The phenomenon of branded social networks was thrown into the spotlight back in January when Disney CEO Bob Iger unveiled the company's revamped Web site complete with MySpace-like features (or kid-safe, Disneyfied versions thereof). And there's been plenty of talk recently about how small is the new big (to use Seth Godin's words) when it comes to social networks: that sites centered around a specific niche or subculture will be the next major trend, as opposed to enormous, all-encompassing, and arguably cluttered sites like MySpace. From what we've been seeing, this push toward niche social … Read more
In Marc Andreessen's vision of the future, MySpace is going to face stiff competition from a million mini MySpaces.
One of the cofounders of Netscape and a symbol of the technology revolution of a decade ago, Andreessen is now backing a company called Ning, which launched a set of new tools on Tuesday designed to help even the most tech-challenged person build a social-networking site.
"(Ning) is essentially MySpace version 2," Andreessen said last week, adding that he is placing a bet that social-networking sites will follow a similar development path to that of Internet service providers … Read more
Zpeech has a few advantages over Yaplet. First, it's easier to initiate a Zpeech chat on a site. You just type the Zpeech.com URL, a slash, and the target domain. For example: www.zpeech.com/webware.com. Yaplet can also be kicked off by a URL, but the syntax is not as simple. Zpeech is also prettier than Yaplet. The chat window pops … Read more
Yaplet is a simple idea: Add anonymous, no-registration chat to any Web site. Yaplet is a browser sidebar that can also be popped out as its own browser window. Each site is given its own chat room, and Yaplet caches site conversations for you or others to view, even when no one else is there.
To make the Yaplet experience a little more cohesive you can add an optional bookmarket to your browser. Clicking the bookmarket from any site you're currently on opens up the Yaplet sidebar.
If you're concerned about privacy, private chat is as simple as … Read more
This week Yellowpages.com added user reviews to their directory service. Much like Yelp, the new system allows registered users to post one- to five-star reviews of local establishments. I decided to compare experiences using both sites to see how they stack up.
Round 1: User registration and benefits
Registering with Yellowpages grants you a few small perks, such as 100 slots to save your favorite establishments. You also get to save personal addresses and keep track of your last 20 searches. Yelp goes a little bit further with a friends list, a small counter under your name with how … Read more
Buddywave is a free Windows-only browser, based off of Internet Explorer with some MySpace functionality built in. You have access to a MySpace profile builder (which is incidentally the same one we covered in our Mashcodes post) and a messenger that lets you create groups and manage your MySpace friends more effectively. There's also the ability to instant message and a picture viewer.
I'd prefer Buddywave be an extension or toolbar, as I've gone so long using Firefox, it would literally cripple me to use a new browser--especially just for MySpace use. However, Buddywave might be the … Read more
Rule #15 of creating an Internet start-up: Short names are good. Just look at all the companies that are eliminating letters from their names--i.e. Flickr. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the brains behind STATravel193 got that memo. STATravel193 is a new social networking site created by STA Travel, an agency which organizes study-abroad logistics for students. The thinking behind "193" is cute--there are 193 countries in the world--but the site's name comes across as sounding like an AOL screenname.
Nevertheless, I'm hoping that Web users will be able to get past the awkward name … Read more
Mosoto is a Web-based app for Facebook, giving you a virtual desktop with chat, music, and file sharing built right in. Mosoto allows you to chat with other Facebook friends and swap photos, music, and videos using a shared storage folder from Box.net. As a service, Mosoto is meant to replace desktop applications for chatting and music.
The music player's user interface takes a design cue from iTunes. Double-clicking a song starts playing it instantly, almost like it's running off your hard drive--a good use of streaming. You also can quickly make playlists with simple drag-and-drop functions. … Read more
Ever wanted to score some hot Michael Kors boots, but didn't want to book the trip to Rodeo Drive? FashMatch.com is bringing that fancy shopping strip (and your local mall) to your computer.
Technically speaking, Fashmatch.com is a consumer social-networking site where visitors can put together outfits from various designers and swap fashion tips and advice. Last week, CNET News.com reporter Caroline McCarthy blogged about ShopStyle.com, another online shopping site. FashMatch and ShopStyle point to clothes shopping 2.0 as an up-and-coming trend.
With FashMatch, fashionistas are three steps away from having their dream outfit … Read more
At the MIT Enterprise Forum event last week, I talked to the founders of Wis.dm, a new site that's a blend of social bookmarking and social networking. I'd call it a social network for ideas. I like it a lot.
On Wis.dm, as on other social neworks, you can define who your friends are (they're "contacts" on Wis.dm). But Wis.dm is primarily a social bookmarking site: You collect Web sites, videos, and photos, add them to your "portfolio," and tag them as you wish. Then people can discuss your … Read more