Wednesday, July 4, 2007

me-too wannabee-practice

July 07 saw a number of press reports - like this one from the Sunday Times - telling how grocery retailer Waitrose were re-launching their web site with a new social networking facility dubbed a "facebook for foodies".

Now here's my thought on the subject: The site is reputed to have cost one million pounds plus, so where is the ROI? Even if the social element works - a £M1 return? And will it work? One of the things about social networks is that they should develop organically. By making it part of an organization's web presence - and presumably driving customers to it - the ethos of the site is starting with a potentially fatal flaw. Visitors, probably. Visitors trading recipes, sure. Visitors using it as an online store for their recipes, hmmm. A new facebook? Naaa.

Or maybe I'm just an old cynic?

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