Feeds

Cisco double drops with second social network buy

Burning cash festival

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Cisco tossed the market another curve ball over the weekend, when it swooped on Utah Street Networks, the San Francisco-based outfit behind soap dodger-friendly social network Tribe.net.

The deal has baffled many. The New York Times broke the "curious" story on Saturday. Tribe.net is not one of Cisco's "select" cuts which, without disclosing terms, the firm confimed it had bought this morning.

The Utah Street Networks seven-strong team's flagship Tribe.net product has seen its popularity wane as the social networking scene matures and consolidates. It's now mostly used by West Coast alternative types to arrange car shares for the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert - not a target constituency for most advertisers.

Cisco isn't the first big boy to have a snatch at Tribe.net's undercarriage. NBC was reportedly close to a deal to buy Utah Street Networks technology in July last year, but never consummated the union.

Questions still abound as to what Cisco stands to gain from Utah Street Networks' platform. The booming IP networking banana republic already bought into social networking once this year with the acquistion of Five Across, which Cisco aims to use to provide CIOs at big business customers with proof they're still racing down the information super highway...or something. IBM is doing something similar with Lotusphere.

Once absorbed, both the Five Across and Utah software teams will report to Cisco Media Solutions Group chief Dan Scheinman, but the synergies between the two are far from clear. Social networking business watcher Pete Cashmore asks at Mashable: "Is Tribe’s tech even compatible with that of Five Across?"

One left field possibility is that the survivors of the Tribe.net bunch will focus on providing social networking infrastructure for Cisco's TV effort; the emphasis in today's announcement is towards "digital media content owners". Tacking social networking onto its Scientific-Atlanta set-top box business could send a lot of traffic over Cisco's routers and switches, in theory. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.