Google recently acquired over 200 patents from IBM over many different technologies, but one patent in particular stands out. Google acquired U.S. Patent 7,865,592, the “Semantic Networks” patent, which states, “A method, apparatus and program product are provided for identifying common interests between users of a communication network”, and goes on to say “Optionally, social networks may be created or modified by adding other users with common interests as identified by semantic networks”.
SO WHAT DOES THIS PATENT MEAN FOR GOOGLE?
This patent explains how a social network could be leveraged to lead users to find “experts” or like minded users on specific topics. To further explain this concept, imagine a business owner looking for information on inbound marketing, and let’s say that the most knowledgeable person for this business owner to speak to does not list “inbound marketing” as one of his/her interests. This knowledgeable person would be limited from view in the businesses owner’s expanded network, including friends of friends, because the interest would not be listed. With a semantic social network, the network would be able to determine the right person for the business owner to contact based on which people in the business owner’s network post relevant content and how much time others spend reading it.
If and when Google implements this technology in Google+, sharing quality organic content with your social network will be at a premium. User’s must be conscious of their social signal, a topic that JASE has been trumpeting for the last couple of weeks, and develop quality networks in which friends read and share your content. Otherwise, that information-less business owner could potential be directed to a competitor, even though you may be a leading expert.
Do you create quality organic content? Do your employees share it with their social networks? Would your business be left behind if “semantic networks” become a part of Google+? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. As always, please feel free to share this information with friends.
image credit: The Daring Librarian on flickr