Cisco's EOS vs. Dell's Social Media for Small Business

Two things caught my attention when I turned on my computer this morning:
1) A plethora of google news "social media" alerts RE: communication technology development company Cisco's Entertainment Operating System (EOS) announced yesterday
2) Dave's becoming a fan of the Facebook page, "Social Media for Small Business - Powered by Dell."

Cisco's new EOS platform, designed specifically for entertainment and media companies, is basically a cheaper alternative to building your own social network. The intention is for entertainment and media companies to use Cisco's EOS to easily build websites that focus on communities. Warner Music has already built a few sites using the new EOS, but I have to say that save for the apparently huge price cut for building the site, I was not too impressed. It's basically your average "official (insert celebrity here) page," plus a message board (oooooh, finally taking a hint from fan sites, huh?) and apparently members can post photos, too. However, if you think of it as just a more social version of the standard entertainment homepage rather than a social network substitute, it's actually pretty exciting news. Not only is Cisco discouraging huge investments in brand-based social networks that will fail more often than not, it's taking a hint from Google's dream of socializing everything possible, even if allseanpaul.com is little more than a glorified MySpace page plus forums.

Secondly, and even cooler, is Dell's "Social Media for Small Business" page on Facebook. The page features Dell's "Social Media Guides" series, a section for its "Featured Small Business," and YouTube video interviews taped for Dell's Small Business Advice TV - an online resource aimed at small businesses in the UK. Dell is one company that jumped on the social media train early; after reaping the benefits, it's very encouraging to see them giving back to the community by sharing their experiences and advice - it's the essence of social media! Aside from that, you should definitely check out their page just for a great example of a Page that works well with Facebook's naturally vertical layout. Dell employees are active on the discussion boards, responding quickly to customer service complaints as well as friendly questions from fans. Overall, it's a great page, and I can't wait to see what more Dell does with it.