Platforms or point solutions?

Commenting Platforms.
Collaboration Platforms.

Just what is a platform, anyway?

We can cobble these things together to create a Rube Goldberg social machine.  Imagine this: I tweet a message about a product I like.  Which updates my Facebook status.  That ties into FriendFeed.  Which motivates a blogger’s response.  Disqus picks up the comments.  Radian6 notices and alerts a corporate listening post.  Workstreamer alerts a brand manager.  The product gets merchandised in a social ad.  A customer turns the image into an Obamicon. A friend tweets about how much they’re over everyone’s red and blue avatars…

Long way to go to get to the [   ] – the way social technologies are discussed today as a bunch of point solutions, not platforms.  Think about it – they all function in a pretty similar fashion, really.  So why can’t we tie them together?

A platform needs to tie together all of the point solutions.  I know, easier said than done in part because of industry structural issues.  On the enterprise side, most offerings are incomplete and tied to their legacy purposes as internally-focused technology.  And then you have to add the services to make everything implement, integrate, and operate as promised.

Seems like a market opportunity to me.  But just to be sure, there’s a classic case about Crown Cork &Seal that I need to dig up and rethink about…