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For B2C Marketing Professionals

The Future Of The Social Web

Portable IDs Catalyze A Power Shift To Consumers

April 27, 2009


  • By Jeremiah K. Owyang
  • with Josh Bernoff,
  • Cynthia N. Pflaum,
  • Emily Bowen

Why Read This Report

Today's social experience is disjointed because consumers have separate identities in each social network they visit. A simple set of technologies that enable a portable identity will soon empower consumers to bring their identities with them — transforming marketing, eCommerce, CRM, and advertising. IDs are just the beginning of this transformation, in which the Web will evolve step by step from separate social sites into a shared social experience. Consumers will rely on their peers as they make online decisions, whether or not brands choose to participate. Socially connected consumers will strengthen communities and shift power away from brands and CRM systems; eventually this will result in empowered communities defining the next generation of products.

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Table of Contents

  • Social Networks Proliferate, Yet Communities Are Locked In Disparate Islands
  • Issues Like Privacy Mean The Path To This Future Will Be Bumpy

  • Focus On Advocates And Prepare For Communities

  • As Power Shifts To Communities, Marketing Will Transform Itself
  • Supplemental Material
  • Related Research Documents