Tuesday, May 11

Social Networking : Hype or Business

David Coursey writes on the week, why he consider all this social networking as some hype & no business :
These are meant to be membership services that link people with like interests, which is what Yahoo Groups do quite nicely for free.

These things are really nothing new. Since the beginning of the Internet boom people have talked about making money by creating communities. Some have done it, but lots more have failed. For every AOL there are six to ten TalkCity's.

I don't believe people will pay lots of money for contacts. But, I can see a demand for the services to split their revenue with the people who actually own the contacts. For example, want an introduction to Rob Enderle? He's a friend and if I asked him to meet with you, I bet he would. So don't pay LinkedIn, pay me. After all, LinkedIn is just a service, the contact is mine. But how legit is a paid introduction, do you really want your friends selling you to the highest bidder?

On the other hand, if people can find a use for these networks, they'd probably pay a $10 monthly fee to belong. But not more, unless these are high-value (i.e. sexual or whatever) relationships we're creating.

This is another get-rich-quick-scheme that will disappear within a year or so. Someone will make a little money here, but…

I just don't see a very interesting business opportunity here. At least not for "legit" services. However, some vendors are like conferencing that support a better business model than paid introductions.

On the other hand a survey has found out that One In Five 'Net Users Have Visited A Social Networking Site:
survey of more than 9,200 Internet users' Web habits finds that one in five has visited a social networking site, according to a survey by BURST! Media, an Internet ad services company.

The survey found that 19.2 percent of respondents say they have visited a social networking Web site such as Friendster or Tribe.net. Of those respondents, half (50.5 percent) actually registered and joined these sites. Men were slightly more likely than women to say they have visited a social networking Web site (21.7 percent versus 16.7 percent). However, women are more likely to register and join (53.3 percent versus 47.9 percent).

Related Links:
Social Networking Services Meta List