Social networking for business can be a valuable addition to any business' marketing plan. A well thought out social networking plan involves elements of both push and pull.
Push: This element of social networking involves actively sending (or "pushing") multimedia information to a specific someone that you know to be interested. In twitter, you can Most flash video players have some sort of push based sharing functionality based on email which generally involves inputting an email address. The downside of most video based social functionality is how to collect and store video content that is of interest. Generally, the only means for "storing" video content is to use a linked favorite, cut and paste the player on a web page, and leave the link in email.
Our personal media catalogs allow you to push video content such as YouTube videos, Real Estate Shows, and Vidlisting.com video to friends (read "colleagues", "partners", or "customers") which then they can preview and, upon approval, can become part of that person's media catalog. The content is aggregated in your own personal media catalog for future viewing or further sharing.
So, say for instance, I have a video of a property for sale. In my personal media catalog, I can quickly create a group of prospective buyers interested in that type of property and with a few mouse clicks send them that information. They preview the video and some accept it. Some of those that accept the video share the video with others. Version 2 of the personal media catalog will allow the original uploader of the content to see how often the video has been shared (all user names will be obscured).
Pull: This element of the social networking equation is far more passive than the push system. The pull side of the social networking equation involves users making the determination that they want to receive certain types of information or media content. Right now, the only pull type of functionality around that we are aware of involves consuming RSS or other types of multimedia oriented feeds. The issue here is that many of your customers, partners, or colleagues may not even know what a feed is (which needless to say severely limits your ability to use pull type social networking for multimedia).
To overcome the feed obstacle, we're on the verge of adding functionality that will allow users to "pull" content from media catalogs that have been shared. Owners of catalogs can make share content from a shared catalog (some can remain private as well) and users will have access to shared content in an organized fashion right from their own catalogs. More on the specifics of shared catalogs will follow in later blog posts once we release the functionality.
Say for instance that I am interested in content from a given real estate agent and that real estate agent has a shared media catalog. I can find that catalog by its unique name and add the catalog to my shared content. All real estate video content (including real estate shows and YouTube videos) that have been selectively shared from that catalog is now instantly available to be included in my own catalog with a single mouse click. I can make widgets or further share that content with my own social network using just a few additional mouse clicks.
Applications built on top of shared media catalogs are coming in the next few days as well. We'll actually be using a specific shared catalog to drive part of the special Vidlisting.com SIMA home page next week. Videos uploaded for the event using the page will also be added to the SIMA shared catalog. A simple developer API will also increase the opportunities for pull type social networking outside of the media catalogs as well.
In summary, the ability to either push and pull content is a key part of the social aspect of social networking. Unformtunately, most of social functionality around videos is either clumsy (inputting emails every time that you want to share an item) or very technical (feed based). Hopefully, we can start to make inroads in making both sides of the push/pull equation in social networking easier to use.