IBM just announced that it is launching its own social network called PartnerWorld Communities later this month. The goal is to help the computer giant's 100,000 worldwide partners share ideas and work together to make sales. The site will feature profile pages, user blogs and forums, virtual training courses, collaborative wikis and syndicated feeds of IBM information, according to PC World.
If IBM's social network actually helps partners collaborate on deals, online and in real-time, then the site could represent the next stage in the Internet's development.
The game has moved beyond networks that let you filter user-generated data to find relevant opportunities and business partners. The next generation of social networks like Google's highly anticipated Wave supposedly let users within any given network collaborate on projects through their browsers. So if IBM's partners connect online and then want to partner on a new account, they could theoretically draft their proposals and manage the deal's progress within the same platform.
Is this a transformative "web 3.0" moment, as many web pundits now claim? Until these sites actually go live, we will have to wait and see whether the jargon is justified.
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