How MySpace Is Beating Friendster
I came across a link to a great whitepaper explaining how MySpace has grown faster and overcome the pace of Friendster. You can find it on The Virtual Handshake, a blog by Scott Allen and David Teten that anyone interested in social networking should read (in addition to their book):
Last year, our ex-employee A.J. Al-Fayez introduced me to two current Harvard MBA students, Matthew Chun and David Morland. Matthew and David are both former engineers and management consultants, with an interest in internet and technology businesses. As a part of John Wells’ class entitled “Strategic Agility: Competing On The Edge,” they wrote a strategic analysis of social networking companies, with a focus on why MySpace overtook Friendster. This article is must-reading for anyone interested in building a successful online community, but particularly the folks at MySpace. It’s very easy to lose buzz and excitement in an online community, just as today’s hot bar can be tomorrow’s hangout for geeks. MySpace has no guarantee that it will retain its current audience in the future, something Friendster knows all too well.
You can find the whitepaper here.
I’ve actually been spending a fair amount of time on MySpace lately. I was amazed to discover how much business is really going on there — and not just in the music (and porn) industry! It’s definitely geared for a young, pop-culture market, but it’s there.
MySpace has been getting a lot of negative press lately over safety concerns. Those concerns aren’t entirely misplaced, but they are certainly overblown. With 40+ million members and more page views than Google, they’re an easy target. I’ll be posting something more in-depth about this soon.
Oh, by the way… we talked our publisher into it (a radical step for a traditional publisher) — the PDF version of The Virtual Handshake is now available for completely free download.
Hey… it worked for Cluetrain. 🙂