I would agree that the media and vendor hype over social networking is cause for frustration and perhaps even parody. The term has been applied to so many different types of sites and applications, that the term has become hijacked to a great degree by parties interested in gaining media attention. But there are some very real business and organizational benefits to the technology and the solutions that it enables. So when I glanced at this posting, I was somewhat saddened that an opportunity to look at a topic from the perspective of the enterprise turned into a discardable reading. But, I decided to comment on it because as these technologies emerge within an enterprise settings, both IBM and Microsoft will play a strategic role. Enterprise environments have some constraints not found on the Internet and consumer-oriented implementations. Topics such as security, identity, compliance, integration, development models/tools are valid requirements often dismissed by pundits as something relegated to Enterprise 1.0 thinking. I disagree (obviously) with that type of over-simplification.
As I reflect on Lotusphere I'll post my thoughts over the next few days.
Of course not, IBM getting into social networking is the equivalent of the cab driver touting stocks and the dunce down the street trying to flip real estate. The appropriate response to those aforementioned signals: Sell! The top of the market is here.