Tuesday, March 15, 2005

PeopleWeb gets some play!

wow. i'm pretty new to this blogging world and am just now experiencing what i guess has been called the echo chamber (?). it's cool. in the 3 days since i (finally) posted my thoughts on the peopleweb a lot of smart people have chimed in with great insights. i'll include some of their snippets here (and i apologize if i get the netiquette wrong) and post my own comments back.

dave evans of corrante says:
I cannot imagine that Match or Yahoo! or Sparks will open up their database to anyone who wants to access their members, whether it be paid-for data-feeds or advertising rates. Big dating sites currently feel they need to lock in their members, making it easy for them to leave for another service is not in their best interest.

to which i say...dave, i think we're closer than you realize. you can go see an example of how the interconnected people search may work on tribe right now. if you look at the 'connected tribes' box on any tribe page you will see that we programmatically link all related groups together via their overlapping membership. this is how the peopleweb will be navigated. you will start to a) identify that you are a person, ie. profile and b) that you are linked to another person usually via a group, friend roll or tribe roll.

i believe that ultimately (in 18 months or less) networks which do not let users 'own' their own profiles and expose them where and how they want will lose their audience faster than you can say friendster. imagine if you could only email people wihthin the same host network?! anyone remember compuserve? anyone remember their email address? (i think mine was like 15555.2345@compuserve.com:)

as for dating sites that dont want to share...i think they'll have no choice within the next year. they'll face a prisoner's dilemma whereby the first to fully embrace the peopleweb will benefit from greatly reduced marketing costs as their members get found by all the people aggregation engines that will flourish; while the rest will soon lose out as they wont be able to keep up with the price reductions from the leader - ie. match becomes the low cost provider of dating because they can add people at $10 instead of $50. they reduce the price to to $10/month which propels them even faster while yahoo personals and the rest cant match them.

btw, this should play exactly the same way for job sites (and is!). indeed.com is quietly crawling everyone from careerbuilder and monster to craigslist. big sites that stay locked may find one day they're paying far more than competitors for traffic. they will need to market their listings, not their brands just like match will market its hotties and not its brand. and btw this already occured in news. if a news site wrote about the tsunami and wasnt found on google (30% of all news searches), it didnt cover the event.

and stowe boyd from corrante talks about 'unlinking from social networks'...
So we will all becoming unlinked from today's style of networks, when we can instead inhabit our own nodes and become networked through tools that help us find other likeminded souls. But we wouldn't be forced to have ten thousand timny fragments of our digital identiy spread all over the Internet: music preferences here, sex preferences there, business bio yonder.t of FOAF

this is exactly what tribe will enable with our open profiles. we'll let people aggregate themselves in one place. you will ad modules for your blog(s) and rss feeds (typepad), your music playlists (webjay), photo albums (flickr), dating profile (match), references (linkedin), events (evite) and seller ratings (ebay). well, tribe will have the platform in place that will enable this and in many cases let our users scrape their info back. course it will be way easier once all these sites choose to enable their users and turn themselves into web services.

why shouldnt evite be everywhere on the web that people think about events? why should myspace, friendster, tribe and 30 other sites rebuild this and force users to adopt yet another evite function? why cant evite see how much this will propel their business rather than trying to recreate everyone else's wheel by making users creat YASN? OY! we (users) need best of breed services all integrated together. we (service providers) need to be able to be great at one thing and not worry about audience aggregation, registration, photos, blah blah blah. insider pages should just be that. why should they have to buy an audience, convince them to create profiles, invite friends etc...? and they dont want to do any of this but today they have to.