Thursday, 30 July 2009

Xing… Yet another social networking site.

I signed up for Xing yesterday after it cropped up again in several of my information feeds:

 

http://uk.techcrunch.com/2009/07/22/xing-launches-an-opensocial-app-assault-on-linkedin/

 

http://blog.slideshare.net/2009/07/22/a-special-treat-for-our-european-users-add-slideshare-to-your-xing-profiles/

 

Matt Groves on Xing

Is this just “yet another social networking site” ?

What value will it add? Why did I sign up?

What is it’s USP?

 

After created (yet another) profile, I was inputting the usual web links (blog, Twitter, Facebook) and was actually surprised to find some notable omissions:

 

image

 

LinkedIn is missing! Now, Xing are saying the site is a professional social networking site, the exclusion/omission of LinkedIn indicates they are worried of the competition with them (?), which, considering the nature of social networking sites (where being “open” is part of the deal) and that the majority of their user base will also be on LinkedIn (an assumption on my part, but considering that the LinkedIn user base is ~43 million compared to Xing’s 7.5 million I think it’s a reasonable one) why not show a LinkedIn profile link?

On the other hand, it may just be an oversight…

 

It also struck me as surprising that some of the other services were included while those like FriendFeed weren’t…

 

Either way this seems a bit strange to me as LinkedIn is, to me, the standard in professional networking sites, in much the same way that Facebook is the standard for “personal” social networking…

Both are IMO mainly because they gained critical mass, crossed the chasm (see below) and “everyone I know is using it”.

 

Technology-Adoption-Lifecycle

Craig Chelius’s graphic describing the ‘Technology adoption process’, as described in Geoffrey Moore's book Crossing the Chasm

 

Xing has existing for a long time (since 2003), which shows they must be doing something right else they would have fizzled out like so many others, but where are they on the curve?

 

Clearly, they have successfully crossed the chasm, with the recent drive to include other social apps (through the Open Social platform API), which the cynic in me could describe as being a year (plus!) behind LinkedIn and a long way behind Facebook, it shows a renewed push.

 

Xing is a German service and some of the social apps supported deliver their content in German (or are scoped to German News for example) which will limit the adoption outside Germany (and/or Europe).

 

The Outlook plug-in (free download, much like LinkedIn’s really, but not as good, but then I am a massive fan of the “Grab Contact” feature of the LinkedIn plug-in!) trawled through my contacts/mailbox and only found 2.

Yes, just 2, both recruitment consultants…

 

I’ll see how it goes in the Xing groups (same concept as LinkedIn groups) and other areas, but I’m not at all convinced that my participation will last…

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