Thursday, April 21, 2005

What's the Great thing about Sites like Ryze?

Russel Beattie brought out a good point that a social networking site needs objects to tie users together.

This is very similar to a real life situation where a person working in a company of 300 employees, would need object(s) to connect with all of them. These objects could be various areas of interest, or social meeting points, such as the company canteen, or the Table Tennis room.

Mapping this to the internet, various social networking sites can be identified based on the objects they possess as:

- Orkut: Main object here is the Scrapbook, while a subsidiary object would be the Communities.

- Ryze: The main object would be the Profile page, on account of the fact that the page is HTML enabled. Subsidiary object would be the networks.

- Ecademy: Main object here is the Network.

- Multiply: Main object here would be the Profile page, which has the added facility of being enabled as a webpage. Secondary object would be the Message Inbox, on account of the fact that messages may viewed from personal (1 on 1) messages, to messages sent to a specified field of friends or a group.

- Yahoo 360: Main object here is the blog.

What has to be understood here is that there is an object lifecycle, as in :
- How fast can the object be created?
- How long will the object possess high demand?
- How soon has the object to be replaced ?

For example, the popularity of Yahoo 360 would depend on how fast a user would be able to create interesting blogs.
Sadly, this puts the focus on the users blog creating capabilities. Hence a poor blogger, would have a low response.

Multiply would be able to use multiple user abilities:
- The ability to create an interesting and highly customised webpage.
- The ability to write captivating blogs.
- The ability to put up captivating images in the photo gallery.
- The ability to write provocatively within the groups.

The main barrier here is the percieved complexity in the initial stages, and the absence of a scrapbook feature. But they make up for this through their webpage tracking system .

Ryze concentrates on the following abilities:
- The ability to create interesting pages.
- The ability to actively participate in networks.
- The ability to write into a guestbook (but here they are bogged down by their own guestbook restrictions, where new users don't even know that they don't have a guestbook,DOH!)

The main barrier here is their own attempt to make Ryze paid, bit by bit.

Ecademy: I have logged out of Ecademy purely because paying for a website membership, is not within my value system:-P .
But their networks are pretty good, only that now to reply or comment, I'll have to go through the network moderator:(.

AlwaysOn: This is a great website, purely because it somehow manages to attract a community of really... REALLY... active and respected bloggers.
There is some sort of class factor to AlwaysOn which I can't put my finger on...hmmm...[Scratches head!]

Hence,on the whole, it's more about a user identifying what his abilities are, and logging on to that kinda site. That's sure to bring like-minded people together, real quick;).
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