VCs Descending On Social Software Space

from the the-next-big-bubble dept

Welcome to the next big bubble. The buzz the past few months has all been about “social software” with a focus on things like Friendster and LinkedIn. It appears that “buzz” is now translating into lots and lots of VC money – to the point where VCs are even writing articles practically begging such companies to contact them. The rumor of the day is about just how crazy the “bidding war” was between big name VCs to dump millions into Friendster (results to be announced shortly). The article here links Plaxo (a small feature, not a business, that constantly sends out annoying “pings” to try to get you to update the address book of people you know who couldn’t be bothered to contact you themselves) in with the others, and I had joked around with someone earlier this week, wondering when we’d hear about Friendster merging with Plaxo. Maybe it’s not such a joke any more. I hadn’t realize that half their boards are the same. Just what we need: a Friendster that will “ping” you constantly and try to automatically update who your friends are. It still seems to me that most of these products are fads and will have some serious trouble moving forward. These all seemed based on the idea that people will open up their rolodexes and let everyone in. In my experience, the people with the most valuable rolodexes know that that’s where their value lies. Opening it up so explicitly actually has the chance to (a) lessen the value and (b) harm current relationships. I’m curious about the space, but it seems overhyped with very little substance these days. The ones that seem “successful” are successful only in the sense of a fad – but not in a business sense. It’s certainly possible they’ll figure out some way to make these various offerings into a business, but who really wants to join each one of these services and go through the hassle of adding all their contacts (and, in the process, bugging them all) each time while we wait to figure out which one is still in business next year?

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