Social Networking’s Next Phase
By BRAD STONE
Published: March 3, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO, March 2 — Next week Cisco Systems, a Silicon Valley
heavyweight, plans to announce one of its most unusual deals: it is buying
the technology assets of Tribe.net, a mostly forgotten social networking
site, according to people close to the companies’ discussions.
It is a curious pairing. Cisco, with 55,000 employees, makes networking
equipment for telecommunications providers and other big companies.
Tribe.net, run by a company with eight employees, has been trampled by
newer social sites like MySpace and Facebook.
But along with the recent purchase of a social network design firm, Five
Across, the deal will give Cisco the technology to help large corporate
clients create services resembling MySpace or YouTube to bring their
customers together online. And that ambition highlights a significant shift
in the way companies and entrepreneurs are thinking about social networks.
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Dan Novak - Alliance Executive, IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences
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