Most social networks right now are like bars in the physical world. They are places to go hang out with other people and talk about what’s going on in the world.
Just like some bars are better for meeting people, some are better for hanging out with friends, some are great places to watch a special event (like a sports event or pay-per-view extravaganza), and some are just places to get really cheap drinks…each social network has something it’s ‘known’ for…
The problem is that bars offer these various environments as a means to selling consumable goods (ie. alcohol and sometimes food). Until social networks figure out what their 'alcohol’ is they are going to have a REALLY tough time making any real money.
Add to this problem that the most popular social networks right now (ie. facebook and myspace) are really more like soda fountains of the 50’s than they are of bars…that is a place that 'kids’ hang out, mostly just for the sake of hanging out (without the intention or the means to spend a lot of money)…and you can see why so many people are having trouble seeing a 'real’ future for social networks right now.
There are of course exceptions…linkedin, as one example, is more like the bar across the street from a really busy convention center (who can charge a fortune for drinks because everyone is on the company expense report and it’s convenient so it’s where everyone who is anyone from the conference is at)
Anyway - just some random thinking about social networks…
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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