In an interesting post from the Harvard Business Review, Posted by John Svioklas suggests Outlook has the capability to be the core of your social network. He says

Microsoft’s Outlook may be the world’s Rolodex, but they have not figured out how to link up all the latent connections that sit inside our Outlook address books. Put another way, they have the ends of the network, but don’t know how to tie them together!

If Microsoft had migrated to an on-line platform for their software several years ago, they could have dominated in this arena.  But I think it’s too late, the opportunity has passed them by.

While many people, me included still use Outlook as the foundation of their contact list, they connect, improve and update their contact list in Outlook with on-line tools such as LinkedIn or Plaxo. These on-line tools make it much easier to facilitate the actual introductions.

A few years ago, i told business owners they needed an electronic data base to be competitive.  For many of my small business clients, moving from a Rolodex or stack of business cards to any type of electronic file was a big step.  Well it is time for another step, beyond Outlook or Act and on to the internet, using some type of social network to enhance your contact list.