for W3c validation
I have to strongly disagree with this post written by Paul Drago on Ethos Planning (and no, I’m not just being controversial). Paul gives 4 main points to support his argument that Niche Social Networking will Fail:
- Free flow of information- information can still be free in a niche site in my opinion.
- User base will thin out- I would argue this point is actually in favor of niche social networks winning out. Yes, users will thin out and yes, they will leave Myspace (it’s more a matter of when than if in my opinion). Where are they going to go? Niche social networks. If they remain small, the right advertisers will be very willing to pay a lot of money to get in front of a niche group of users. Niche sites will probably start integrating e-commerce into their sites for additional revenue.
- People are firmly entrenched with Myspace and Facebook- He even says, “I’ve seen signs of “MySpace” burn out,” which confirms my own observations and thoughts. People are tired of the myspace SPAM. Ultimately, the more users a company controls, the more prone to SPAM and hacking they will become. Look at Microsoft vs Apple. You hardly ever hear about hackers targeting Apple. Why bother to hack Apple since Microsoft controls 90%+ of desktop machines? I won’t say anything bad about facebook because I firmly believe in their model. To me, they should not be grouped with myspace because they do serve niches by catering to certain college campuses.
- Why create a whole new site when you can just create a myspace/facebook group?- Myspace groups are crap. Enough said. They provide only a snippet of the interaction that niche sites can.
- Employers use Google- Yes, employers use and will continue to use Google. I don’t think anyone thinks “Drunks and Sluts Social Space” is the type of niche site that would work. I’m talking about sites that cater to groups like University of Washington students (facebook), high school sports (Takkle), and business professionals (linkedin). Employers are not going to mind those types of sites. To me, this is actually another negative for myspace- that’s where employers are finding the crap. They are more likely to see someone that belongs to the “Drunks and Sluts Social Space” myspace group than to find a niche social network they are part of.
Finally, I would say there is a huge opportunity for anyone that can centralize everything in one place for the user, much as Paul says. I think facebook has its eyes on achieving that goal. Sites like Ziki and MyBlogLog are also attempting that same challenge. Who will be the ultimate winner? The jury is still out on that one.