Another old school hype related the internet relaunces: social e-commerce. But in a new form due to the advent of blog sites showcasing and highlighting wanted (non-digital) goods. That is the way it is different from recommendation engines in websites like Amazon.com, Last.fm and Pandora.com. I strongly believe in the increasing importance and relevance of all kinds of different social filters like recommendation engines, ratings, reviews, top10s/most popular pictures/videos, search, Wikipedia etc. All probabilistic systems with the wisdom of the crowds and collective intelligence embedded as an emerging property. The below article from the New York Times on different social commerce sites gives us all more detail. Just another way to deepen the relevance of The Long Tail. Interestingly, e-commerce is mostly about focused and quick online purchasing while social shopping is more about product discovery, fun and social acceptance. Still, I believe a social shopping site like Yub has more potential than the below examples due to more elaborate features like viral, two-way, cash-back marketing features. And it seems the Group Buying trend within the internet space of the late 1990s will be revitalized like never before.
"Late last month, an online shopper posted a photo of one of Amenity Home’s $400 duvet covers on ThisNext.com, one of a new breed of Web sites that promises to connect independent-minded shoppers with hard-to-find products. Other shoppers copied the photo to their own blog pages, bringing the company some much-welcome attention, said Kristina de Corpo, an Amenity Home founder. We’re a young business furiously trying to keep our heads above water, so this is really exciting,” she said. “We’ve gotten tons of hits from it.” Sites like ThisNext and a handful of services like Kaboodle.com, Wists.com and StyleHive.com are spearheading a new category of e-commerce called “social shopping,” that tries to combine two favorite online activities: shopping and social networking. These sites are hoping to ride the MySpace wave by gathering people in one place to swap shopping ideas. And like MySpace, the sites are designed for both browsing and blogging, with some shopping-related technology twists included."