Sab Kanaujia, NBCU and Social Networks

TechCrunch dug out a deleted post in google cache from Sab Kanaujia, VP of Digital Innovation at NBC Digital Media.

The post referred to NBC’s position and plans for social networks.


“On December 26, 2006 he wrote a long post on his blog outlining NBC’s vision for social networking. Sometime After January 9 the post was removed, although a cached version is here (and a copy of the text is below).

The key strategic decision they made, suggests Kanaujia, was to have a distributed social network instead of one large central property. He says they will build “official communities/fan sites around all our TV shows and movies” for example, and “the current valuations…[of large social networks] do not provide an attractive cost/benefit proposition for ownership.”

From the post:

“NBCU is building a core social networking platform that will provide various tools and functionality on all our major properties to enable users to self-express and find, interact and share with other like-minded users. We’re not launching separate stand-alone destination(s), ala MySpace, Facebook, etc. We’ll have the first launch on one of our biggest properties early next year, and then roll-out on all remaining major properties (over 12) in a phased manner before the end of Q3.”

From the comments: Robert Young
“Put another way, there is a very big difference between creating a subset social network around “The Office” out of a pre-existing community like MySpace (which itself was built on a very different value proposition), versus that of creating a vertical social network primarily based on the draw of that show.”

From the comments: Briana

“The biggest problem I see with creating a standalone network for companies like NBC is that users don’t necessarily want to identify themselves as fans of ‘NBC’ but rather, fans of your programming.”

From the comments: Sab responds to Robert’s comment

“NBCU is not creating an array of vertical social networks. We’ll have single sign-on at the back-end across all our properties to enable seamless user movement w/o requiring them to create multiple profiles. Effectively, it would be one social network with multiple communities with individual look-and-feel spread across various NBCU properties.

The idea is that “The Office” fans on should to be able to find and interact with other fans of that show as easily as they can with the fans of, say, “Battlestar Galactica” on”


About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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