Thursday, October 25, 2007

NEW POST! Swapping spaces for faces

I had a schoolyard moment the other day when I asked a long lost friend to add me to her Facebook friends and she replied ‘actually I’m with Spaces’. OMG! I thought (I told you it was a school yard moment).

I remember when I was at school, yeah it was a few years ago, you just had to make sure you had the right shoes and the right school bag, so it was imperative when your Mum went shopping for school supplies at the start of the year that you went with her to politely inform her what was in this year. Not doing so could commit you to a year of being humiliated at best and bashed in the school yard at worse. Despite what a lot of marketing tells you, being a young consumer is more about conforming and fitting in than it is about individuality and standing out.

The new equivalent faux pas (to turning up with the wrong brand of sports shoes to school), and it now goes well beyond the schoolyard, is belonging to the wrong social network. My friend’s view was that she’s “hype-er sensitive” ie she can’t stand anything that is over-hyped and therefore signed up with Windows Live Spaces.

I replied “that’s all well and good but I am afraid that means we can’t be friends”. She was a little shocked and I wasn’t kidding, because the networks don’t talk to each other she can’t become my friend in Facebook and since I already have a network of friends I am sure as hell not moving across the Spaces.

Today I will ring her and inform her, in case she hasn’t heard, that even Microsoft is now signed up to Facebook, well not so much signed as the owner of a small 1.6 % sliver of the company which it bought for US$250 million. Holy internet bubble Batman!

It does sound a little extravagant in a climate where companies are already wondering if they may have been a little overzealous with their web 2.0 shopping lists, eg eBay which analysts outside the company and a few people inside it, think paid considerably more than they should have for the wonderful VOIP platform, Skype.

However the blogging community this morning thinks the Microsoft buy in to Facebook could make some sense as it will involve serving ads to a community of 50 million users – but then some suggest that the reason Spaces has had a luke warm reception in the face of the rapidly spreading Facebook epidemic is exactly because it serves ads on people’s Spaces.

Mind you the blogging community also seems more concerned with whether 22-year-old co-founder Mark Zuckerberg will now by a private party jet like Google’s founders.
…and everyone thought he was an idiot to turn down a US$1 billion offer for the whole of Facebook from Yahoo.

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