Propono (Latin): to put or set forth, to set or lay out, to offer, to place before, expose to view, display, point out, declare, represent, report, say, relate, set forth, publish, etc.

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Propono, ergo sum?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Good-bye to My Space?

Probably not anytime soon, but the WSJ today had an interesting piece on the inherent challenges of becoming too popular. Sites like Facebook and MySpace gain much of their initial cachet and popularity because they appeal to a bit of a niche (for Facebook it was colleges and universities, for MySpace: music lovers). They need 'critical mass' to become successful and ultimately make it, but that same mass can undo some of the 'cool' factor around which the sites were originally built. No one wants to manage miles-long friends lists of people one doesn't really even know. How do you take 'cool' mainstream? It's not easy, but can be done (witness Apple and the ubiquitously cool iPods) -- but I think it requires careful strictures about what can and can't be done with a product/brand, and/or a community that is uber-devoted to the integrity of that brand experience.

Money and resources and technology continue to flow to social networking (Microsoft, Google, and everyone else is getting into the pool) -- will social networking sites as we know them today continue to pay dividends? We shall see.

If you don't know it, you ought also to check out MeetUp, the original social networking (and really, it meant it -- you had to meet up with other people) site.

My own $.02? Social networking sites will continue to fluorish, but the best ones will be smaller sites built around specific interests and niche markets -- not necessarily the one-size-fits-all-and-everyone's-on-here-so-I-am-too sites.


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