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Blasts from the not so distant past

September 25, 2007

Recently, I was listening in on a phone conference, and hit one of those patches where nothing being said pertained to me or marketing.  When I’m working at home, I sometimes use these moments to stare at the inside of the fridge wondering if dinner will just jump out and present itself to me without any work, or if I’m actually going to have to pull the rabbit out of the hat again (all figurative, no literal there).  Since I had already given up on the prospect of my family having a hot meal that night, I found other ways to occupy my attention, namely organizing my IE bookmarks.  How quaint, you say, whether it be to using bookmarks instead of de.li.c.ious or using IE over Foxfire.  I’m old school sometimes, homies, and it happens.  In the course of doing so, I found a lot of bookmarks for sites I haven’t been to in ages, namely Yahoo & MSN groups and LiveJournal.  I used to run a community for some friends, and housed it in Yahoo, until their ad blasting got to much, and we moved to MSN.  The community for the most part has drifted away (and the story of that community and the drama would make a very good blog series someday, but I digress) but the members still communicate via email.  Some of them moved to LiveJournal.  I had a lot of friends on LiveJournal, many are still there in fact.  But I’m not.  I had an account, used to check it regularly and post stuff, but stopped.  Likewise, I logged into my Friendster account and was dismayed to see I had one friend, and it probably doesn’t count because he works for me (Hi David.)  Even MySpace is seeing me less and less, because it seems so busy that the screen gives me a migraine.  Facebook is still getting me, but the fervor of the first few giddy weeks has thankfully died down.  My blog seems to be the one thing that’s lasting, if you can call something that has been alive since July lasting.  So, am I the only one in this social networking evolution to abandon LiveJournal and crap out on Friendster before I even got going?

Today, if I had to find a place to host my online community of friends, I would probably host it myself on my own domain, maybe with a Hostboard account.  I might set up a blog for all of us to write on, although that loses the great threaded conversations we used to have.  Maybe I would go back to Yahoo, as their ads have gotten less obtrusive, or I would go to MSN.  Is it because we’ve gotten more savvy that we can do this stuff on our own?  Have the tools gotten better?  I think the answer to both of them is yes.  It’s definitely harder to maintain a community or a platform if you don’t keep innovating and changing.  Flavor of the month has translated online to à la minute and there seems to never be a minute to spare.  Innovate or die.  Facebook is definitely thinking to the future with opening their platform to application developers and their $10 million app dev grant.  Time of course will tell, but I wouldn’t count them out just yet. 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Katherine Schowalter permalink
    September 26, 2007 4:25 pm

    OK, now I know what you are doing during my staff meeting . . .

  2. September 26, 2007 5:15 pm

    Listening at rapt attention, that’s what I’m doing, KS…
    🙂

  3. September 29, 2007 8:37 pm

    Friendster is still running? I had no idea. That’s kind of sad to have just one connection.

    Sorry about the slow reply, I couldn’t get a good connection during your staff meeting and had to wait for a weekend…

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