Today, the main way of assessing how succesful a network is, is the number of members.
First, we need to differentiate vertical networks, horizontal networks, national ones and by invitation only.
A good example is the excellent Linkedin, which used to be by invitation only, and which now offer the possibility to register, they changed their strategy before colouring Linkedin with clear HR features, and a few months before launching their premium services.
I still find Linkedin the most impressive and professional business networking site, but I was not thrilled to make it open to anyone, and to orientate it as a recruitment tool: a lot of persons thinks that Linkedin is to get a job... So, many people don't bother registering, because they are not actively nor passively looking...
Three kinds and quality of members
1. Register and did not complete its profile
2. Good and completed/almost completed profile
3. Active user, with frequent connection
To conclude, I agree to have as indicator the number of members (all the networks are happy to communicate on their latest milestone), but it would be quite instructive to have access to the number of complete profiles and active users too... And those information are more difficult to collect!
Technorati tags: online networking, social networking, linkedin, epwn
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