2013: the year shopping becomes a game

2013: The Year Shopping Becomes A Game

The internet has always been about competition. I'm the Foursquare Mayor of this kebab shop. Her cute kittens blog just jumped up 1,000 places in the Alexa rankings. 934 unread emails have arrived in your inbox over the weekend (yeah, we know - painfully true). And these things have massively benefitted the bewildering growth of the 'net.

But the one aspect of the internet which hasn't - until now - profited by man's inherent need to compete is shopping. Don't get me wrong - we all like to brag about how we bought our house for £Xk less than the asking price, or how we jumped in and 'won' an auction seconds before it closed. But there's only ever one winner in those scenarios. Competition (until now) has never helped promote growth; it's never benefitted the masses.

That's going to change in 2013.

Up until now, when you said "social commerce" people would think "f-commerce" and remember those terrible store-fronts bolted onto brands' Facebook Pages. Now, there's nothing wrong with aspiring to sell to a billion people on Facebook but, if you're going to distract people from chewing the fat (gnashing the gristle?) with their friends, you need to

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Let's Kill The 'Media' Bit From 'Social Media'

Social's not FOR selling... is it?

We hear it all the time: "social media's not for selling".

To use the sailor's language we grew up with: bulls**t. That's like saying phones aren't for computing.

Things change. But, sometimes, it's only once they change that we can see how daft our old attitudes were. Phones can be amazing computers if you do it right. And social makes for an extraordinary commercial channel if you sell socially. And yet, we often encounter resistance from social media professionals when we talk about social's transformational potential and how it's destined to break free from its current limitations.

Why? Well, just as the terrific writer Nilofer Merchant suggests in the Harvard Business Review, I believe the problem is one of language. By calling this thing 'social media', we're already pigeonholing an incredible tool, tramlining it within some highly restrictive perimeters. It's social media -> therefore it's media -> therefore commerce can only rear its head in the form of adverts -> therefore no one wants to buy in social. But surely this is a wanton case of a predetermined definition being used to construct its own term? It's cart before horse. Or, to use more sailor's language, it's a*e over tt.

Who decided this thing should be called 'social media' in the first place? Why not call it 'the social space'? Or 'the social world'? Or

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Social commerce is about to hit LinkedIn

Social commerce is about to hit LinkedIn

200 million members (including over 11 million right here in the UK), plus 2.7 million company pages - no wonder LinkedIn generates over $250 million every year. But how much is your company making directly from LinkedIn? We're guessing nada.

That's going to change in 2013 - the year when LinkedIn becomes THE destination site for B2B social commerce.

Think about it: just about every soup manufacturer in the country has a company page on LinkedIn. Just about every canned goods buyer has a professional profile. And, thanks to LinkedIn's extremely granular search functionality (which puts the likes of Facebook to shame) and its flourishing network of groups, it's only a matter of time before the former companies are able to collect the latter buyers into harmonised, communal transactions - meaning they'll be able to shop collectively, securing the kinds of bulk-buy discounts usually only enjoyed by the supermarket giants.

Of course, we're not just talking about soup. We're talking about everything from financial services to corporate car fleets, from nannying to deep-sea mining. We're talking about the entire world of B2B social commerce, an absolutely massive step-change in the way we do business.

We can't go into detail,

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