Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Internet Tarts

Last night at the Prince's Trust Summer Reception (see below) the BBC's Ashley Highfield asked for a show of hands on who had FaceBook accounts. Over 50% admitted this. Considering the audience was mostly over 40, mostly high powered tech people, that was interesting in its own right!" Indeed, as iI have written on this Blog before, I was surprised to find so many of my business friends already on faceBook when I signed up.

Interestingly though, Parks Associates has found that many are "Internet Tarts". Over 50% of users are on more than one social networking service. One in six use three or more. FaceBook is really "winning" right now against MySpace which actually lost traffic last month. FaceBook is growing at 19 times the rate of MySpace and, if it maintained that growth rate, would overtake MySpace in Sept. (Source - Nielson Netratings)

Which, of course, rather beggars the question of why MySpace is supposedly worth $5billion when its users can be so fickle? The Times today, indeed, questioned whether "brand value" actually meant much in the new Web 2.0 world. If a "Brand" can be built in a few months, clearly "Brands" can be overtaken and possibly die in similar timeframes.

I'm pretty convinced that that is exactly what will happen to most of the current Social networking "Brands". It really is very easy (and, as we know, it's free) to swap sites or use multiple providers. Goodness gracious, I do that with internet savings accounts already and that's much more difficult and time consming. I could put my profile up on Bebo (I haven't actually felt the need to do that yet) in a few clicks of a mouse.

Personally I'd rather like a "BusinessFace.com". Call me old fashioned (or even just old) but I do get a bit fed up with trawling through so many US college kids on FaceBook. Why not have a dedicated social networking site for business people? Some would say that LinkedIn was just that - but it isn't. Comparing LinkedIn with FaceBook is like comparing MS DOS with Mac OS.
Another idea you heard first from Holway that will no doubt be developed by someone else and make them billions.

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