Friday AM February 20th, 2009

A former Google executive spoke in Houston last night about the future of social networking businesses. Ed Mayberry reports.

image of social networking

Tomasz Tunguz is now part of Redpoint Ventures, working with next-generation social networking businesses.  He spoke about the future of the consumer Internet, which are sites like Google and Yahoo — sites that surfers use almost daily.  He says social media is becoming an essential tool in all walks of life, including in the business world.

“These applications, you know, increasingly are going to be incredibly important in business because the same networks that we use in our daily lives are the ones that we use in our business world.  And the value in the data that things like Facebook have unlocked is slowly being mined by companies like Salesforce.  Salesforce actually integrates into Facebook in order to enable employers to figure out new and interesting candidates so that they can hire them into the enterprise.  I mean, there’s a couple interesting companies here.  One is called Aperio, which actually links your sales force contacts.  That way you’re able to understand more about the person when you call them.”   

Tunguz is interested in how social networks can make money.

“In the consumer space, I mean, social networking monetization means how does the business actually make some money.”

Ed: “You worked in the Google/My Space partnership in a previous life.  Tell me about how that came about, and what you experienced at that time.”

“The partnership was essentially a very strategic move by Google, and it was a bet that in the long-term, Google could figure out how to monetize social networks better than anyone else.  And so working on that product, actually I was able to understand a whole lot better — number one — how users actually  use social networks, and number two — which monetization strategies are most effective.”  

Tunguz returns to Houston in October for a one-day event called “The UP Experience,” with 16 experts sharing their unique perspectives on various topics. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.


Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

News Anchor

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with much of his early career as a rock’n’roll disc jockey. He worked as part of a morning show team on album rock station KLBJ-FM, and later co-hosted a morning show at adult rock station KGSR, both in Austin. Ed also conducted...

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