The number of news stories about MySpace and other social networks coming out every day is not slowing down. If anything, there are more of them. Like weeds, almost. Makes you want some roundup, right? In the absense of pesticide, here are some links:
Social Networking: Five Sites You Need to Know
Blue Devil Tar Heel PhD student Fred Stutzman (sorry about that, Fred) takes a gamers approach to breaking down the value-add and direction of some A-list (Bebo, Cyworld, Hi5) and B-list (Faceparty, XuQa) SN sites. Worth a read. The rest of his blog ain't bad, either. Best quote:
Social networking for the sake of social networking just doesn't cut it. Put simply, we want more from SNS-enabled sites than association. If we're going to invest our time into a SNS site, make it worth our while. Make it a game, make it entertaining, make it useful - but don't expect us to come if you think its enough to browse our friends profiles.Stowe Boyde agrees with Fred, btw.
Content-free, networking-for-the-sake-of-networking is a pointless exercise, now that we have gotten over the novelty of fooling with these sites. He seems to miss the intensely geolocal aspect of social networks: people naturally network with others that a close to them, physically. And he misses OpenBC, which is a big sucess in Germany and Western Europe. While I think he is dead on re: micropayment, he only touches on social commerce lightly, which is the big bang of our socialized future. Social networks--future portal or fad?
Social networks will become the centerpoint of online commerce. I state this unequivocally. The revolution will be socialized: in the future, essentially all online consumer commerce will be conducted through social means. The Web 1.0 metaphor of wandering around in a warehouse, putting gear into a shopping cart and then heading for a checkout counter, that shopworn motif will be replaced by various social metaphors.
Over on News.com, they're talking to investors at the Piper Jaffray Global Internet Summit to see if they think if SN companies are "next-generation portals, or merely flash-in-the-pan communities that will eventually fade from popularity like one-time high-fliers Geocities or AOL."
The answer is: They're not next-generation portals, and some of them will be flashes-in-the-pan. Portals? Those poor VCs. They must be so confused when 2 guys can build a cool network on a shoestring budget in 2 months that actually might work. How much is that worth compared to a site like Gusto? (See below.) How much should they try to invest? Facebook and MySpace won't say if they're even profitable, but the former has turned down at least two buyouts, and MySpace sold for $500M.
By the way, if you visit CNET News.com, don't miss The Big Picture. If they could add conversations in the blogosphere that are part of the big picture, it would be even better. But I digress ...
Gusto Finalizes $4 Million in VC
What does a guy who built and sold a travel company for $47M do in the age of social networs? Build a social networking travel site, of course. Gusto is "a new community-based travel site that connects travelers with each other and with relevant travel information." The best part is that instead of using all his own cash, Jeff Wasson, Gusto's CEO, got 3 of the 4 $million from venture group DHST. Bravo.
So, which is it? On the cheap, like Boompa, or with millions of VC, like Gusto? Boompa will rely on what looks to be purely user-generated content, while Gusto will use their financing "to expand our marketing and editorial development initiatives." In other words, Gusto will edit and write a lot of the stuff themselves. Hmmm.
Over on Publishing 2.0, Scott Karp writes about how MySpace is the most expensive data mining project ever. He concludes, "For the sake of their shareholders, I hope News Corp has a plan to turn all that MySpace 'data' into dollars."
Finally, following up on an earlier post (and now on a bit of a tangent) Valleywag sees Nine signs that the new Netscape sucks. Read/Write web isn't too impressed, either. Yes, they will have big numbers thanks to AOL, but sidebars and framed content? Common Jason, you've got to be kidding.
Technorati Tags: social.networks, myspace, bebo, gusto, boompa
Friday, June 16, 2006
omg i am not a blue devil. i am a tar heel!!!!!!!!!!!!!
# posted by Fred Stutzman : 6:09 AM, June 16, 2006
Oh damn!!! What a JV mistake. Sorry. Corrected. :)
# posted by George Nimeh : 9:56 AM, June 16, 2006
Rock on. Love that you dropped me in the meeting. Thx for the links btw.
# posted by Fred Stutzman : 10:21 PM, June 21, 2006