Being Indian, and having lived there for half my life, I’m used to people chatting for a while before getting down to business, as it were.
Relationships first. Then conversations as a result of relationships. And finally, only where necessary, transactions.
Cluetrain. Markets are conversations. (Doc has a Nigerian pastor story that shows how universal this structure is. I will link to it when I have something more than a BlackBerry to use as my internet connection.)
A few hours ago, I read that Facebook now has more “transactions” per day than eBay does. Given that eBay has 8 times the number of participants, this is a fascinating trend.
Normally I would expect conversations to be a multiple of relationships, and transactions to be a subset of conversations.
And that would suggest that the community with more members will have more transactions, especially if they were a birds of a feather community.
Why is this not the case with facebook? Is it driven by the relative youth of the community and their perceived free time? Is it because the marketplace is open and free? Is it because of the high graphic content as a result of the sheer number of photographs? Is it because you don’t need a credit card or a paypal account? Is it because it is easier to use? Cooler? More fun?
Worth thinking about. More later.