• Can Ad Banners Find A Safe Home In An Online Community?
    HGTV.com's "Rate My Space" is a niche community site upon which users have uploaded 30,000 pictures of their dens, bathrooms, nurseries, gardens and kitchens, asking the community to, well, rate their space. "It's a very sticky environment," explains Freddy James, vice president/site director for HGTV.com. "I sort of equate it to curling up on the couch on a Sunday afternoon with a design magazine." For those who are passionate about interior and exterior home design, "Rate My Space" is catnip -- it has had more than 150 million page views since its February 2007 launch. (OK, maybe it's not that …
  • Pondering The Comcast-Plaxo Deal
    I'm not the biggest user of Plaxo you'll ever find, but an email from Plaxo yesterday definitely got my attention: it's that the networking site is being bought by Comcast, the cable operator that everyone loves to hate....
  • What's The Business Model for Niche Social Nets?
    When I wrote last week's column about DIY social networks and whether social net data should become portable, I had no idea I'd strike such a chord. The column garnered more than 20 comments, many of them espousing niche social nets as the next big thing. I also had no idea the column would be so timely. The day after it ran, MySpace announced a data portability deal with a number of big partners, including Twitter and eBay, and the day after that, Facebook followed, launching Facebook Connect.
  • Is It Time For DIY Social Networks?
    For a while now, I've been pondering whether 'tis better to create your own social network for you and your like-minded, or, maybe, John Pizzarelli-obsessed fans (more on that later), or whether it's easier just to set up a Facebook group and forget all of the proprietary crap.
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