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Social Network Fatigue? Shocking! November 2, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.

The Wall Street Journal speaks, and everybody else chimes in. (I’ll spare you five other links.) Netratings shows the social network “category” UV down (comScore’s data are a bit different), and it’s probably seasonal anyway. Survey samples of five teens say MySpace is so, like, over, the pack journalists trumpet. Yeah, right.

First all, let’s be straight, I’m a MySpace fan, not a social networks fan.

We’ve been saying for years that social networking is a feature, not a business. MySpace is evolving into a youth portal. LinkedIn is a totally different beast. YouTube is a media company; it has nothing to do with linked profiles. Friendster, Orkut — eh. Facebook is an actual social network for communications between college students. It remains to be seen if it can be anything else. (Not that that’s a bad thing.)

The startups raising stoopid easy VC by calling themselves “social networks”? — probably toast. Do you think they’d get funded if they called themselves “personal-page hosting” or “chatrooms” or “message boards”? The whole bunch of ’em — toast. Unless they can give their users some other collection of content and services, and/or figure out how to lock them in, say, by hosting all their content, contact lists, etc.

If you’re one of them, give us a holler, and we’ll try to figure that part out together.

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