The social networking world is crowded. I had blogged about how MySpace a very weak generic positioning that may stop it from becoming a dominant player. If the recently announced layoffs are any indicator Myspace may have more bad things coming their way.
It seems to me that there are too many platforms and too much easy money chasing the wannabes. A classic run-up similar to the heydays of the Morgan Stanley financed B2B exchange for plastic bolts. There were other similar euphoric dramas of course, like the thirtieth online pet food store financed by VCs. I do not buy the argument that because some high-profile VC firm financed a start-up it has future, or because Fox took interest. Most successful ventures are under the radar - just as Google was during the internet boom. I predict that by the time the current economic downturn ends many of the SN wannabes will be gone. I still place my bets on Linkedin and then, Facebook. Linkedin because it gives social networking a clear purpose - maintain professional contacts and thereby possibly benefit from them. This notion seems simple but is elegant and has been studied quite a bit in sociolofgy by great scholars like Mark Granovetter and Ronald Burt. Facebook because it is the most well thought out generic platform for maintaining personal networks.