Well-worth clicking on the link below and read the full article - the story covers real-life social networking examples beyond typical consumer scenarios:
Social networking, popularized by teens sharing information with their friends online on Web sites such as Facebook Inc., is now blooming in the business world, thanks to new social networks that enable professionals and executives in industries such as advertising and finance to rub virtual elbows with colleagues.
... Now, online services are trying to promote a more personal type of business networking. Unlike relatively simple message boards that are open to all, these new sites -- including Sermo.com for doctors and INmobile.org for the wireless industry -- have features such as profile pages showing professional credentials; personal blogs that function like a kind of online diary; links to "friends" online; electronic invitations to real or online events; and instant-messaging.
... For a variety of reasons, social networking has been slower to take off in the business world. Employees are wary of disclosing too much to potential competitors, and loose-lipped executives can easily embarrass themselves and their companies online. Policing these services' memberships to weed out impostors can be difficult, and the sites are still in the early stages of turning their networks into sustainable businesses. Also, business users typically have less time to devote to socializing online and are willing to do so only if they believe they are getting a unique benefit from the site.
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