My initial impressions of IGOPeople were not terribly good:

My initial impressions on Twitter of IGOPeople

My initial impressions on Twitter of IGOPeople

From my impressions of their homepage and initial signup, I thought that this was just another social network. Unfortunately, what makes any social network great is the people on it — hence Facebook is a “good” social network because most of your friends are on it.

I think I was mistaken though. IGOPeople is difficult to understand because it’s not exactly like any other social network. Most obviously, it separates out Individuals, Groups and Organisations — which is actually a big deal. On Twitter and Facebook these are all mixed up, and Twitter doesn’t have the notion of groups at all (even though plenty of people want it). This focus on organisations also puts it in the same field as GetSatisfaction, whereby enlightened companies can provide a relaxed way to interact with their customers. It’s also less like Facebook and more like Twitter — short discussions seem to be the order of the day, but at least they can be threaded on IGOPeople.

IGOPeople is a well executed site and my only worry for the future of IGOPeople is the people part. Inevitably, it is not the technical infrastructure that makes a social networking site, it’s the people. Time will tell whether IGOPeople can attract enough users and, critically, enough activity among them. In particular, I worry that the Organisations part will quickly lose interest.