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Social network utility

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As I mentioned before, utility is a key requirement for social software to work effectively and build loyal communities. A great example of this is Twitter, I have been giving much thought to what utility actually meant, Twitter on the surface of it does very little, but is community and developer eco-system deliver something that on the face of it is more than the sum of its parts.

Thinking about more conventional social networks like Bebo and Facebook, I am trying to work out at the moment how the concept of utility derived from a sub-community and an application would work for a perspective client.  I’d be interested in any thoughts you may have on this, feel free to share in the comments section.

Whilst I ponder that I thought I would share something that my friend Alex pointed out: developers at had put together a Facebook application which combined mapping, pubs and restaurant reviews created by your Facebook community. Again an interesting combination of social context (Facebook generally isn’t a work tool, how many people organise social events via Facebook messages nowadays?) and useful location-based data.