Sunday, April 02, 2006

Social networking - is MySpace just a fad?

Pure social Networking sites like MySpace are the big focus of current Web 2.0 commentary. Putting aside the fact I disagree on the evolving definition of Web 2.0*, I am skeptical whether these pure networking sites will last long term at all.

* I strongly believe the real second generation internet will be seeded with WinFX and IPTV.

The users of pure social networking sites appear to be predominantly fickle teenagers which, whilst very attractive to advertisers, they do tend to move on to the next fad very quickly.

The rapid success of MySpace has given them significant scalability issues as they demonstrated at MIX 06. An overnight boom in load not only has the cost of software, hardware, management etc., but also the cost of the mistakes made in getting it right, and mistakes will happen when scaling systems and organisations fast.

If investors are persuaded social networking IPOs are the next Google - this could end up a worse ‘internet bubble’ than 2001, with new companies saddled with vast technical and human resource infrastructures for a user base that disappeared as fast as it arrived - closely followed by all the advertising revenue.

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