When the “Friend of a Friend” started, I was there. I signed up for Friendster, Orkut, Tribe.net, and LinkedIn. The latter being the only that seems to have developed any value. All of them seemed to have started off on the right foot, but then stopped walking. After a few months, I just gave up on them.
Now, it’s time for a new generation. Last Friday I signed up for MySpace, TagWorld, and Yahoo 360. MySpace has tons of users. The current count is about 64 million. The nice thing about that is that it makes it easier to find long-lost friends. TagWorld has a nicer interface, but tends to be slow and for some reason crashes Firefox if I’ve been browsing it too long. Both MySpace and TagWorld allow users to create truly hideous web pages. It’s even worse than the bad old days of Geocities in the late ’90s — now people have the ability to embed video in their pages! Somehow it never occurs to them that you can’t really watch three videos at the same time. Of course, all of the old tragedies of animated backgrounds and font colors that blend in with the background are still around.
All I can hope is that out of these 64 million, a good chunk will go on to develop some tastes and learn to develop attractive sites. It’s also interesting to see how this batch of social sites is attracting regular people — people that wouldn’t have been caught dead surfing the web 10 years ago.