Audio: Social Networks, Should companies build their own (White Label) or join existing ones (like Facebook)

Are you thinking about building a community on your own domain with one of the 70 white label social networking tools?

Or have you thought about joining an existing community on a social network like Facebook or MySpace?

We thought this heated debate was over, I took heat from Shel Israel and Doc Searls (look at all the trackbacks and comments) for my stance that in some situations, brands should build their own social networks.

Brian Oberkirch fired up a thoughtful post on why he didn’t want to join the Fast Company social network. Ted Shelton of the Conversation Group charged an email to me, and we started a friendly debate, eventually we agreed that an audio podcast would make good discussion over this topic, and we were also joined by Chris Heuer also of the Conversation Group.

Listen into the discussion as we delve into the topic of brands joining and/or building social networks (about 20 minutes MP3)

If this is a topic that intersets you: you either are going to deploy a community strategy, or you’re one of the 70 vendors or work at a social network like Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Tagged, LinkedIn, Dogster, or MySpace, I have an upcoming research report called “Social Networks: When should brands build and join” that will publish for clients in the near future (it’s just getting the final touches put on it).

And by the way, as many savvy readers have pointed out, the future strategy will more than often be “and”.

(Update: Elizabeth Albrycht extends some thoughtful insight The Question Concerning Social Networks: Existence or Meaning?