Very interesting and in my mind wonderful news about Cisco's upcoming acquisition announcement of Tribe.com. Cisco will acquire the underlying technology but it seems that Tribe.net will continue as a standalone site.
Cisco, who in October of 2006 re-branded itself and launched the theme "Welcome to the Human Network" a campaign that focuses on the ways Cisco's Internet infrastructure enables people to connect and assemble their own networks- is making a play into the Social Networking space and i would very much like to see them being successful at it. According to the New York Times Article, Dan Scheinman, the mergers and acquisition chief who led the Linksys and Scientific Atlanta purchases, now runs a new division at Cisco called the Media Solutions Group, which has been responsible for the deals for Five Across and Tribe.net. The Cisco Media Solutions Group was put together late last year and is responsible for developing and marketing infrastructure products that will help digital media content owners improve the content experience for consumers.
Some bloggers commenting on the subject are saying that Cisco is purchasing this technology to build an internal social networking site for their 49,000 plus emplyees while others are writing that the move is for Cisco to help its customers -- such as TV networks and cable TV companies, create online environments for their employees and for their customers. Others are having a hard time understanding why this makes sense. Sure makes sense to me- both for their internal use - there are many social networking advocates within Cisco and i am sure that their push from 'below' influenced this decision- as well as an underlying technology that their customers can use to build social networks- for their own internal use, for customer sites and for partner sites. Oh yeah and all this while increasing the use of Cisco's core business of running Internet traffic on their infrastructure.
Yesterday the Guardian covered a story (light on details so i am waiting for more information before i really blog more about it) that Reuters was going to start a Financial Services Social Networking site for their financial subscribers that had my mind a-buzzing about opportunities in enterprise communities like financial services markets. There are other sites like MyBusinessTies that provide vertical specific social networking sites for companies. This morning I am a-buzzing about all the other corporate opportunities. Jeremiah Owyang recently blogged about White Labeled (Applications you can re-brand) Social Networking sites were a litany of comments created a comprehensive list of such services.