Yossi Vardi led a group of panelists in the most sizzling session at the High Tech Industry Association's 2010 Annual Conference in Jerusalem yesterday. There were no answers, but it quite lively. Vardi's co-panelists on "The role of social networks" were Dotomi Ltd. co-founder and CTO Yair Goldfinger (who previously co-founded ICQ), XING founder Lars Hinrichs, Goviral CEO René Rechtman, and Apax Partners advisor and angel investor Jeremy Wenokur.
Vardi said, "People are bored and looking for something grab their ear. People need someone to talk to them. I don’t understand it, but is seems that people want you to call them and commensurate."
Goldfinger replied, "We are social creatures; it's part of human nature."
Vardi added, "We haven’t had a chance to say much, but remember that in the past month users saw five billion Facebook pages. There are seven billion people in the world, two billion of whom are online. You do the math. People want to join and be a part of this revolution."
Goldfinger said, "We tried to think how to provide information about friends, and not just an indication of presence. ICQ changed the way people communicate, and it became one of the first applications to go viral. Only now do people understand that its success was in enabling users to become social. Every time you let users express themselves, they'll do it, usually in a way different from what you expected."
Rechtman said, "We believe that everything is social. It doesn’t matter if its Twitter or a business newspaper, everything is social. This change happened in the past few years. We're not talking about the initial efforts, but in the past five years, everything is social. Consumers don't just consume, they also participate."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 9, 2010
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