Inderscience Publishers

Social networks and marketing: potential and pitfalls

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The technological revolution has profoundly transformed the nature of communication in our society with the democratisation of information. The internet, a major component in this technological revolution, has progressed from an information-centric medium to one that is increasingly being characterised by the creation, dissemination and coordination of collective intelligence. In this era of shared information, digital networks have emerged to support online communities of like-minded people who use this space for a variety of objectives and outcomes from the purely altruistic to purely commercial. They have transformed how we communicate and relate to others, how we create, propagate and strengthen alliances, and how these alliances are used to support causes, ideas and interests. These strong and growing communities are not bound by geographic or political barriers and appear poised to redefine personal and commercial exchanges in cyberspace. This paper addresses the implications of digital communities popularly known as social networks by analysing their core strengths and limitations.

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