Wednesday, 27 February 2008

FT to launch Social networking for TMT Executives

According to a report in StrategyEye yesterday – Financial Times to launch executive social network – the FT network is “an online forum for executives to develop and maintain contacts with other industry members”. It will cost £2200 per annum which will include free entry to one FT Global Conference. The selling point is that it will be ‘exclusive’.

I have to admit to grave doubts about this. The FT and the WSJ have both run into problems with their subscription services to their newspaper and its archives. Both have gradually been reverting to ‘free’ services. Will they face any better prospects in social networking?

Although I do subscribe to there being a market requirement for ‘niche’ social networking sites, the “exclusivity” should not –cannot – be gained by price alone. Indeed the price the FT is suggesting will mean that the vast majority of the people I would like to see as part of an ‘exclusive’ TMT network wouldn’t be there. The people who would join (because their company would pay) would be the marketing, analyst relationship and PR types. As these are the people that have paid Holway for two decades, I really mustn’t bite the hand that has fed me, but interfacing with this part of the TMT world is hardly what an exclusive TMT social network is all about.

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