Over on the New York Times, an article about a new Nickolodeon-created website for parents
now in the final stages of beta testing.
In a nonpublic test of the site over the summer by about
1,000 recruited participants, executives learned that these users
wanted to blog; now, every user with a profile can, Ms. Reppen said.
Through the beta test, which is now open to new members, Nick is
learning that parents want spaces to sell their crafts, a separate
Christian home-schooling discussion and bigger type on the Web site.
Local discussion boards will also be added, as will user-generated
They also quote a Nissan marketing executive, who says that
“community sites are one of the big phenomenon happening on line this
There is a big shift going on.
It’s startling to realize that my three year toddler is almost the same age as Myspace and older than Facebook.
In just a few short years they’ve come to dominate much of the online
world, especially with under-25 users. The kind of independent blogs
that dominate a sites like Livejournal and Blogspot don’t have the web
of cross-connections – what I called the “folksonomic density” – of the new
social networking sites. It seems appropriate that Myspace was founded by spammers: who knows more about sucking people in?
The question: will the net have room for independent niche sites?
Myspace is changing its architecture to disable key linking features of
third-party embedded plug-ins like the from the popular video site Youtube. The big search sites also want a piece of this market – new features on Yahoo local and the geotagged maps
on Yahoo’s Flickr are impressive). It all reminds me some of the
debates about local food co-ops versus enlightened supermarkets: is it
a good thing that organic produce and soymilk can be purchased at the
local Acme, even if that cuts into the independent co-op’s business?
Don’t we want everyone to have access to everything? In the end,
philosophy won’t settle this argument.