world. Each of these waves have what she calls an Installation phase followed by a crash of some sort and then a Deployment period. 

HorizonWatching - Carlota Perz 5 Waves

Perez says that our global economy has now entered the deployment phase of the fifth technology investment cycle, which she says is the Age of Information and Telecommunications (see embedded picture).  Perez says that this will be a period of adjustment when novel business models will exploit the new IT infrastructure that is now being put in place that enable more porous, open, collaborative approaches that seek to leverage the economics and flexibility of global sourcing.  She expects enterprises of all sizes will employ technology to help them transform their business models, processes and operations.

As mentioned, Perez says we are entering this Deployment phase. As we do there are some key characteristics across our global economy that is impacting how this phase develops. The firms that will succeed are the firms that will embrace these characteristics and the change that is happening in order to innovate and leapfrog competition.

Important characteristics of our global economy includes:

  • A level, global economic playing field presents new opportunities, challenges and competitive technologies
  • New technologies, services and skills are emerging…and they are quickly being integrated into every aspect of business and everyday life
  • The pace of change is dramatically compressing “windows of opportunity” for real competitive advantage.
  • Billions of skilled people are entering the world’s economy, fundamentally transforming the mix of the global workforce
  • The interconnected nature of our world’s economy means businesses must be prepared to respond to – and capitalize on – changes in real time, with unprecedented flexibility.

While all this is happening, we are moving into what I believe is the third stage of the Internet. Call it Web 3.0 or whatever you wish, but cloud computing is perhaps the most important technology.  In fact, I believe that cloud computing is the key enabling technology for this next technological wave and the next phase in the evolution of the Internet.

HorizonWatching - Private Clouds Enables Next Wave of the Internet

Back in the mid to late 1990s companies were just concerned with getting websites up so they could have a presence on the Internet. It was all about providing very basic information to the public. But soon the so called e-commerce trend arose and business was being conducted on the Internet. Then Web 2.0 came into play and all users realized that they could share their ideas, create content, and collaborate online.  We are now well into this next phase of the evolution where the enabling technologies will be cloud, analytics, mobile, video, and semantic capabilities.  This so called Web 3.0 phase will provide applications that are much more immersive, social, and collaborative in nature.  Combined that with an explosion of networked sensors and advanced predictive analytic and all the Smarter Planet initiatives will become a reality. 

But the most important enabler will be the combination of private and public cloud computing infrastructures that will be the ‘engine’ of the future Internet.

IBM and SeeClickFix: A Social Collaboration Challenge on the Smarter Cities Scan

seeclickfix challenge

Are you aware of some non-emergency issues going on in your community that if fixed that could help improve the quality of life in your town?  Some examples might be:

  • A dangerous intersection for pedestrians
  • A bike lane that is always blocked
  • An area that always floods whenever it rains
  • A building with broken windows
  • A vacant lot that needs to be cleaned up
  • Potholes on a certain street that never get fixed
  • Cracked sidewalks that need to be fixed
  • Unsafe activity going on in your neighborhood

The SeeClickFix Challenge:

There’s a very interesting crowdsourcing effort going on I thought you might be interested in checking out.  The folks at SeeClickFix have partnered up with IBM’s Smarter Cities Scan in an effort called the “SeeClickFix Challenge on the Smarter Cities Scan”

SeeClickFix empowers residents to actively care for and improve their neighborhoods by engaging them to report on things they think needs to be ‘fixed’ by posting information of those things on the web.  Residents pinpoint the exact location on a map and can upload pictures of the problem.  The IBM Smarter Cities Scan team recognized this service as a novel approach to help us all improve the cities we live in.  So the two teams are now partnering in this unique social collaboration challenge.  The crowdsourcing effort will run from February 8-21 on the Smarter Cities Scan.   And you can participate!

How You Can Participate:

  1. See – spot a non-emergency issue in your neighborhood, go to http://seeclickfix.com/citizens and enter your city name to begin the process
  2. Click – “Report an Issue” to open a ticket describing the issue and what can be done to resolve it
  3. Fix  – Monitor your ticket and the issue you reported to see how your city responded.
  4. Share – Go back to the Smarter Cities Scan site and report on your SeeClickFix experience by sharing your SeeClickFix story.   We want to understand how citizens and  communities put SeeClickFix to new uses in all urban environments.  In the process perhaps we can generate some new ideas on how to make our cities better places to live in.  So please share your story!!

I just entered my first ‘problem’ into the SeeClickFix database for my community and found the process easy.  There’s a walking/bike path in my community that needs repairing in a certain spot.  It is not paved and doesn’t drain well…so it gets all muddy.  The path is just a few feet from a 50mph road and I am worried some runner or biker will slip and fall into traffic. 

Want More Information?

Spread The News!

The more people we have contributing stories, the more we all learn in the process.  Help publicize this collaboration challenge to your social networks via email, Facebook, and Twitter (use tag #seeclickfix).  And If you blog, consider authoring a post about this challenge as I have done here.

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore: 10 Web Trends to Watch in 2010

Mashable Pete Cashmore Pete Cashmore (Twitter mashable) is founder and CEO of Mashable, a very popular blog about social media.   He is a frequent speaker and a recognized subject matter expert on all things social and digital media.  Besides Mashable, he also writes a weekly column for CNN.com and back in early December, he published his list of 10 Web trends to watch in 2010.

Cashmore’s Top Ten Trends

  1. Real-time ramps up:  There’s a growing demand for immediacy in our interactions. Immediacy is compelling, engaging, highly addictive … it's a sense of living in the now.
  2. Location, location, location:  Location based services is not about any singular service; rather, it's a new layer of the Web.
  3. Augmented reality:  The AR hype is here. It’s a cool application, but AR vendors need to demonstrate real benefits.
  4. Content 'curation':   Content creation is outpacing our ability to consume it and increasingly, your friends are becoming the curators of your consumption.
  5. Cloud computing:  Cloud computing, a buzzword of 2009, will get its legs in 2010. 
  6. Internet TV and movies:  Is 2010 the year the majority of our television starts coming to us via the Internet? 
  7. Convergence conundrum:  Why do we need multiple devices (ipod, camera, phone, videocamera, watch) when we can have it all in one device?
  8. Social gaming:   Social gaming and the related virtual currencies these games have spawned is something to watch in 2010.
  9. Mobile payments:  Pete says 2010 will be the breakthrough year of the much-anticipated mobile payments market.
  10. Fame abundance, privacy scarcity:  Pete says to expect personal privacy — or rather its continued erosion — to be a hot media topic of 2010.

Pete gives us some interesting things to think about with his list.   Number 4, Content Curation hits home with me as does does number 10, Privacy.  I’ve been waiting for #6 to happen for a few years.  I have not yet jumped in feet first with all the social gaming (#8)….probably because I just don’t have time.

For a 4 minute video of Pete introducing some of these trends, check out the video below (found at http://us.cnn.com/video/?/video/tech/2009/12/08/cb.web.trends.cnn)

McKinsey’s View on Web2.0 and Beyond

McKinsey Quarterly had an interesting article this month that talked about how companies should prepare now for when web 2.0 transitions all the way to web 3.0.  The article, Managing beyond Web2.0 pointed out that individuals are increasingly in a position of control on the Internet.  They are demanding the type of information they want on websites and how that information is delivered.   The net is that businesses need to adapt to disruption that the shift to digital media and social networks is causing in order to stay relevant and manage their brand. 

McKinsey believes that the shift to the digital media will force marketers to evolve in order to survive.  The article discusses a model McKinsey is promoting called LEAD (listen, experiment, apply, develop) as a way to create a road map to help companies survive this constant change in the online environment.

Here is a quick summary of the LEAD model

  • Listen.   Have a formal process to monitor and analyze what its customers are saying about the corporate brand and operations online and then use this information as an early-warning system.
  • Experiment. Don’t just monitor social media — engage customers in conversations by using the novel tools of Web 2.0.   As an example, try engaging customers through collaborative efforts in order to conceive new offerings and ad campaigns.
  • Apply.  Next take the experiments and apply them.  To make it easier to reach out to customers, optimize your Web site so that it connects fluidly with online communities and social-media sites.
  • Develop.  Integrate the social media marketing into the company’s marketing mix.  For example, rather than simply buying ads on MySpace or LinkedIn, make interactive Web 2.0 elements part of all marketing programs.

McKinsey says the key is to understand your customer’s online behaviors in order to take advantage of Web 2.0 and what’s beyond Web 2.0.

I like the LEAD model in concept, especially because it stresses Listening as the first step.  I see too many experimental efforts being launched that have not been designed to take into account listening.  The other point I feel gets lost is that there needs to be more of a focus on engaging external stakeholders in conversations.  So while there needs to be a focus on listening, there should also be an equal focus on responding to what is being heard.  The worst thing you can do is to listen and hear what is being said, but not respond. You need to engage in active conversations.

You can check out McKinsey’s article out at Managing beyond Web2.0 .

Gartner’s Latest List of Disruptive Technologies

Every Wednesday, Gartner does a free webinar on a variety of topics.  Earlier this month, they had a presentation titled "Technology Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore."   I attended the webinar and took some notes.

The webinar provided attendees with Gartner’s latest list of disruptive technologies.  According to Gartner, a disruptive technology is one which drives major change in business processes or revenue streams, consumer behavior or spending, or IT industry dynamics.  It’s important that companies have processes in place to identify the disruptive technologies that will impact their business and develop plans to address these disruptions. 

Gartner regularly publishes disruptive technology lists.  Back in October 2007, I posted Gartner:  Five Disruptive Trends, which was a summary of their current list at that time, which included the following five trends:

  1. Web2.0
  2. Software as a Service
  3. Global-class computing
  4. The Consumerization of IT
  5. Open-Source Software

You can read my October 2007 post Gartner:  Five Disruptive Trends for more on that Gartner list.

So I was interested attending the webinar and seeing what was on Gartner’s list this time.  Here is a summary of Gartner’s July 2009 list of the top 10 technologies that will drive significant disruption over the next five years.

  1. Virtualization.   Virtualization helps reduce the number of servers used, decreasing power consumption.
  2. Data Deluge.  According to Gartner, the amount of data produced around the world will grow by 650% over the next few years, and 80% of it will be unstructured.
  3. Energy & Green IT.   We need to come up with regulations for technology and power consumption. 
  4. Consumerization & Social Software.  Consumerization, Social media, social computing, and social networking will change the way we work.   See my April 16, 2009 post on The Consumerization of IT  or my March 12, 2009 post Social Computing as a Disruptive Force for more on this trend.
  5. Unified Communications.    Unifying communications will allow users to route communications to their preferred device and change that device preference whenever they need to.  
  6. Mobile  Mobile devices 10 years ago were just phones.  Today, they are little computers. Tomorrow, it may be the primary device employees use to get their work done.  
  7. Complex Resource Tracking  This is all about the need to manage our networks more efficiently
  8. System Density.   We are going to need more and more servers.  That's going to increase power and cooling requirements, even as the price of the hardware continues to drop.
  9. Mashups and Enterprise Portals.  Employees will increasingly need and demand new ways to see information. 
  10. Cloud Computing. Cloud-computing can certainly save you a lot of time and money, but it will cost a lot of time to make the switch to the cloud happen.  I spent a bunch of time researching cloud computing.  For more information, see this post, which also contains links to other cloud computing posts I have done.

A quick comparison of the 2007 list with the list today, we see that Consumerization of IT/Social Software made both lists.  And we also see that Saas/Cloud Computing made both lists.   Both these trends are important disruptive trends, for sure.

For more information, or to download the replay and a pdf of the presentation, go to this Gartner website: Webinar Wednesday Series: Technology Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore

Emerging Trends in Crowd Sourcing

You may have heard of the Netflix competition to improve the level of its predictions.  The DVD-rental company offered $1 million as well as continued ownership of intellectual property to anyone who could boost the accuracy of its predictions by 10%.  These winner-take-all races seem to fit in well with another 21st-century trend—crowdsourcing, or seeking help from others (often for no compensation) via the Internet. Indeed, many of the teams in the Netflix competition, including BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos, depended on such far-flung collaboration as teams came from different countries.

According to Wikipedia, “Crowdsourcing refers to the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call. The term has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals.

A recent Business Week article argues that crowdsourcing will expand and that its impact on traditional businesses marketing, design and advertising needs to be clearly understood.  Some analysts, meanwhile, have predicted this practice of opening up a task to the public instead of keeping it in-house or using a contractor will be the demise of those businesses because of the downward pressure on prices. If LG crowdsources a new cell phone design on CrowdSpring for $20,000, as it did recently, what happens to the old model of paying a design firm millions of dollars for the same project?

The author expects communities and marketplaces to evolve further, supplying a more efficient and creative way for companies to engage with and harness the crowd for help. The increasing complexity of problems has also caused a rise in mass collaboration. Customers, of course, are increasingly demanding participation. They expect the ability to co-create and lead innovation, and their volubility has forced companies to devise creative solutions to be competitive in a new bottom-up age.  Challenges include managing submissions in line with business objectives and compensating people fairly for their ideas and how it will affect businesses such as design, marketing and advertising.

Study: Top CEOs still shunning Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

As social networking and social media marketing continue to increase as a disruptive trend, our top executives are being left behind.  So far, they are ignoring the trend.  Not sure what their excuse is, but I imagine it is that they just don’t get it.  It reminds me of the time email first came on the radar.

Sure, CEOs aged 30 and under understand the power of Web 2.0 and social computing…some of the younger ones are in fact digital natives.  But for some reason, middle aged and older CEOs have not yet figured out that the social computing train has left the station. 

I have a unique perspective in that I have been around for a long time. Truth be told, I was around for the email revolution in the late 1980s and early 1990s'.   I was a young IT professional at the time email first came on the radar (anyone remember PROFS?) and I do remember that for the longest time there were people (typically older and higher up the executive chain) that just never checked their email.  I guess they either forgot their passwords or really did not even know how to check and respond to email.  It was hard for them to weave email into their daily activities.  They were tied to the phone and face to face method of communication (not to say those are bad communication methods) and ignored the new way of communicating via email.  They resisted change.

So when I saw an article discussing recent research results that confirm my observations that CEOs are absent from the social media, it does not surprise me.  The report in question (It’s Official:  Fortune 100 CEOs are Social Media Slackers) finds that CEOs at top companies in the U.S. are dramatically disconnected from the social networking phenomenon.  The report was recently published by UberCEO.com, an online news and discussion site that focuses on CEOs at major companies.  

The study found that only two CEOs from Fortune magazine's list of the Top 100 companies have Twitter accounts and only 19 have a Facebook page.   And none of the 100 CEOs were found to have a personal external blog.  

In fact, only 13 of the top top 100 CEOs are members of the LinkedIn social network for business professionals.  And of those 13, five were connected to just one other person on the site.  The study found that only three technology CEOs really stood out on LinkedIn

From my point of view, top CEOs in technology companies should be embracing web 2.0 and experimenting with social media and networking sites.  I believe they are missing an opportunity to positively influence how people view their companies as well as missing an opportunity to demonstrate leadership to their employees, customers, partners, and shareholders.  It’s called leading by example and in my mind technology CEOs can't afford to pretend that social media is not for them.  They need to find some way to weave social media activities into their daily routine….just like the rest of us.

TripleTree: Collaboration, Communities, & The Extended Enterprise

I’ve been interested this year in understanding how the disruptive social computing trend will impact business processes, workflows, and decision making processes.

Triple Tree, LCC recently released a report that caught my eye: Collaboration, Communities & the Extended Enterprise .  The report takes a look at the growth of collaboration tools and the emerging importance of these technologies on the future of enterprise application and infrastructure platforms.   For those of you selling the concept of embedding collaboration and communities into enterprise applications, I suggest you take some time to read the report.

For a quick view into the report, the major sections in the table of contents of the report are labeled

  • Growth Despite Fragmentation
  • Internal Collaboration
  • External Collaboration
  • Collaboration Platforms
  • Users Prefer Less Fragmented Approaches
  • The Powerful Differentiation of Communities
  • Other Impacts on the Extended Enterprise
  • Cloud Compuiting

The premise of the report is that social computing will have significant impact on business processes.  Tripletree says that as social features are applied to business computing solutions, it is increasingly important to understand the technical and organizational impact of collaboration platforms.  The report discusses how collaboration functions embedded into enterprise applications can improve user adoption and productivity while also enhancing business workflows.  Tripletree says that these embedded collaborative functions go beyond “just improving communications between knowledge workers and partners, and includes a growing appreciation for the importance of user-generated content, consumerism and transparency.”

In fact (and this is a very important point), TripleTree asserts that collaboration features will become the very core of every enterprise application suite and that business functionality will become a secondary part of the platform.  

The main takeaway of the report for application providers is that if you are not engineering  and embedding collaborative capabilities into solutions, you are telling the world you have decided to remain a legacy application vendor.

You can check out the report here  http://www.triple-tree.com/research/collaboration_q1_09.pdf

Tripletree also recently held a webcast on this topic. Slides and a mp3 replay are available.  Moderated by TripleTree, this webcast centered on a discussion and debate on the usefulness of collaboration and community-centric solutions, where user adoption is being influenced by consumerism, and how a Collaboration solution ROI can be measured through the lens of improved information management.  During the webcast, Tripletree introduced the topic and the report discussed above.  There were three panelists on the call, who each gave a short presentation on the topic of embedding collaboration capabilities into business processes.

  • Dan Carmel, CEO – SpringCM
  • Oren Michels, CEO – Mashery
  • Alex Van Deusen, Collaboration Specialist – Cisco WebEx

For more, check out the webcast Audio (MP3) and Slide Presentation (PDF)

Midsize Companies Must Work Smarter, Leaner

A new IBM-sponsored study, “Inside the Midmarket: A 2009 Perspective”, found that although the economy is driving midsize companies to work smarter and leaner, many of these midsized companies are not actually decreasing their investments in IT, but maintaining current levels or increasing their IT spend to focus on strategic areas.

There is no doubt in my mind that these midmarket companies will play an important role in re-energizing the economy.  It is refreshing to see that these companies are not only resilient, but they are willing to invest in emerging technology areas that will position their companies for growth when the economy does improve.  

The study identified five important trends for midsized businesses:

  1. The highest-priority technology solution, chosen by 75 percent of respondents, is Information Management, which turns mountains of data into meaningful insights.
  2. The most pressing business challenges include increasing efficiency and productivity (80 percent), improving customer care (74 percent) and better use of information (72 percent).
  3. The impact of the economy on IT budgets has caused 53 percent to actually increase or re-prioritize their spending, with 37 percent reporting a decrease.
  4. Despite the economy, more than two-thirds of those surveyed are planning or currently implementing their top IT priorities.
  5. A majority of firms view their primary IT provider as a technology advisor or IT and business consultant, with 25 percent seeing the relationship as purely transactional.

And despite pressure to cut costs, the survey found that midsize companies are proceeding with IT investments in emerging technologies in areas such as information management, social media, and cloud computing.    Although these areas showed up lower on the scale of critical priorities, midmarket companies are actively pursuing these emerging technology areas to improve performance.  The survey shows that 79 percent intend to implement or have established goals to implement Green IT solutions, while 71 percent said they have plans to implement Web2.0/social media solutions and 69 percent said the same for cloud computing solutions.

IBM_Midmarket_Trend_Study

The “Inside the Midmarket study” was based on an online survey of 1,879 respondents in 17 countries, is designed to gain insight into the business plans and challenges, growth/innovation strategies, IT purchasing trends, and industry-specific pain points of midmarket companies (100 – 999 employees).  To download the study, visit http://www.ibm.com/press/attachments/ibm_midmarket_trend_study.pdf

Pew Internet: The Social Life of Health Information

The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released a report, “The Social Life of Health Information”, that contains results from a survey on the way people are seeking out health information.   The survey was focused on U.S. respondents only. 

As can be expected, Americans are now turning more and more to online sources for information.   In the past, patients typically called a health professional, their Mom, or a good friend.  Today they are also searching online, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, updating their social network profile, and posting comments.   And many people, once they find health information online, talk with someone offline about that information they have found online.

Some interesting findings from this survey:

  • 57% of respondents use the Internet when locating health information
  • Two-thirds of people that find information online then discuss with someone else their findings
  • 60% of respondents have said that information they have found online has impacted the way they have then pursued treatment.
  • 41% of e-patients have read another person’s commentary or experience about health or medical issue

Also interesting was the finding that "e-patients" – what the authors called people who look online for health info – are more likely to engage in social media in general, compared with other Internet users.  For instance, e-patients are more likely than non-health seekers to have created or worked on their own blog, read someone else's blog, used a social networking site, used a micro-blogging site, and other activities.  Small numbers of people are using social software like Twitter and Facebook.  Mostly these services are used to follow another person’s health issue and then perhaps include their own commentary on the health issue. 

As use of the Internet and social media increases, it's not surprising that more people are searching for health information and participating and engaging in health-related communities.   As these people search for and create their own content, this will put added pressure on providers to embrace social media in order to participate in the discussion.

Read the entire report here: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/8-The-Social-Life-of-Health-Information.aspx.

eWeek: 7 Things Needed for an Enterprise Social Network

Consumers have adopted social networking as a way to stay connected with friends and share ideas, music, pictures, and videos.  The trend is now hot in the enterprise market.  eWeek recently had an article that discussed seven critical elements to effective enterprise social networks.  Here is my summary of that article.

  1. User Friendly Look.  One of the reasons Facebook has been popular is it has a simple clean look, much like what Google has (although the recent revamp of Facebook looks a little more cluttered!!!).  eWeek says Lotus Connections and Socialtext are two vendors employing this user friendly look and feel.
  2. Business-Specific Applications.  Enterprises users don't only want to communicate, but they seek to collaborate (via tools like blogs and wikis) in order to solve business problems. 
  3. Multiple Communication Systems.   Enterprise users want a variety of ways to communicate and share information, including messaging, bookmarks, chat rooms, discussion forums, blogs, micro-blogs (e.g. Twitter).
  4. Security.  Enterprise users require and expect a level of security above consumer sites. 
  5. Scalability.  Everything points to a huge growth in users of enterprise social networks and that will translate into a huge growth in the number of transactions those networks will need to handle.
  6. Interact with Legacy Software.   Enterprise social networks will need to integrate with existing software within the business.
  7. Video and Multimedia.  Future enterprise users will come to expect the ability to share and view all types of media, including videos, podcasts, and photos.

This list covers some, but not all the elements needed for effective social network.  It focuses mainly on the social platform and misses the importance of the people and processes behind the social networks.  Without passionate people and community processes, a social network will limp along.  I don’t care how cool the social network technology platform is.

For the full article, see eWeeks "7 Things Needed For An Enterprise Social Network"

Nielson: Social Networking Now More Popular Than Email

Do you find yourself spending more and more time on social networking sites?  I sure do.  In fact, social networking is now a more popular online activity than email, according to a new report by market research firm Nielsen Online (see report “Global Faces and Networked Places"). 

One trend that caught my eye was that there is huge growth in the use of social networking sites by those over the age of 35.  So if you think these sites are just for teenagers, you are dead wrong.  The people using these sites are your customers, business partners, and next-door neighbors.  For those of you who have not yet registered on one of these sites, the train has left the station…better get on.

Some key findings from the report include:

  • On average one of every 11 minutes spent online around the world is devoted to social networking and blogging sites. 
  • Two-thirds of the world’s Internet population now regularly visit social networking or blogging sites and these visits account for almost 10% of all Internet time
  • Growth in social networking was three times as fast as the pace of general online growth
  • The top five most popular sites are:
    1. Facebook (108.3 million users)….the average user spends 3 hours and 10 minutes online every month.
    2. MySpace (81 million users)
    3. Classmates Online (19.7 million users),
    4. Orkut (17.5 million users)….70 per cent of online Brazilians are using the Google-owned service.
    5. Linkedin (15 million users). 
  • 2008 time spent at Social Networking sites accounted for one in every 15 online minutes – now it accounts for one in every 11.
    • In Brazil the average is one of every four minutes and in UK it’s one in every six minutes.
  • Social networking isn't only for teenagers as much of the growth is coming from the middle-aged (see graph to the right).  
    • The 35 – 49 year old category on Facebook rose by 24.1 million people last year.
    • Facebook added almost twice as many 50-64 year old visitors (+13.6 million) than it has added under 18 year old visitors (+7.3 million).

After reading these survey results, you really get the feeling that the way people connect, communicate, and collaborate over the Internet is changing dramatically.   Those of us in the workforce will be using these networks to form new relationships with people outside the firewall.  Enterprises should have a strategy in place as to how they are leveraging these networks in all areas of their business.  Social networking will have a significant and disruptive impact on all areas of business communications.

For more information, check out the Nielsen report “Global Faces and Networked Places".  The survey covered data captured from December 2007 through December 2008.