On social networking

This posting to VentureBlog gives some insight into what (at least one) VC is thinking. Some excerpts:

“I frankly think that social networking is close to a zero sum game.”

“Relationships are maintained through interaction — we call, email, have lunch, etc.”

“It is conceivable that technology could make us more efficient
and therefore increase our universe of relationships (…) But I
believe that increase is marginal.”

In other words the free ride is over. Friendster, LinkedIn, tribe.net and the others need to find some way to provide value or face extinction. This isn’t uncommon. First-wave adopters have an advantage of being there (ahem) first but once the “ooo-ahh” has worn off, consumers will turn away unless they have a real reason to stay. It has begun. Within 3 months we’ll see the 2nd generation and, hopefully, they’ll actually have something to contribute.

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