Why not us?
So I'm just thinking about all the friendster's, myspace, facebook, twitter type websites that are out there. And not to take anything away from the guys that created them, I don't really see them all that difficult to make.
So it got me thinking, with all the talented programmers not just here, but elsewhere, how is it that just a few can create a website that literally goes viral and becomes "THE" talk of the town, at least enough to be the latest trend.
Is it marketing? Is it connections? I'm not sure it's necessarily timing....
When Facebook came out, Friendster and myspace were already out, and yet another social networking site called Facebook comes out, but dethrones friendster and myspace.
Now why is that? Why did someone create the same thing that's already been around yet for whatever reason, it becomes more popular?
Twitter is the FIRST of it's kind in it's service, but is anyone else creating Twitter 2, or Twitter 3? Why does Twitter get to stay on top of the world?
Why did Friendster not stay ontop of the world? Why did when Facebook came out, people say, "Umm, I already have friendster or myspace, I'm not signing up for yet another social networking site..." But indeed people did!
So what if 2 more Twitter services came out? Will people dump Twitter and go to the new one?
I am always boggled my human behavior....I hope this doesn't sound like I'm rambling, just wanna get anyone's thoughts on this kind of stuff...
I think you have a distinct advantage being the second or third person to do something. You see something that was immensely popular like Friendster for example, but you don't like it. You look at the basic feature, look at what people are requesting, look at what people don't like about it so on and so on and you go on to make Myspace. Then someone else comes along and looks at what you do. They do what they can to improve upon it and next thing you know, you have Facebook.
I'm not saying that you can't be popular by being the first. It's just that by being the second you will have a bit more to work with initially. You will know what people like and don't like and you can improve upon it. Competition is a great thing.
I'm not saying it's better to copy someone else then to be original. I'm saying that if you see something like Twitter and you think you can do it better, give it a shot. You may end up creating something that people will enjoy using a lot more.
I think the reason people switch from one to the other is that they get bored. It's part of human nature to get tired of the same old thing after so long and want to try something different.
That's just my two cents anyway.
Thanks Gunder, very well thought out. I agree with you on the most part. It makes me wonder thought why Friendster didn't improve on their service...I wonder if it becomes an ego thing, where you now feel you have the leverage and you will update and improve things on your terms...who knows...
I also do think it's human nature to get bored, which only means one thing, who will dethrone Facebook?
Viral sites are 10% original idea, 10% correct marketing and 80% luck. For every viral site you see there are hundreds of failed attempts. Facebook is very different than myspace, but facebooks use eclipsed myspace's. It is partly due to good execution, but a lot of it was plain old luck (which in reality is a fluctuation of random distrobution at the right time).
Who will dethrone facebook? One of the many who are trying. I see it as chasing rainbows, but thats just me.
I never used Friendster and I used Myspace and Facebook very little before I decided that it just wasn't for me. I'm not sure why Friendster didn't improve and I think that Myspace is just a coding mess. It very well could be an ego thing, that's good some times to stand by what you think but if your users want something and you are unable or unwilling to provide it for them then you can't be surprised when they jump ship over to the new thing. It may not actually be related to what site provides which features at all, it simply could be people wanting to try something new.
As for who will dethrone Facebook, I can't say. I'm really not into the whole social networking thing so I don't know what to look for. It sounds to me that you have an interest in it. Why don't you give it a shot? I think one thing that would set you apart is letting your users easily customize the layout of their profiles. You can do it in Myspace but it's a nasty non innovative process and I don't think you can do it in Facebook (I could be wrong). Unless there is some nasty security problems that I can't think of I really don't see the problem with allowing your users to have a little CSS freedom. Maybe you could come up with an editor of sorts to allow people who aren't savvy with CSS to be able to customize the look of things.
If you do try this, I hereby request that you call it Myfacester. ;)
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