Eye on Oracle

Jul 11 2012   8:06PM GMT

Oracle’s social media shopping spree

Lena Weiner Lena Weiner Profile: Lena Weiner

Ever go on a shopping binge?

One day, you’re totally cool just owning a PC and a boring, regular old flip phone. The next day, you simply must have the latest MacBook Pro (the one with retina display!), an iPad, and an iPhone. Along with that, you decide to throw in iWork to help your productivity (even though this isn’t a work computer, you tell yourself you’ll start doing monthly household budget spreadsheets to justify the purchase), an Apple Magic Mouse and some badass $500 speakers while we’re at it. Before you know it, you have a home tech suite that’s the envy of all your friends overnight, but are wondering if you made good purchasing choices. Yeah, you can afford it and you work hard and deserve to treat yourself- But did you really need all that stuff?

I used tech supplies as an example (this being ostensibly a tech blog, after all), but this can happen with just about any sort of product- kitchen tools, pet accessories, Swedish furniture. My personal weaknesses are vintage books and Lush bath products- If I even walk into a shop that sells either, it’s pretty much a given that I won’t leave without dropping at least $50.

Oracle seems to be doing the corporate, big business version of this. It was announced yesterday that they purchased Involver, yet another social media firm.  Including Involver, Oracle will have purchased three social media firms this year (Virtue and Collective Intellect being the other two). We can speculate that their motivation is to acquire the skills and technologies necessary to move into the social media game (something even well-established, otherwise successful firms have found difficult to do)- But at the end of Oracle’s shopping spree, will Oracle be like me getting home from a trip to the used book store, wondering just what they’ll do with all the stuff they just bought (did I really need that 19th century French copy of The Count of Monte Cristo? I can hardly read French…)? Or will they find clever uses for all their acquisitions? Stay tuned…

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