Monday, October 16, 2006

"Social Network" is the new "Portal"

Lately, a number of projects I've come across have made the obligatory reference to being "a social network".

The term has become nearly as meaningless as 'portal' was 6-8 years ago. Everyone wants one, no one knows exactly why.

A funny comment from a TechCrunch article helps put it all in perspective:

I’m starting a new social networking entity called Life. The way you participate is you first turn off your computer, then get the **** out of you house and do things like a normal person would.

Technorati submit reddit

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google's $1.65bn branding exercise

So Google acquired YouTube even though it had the capability to build a YouTube clone and already had a Google Video service.

Many people are saying that Google Video was launched too late to win back the market share from YouTube, but they are missing what I think is an expensive ideological flaw in how Google and Yahoo go about doing things.

The scenario has been repeated again and again. Google/Yahoo launches a service, some independent company launches a similar service, the other service becomes more popular, Google/Yahoo acquires that company.

But on the internet, the only thing they are really buying is a brand and visitors loyal to that brand.

The fundamental ideological flaw is that Google and Yahoo! are brands associated with search primarily, and after a long hard struggle (and Microsoft's mis-managment of Hotmail)you could argue -- email.

So what does a teenager want to upload their webcam video to? A search-engine, or some cool new service that 'does what it says on the tin' ? Enter Flickr (instead of Yahoo! pictures) or YouTube (instead of Google Video).

The obvious thing, in my mind, for Google or Yahoo! to do in the future, is to launch new products under a different brand. Then use their big budgets for marketing these brands instead of acquiring new ones.

Technorati submit Google's $1.65bn branding exercise to reddit

Friday, October 06, 2006


There are some people in the UK who think Series 2 of Lost has just ended, and that they have to wait a few months until Series 3.

And then there are the fans.

Seriously -- when will the penny drop in Medialand that you can no longer stagger release dates for movies, television or music. If you want to stop piracy, at least meet the fanbase halfway.

Sledgeweb's Lost fansite - see what you've missed.

Technorati submit Found. to reddit