It seems somehow fitting that I'm ending the downbeat year of 2008 pondering a BusinessWeek story that highlighted how Digg, in particular, is struggling to be profitable. You didn't expect I was going to end on an upbeat note, did you?
The last time I wrote about open social -- well, actually it was more about data portability, or the ability to carry your social network data with you all over the Web -- was May 7. Since then, the topic had mostly gone quiet, until two recent announcements by Yahoo and AOL countered the trend. Not coincidentally, they are both portals that have lost much of their online buzz, and both announcements are clear attempts to hitch onto the social networking train before it gets too far away.
Without totally giving away my age, let's just say I'm old enough to have asked for one of the later Beatles albums as a present at the time of its release. (While you digest that fact, you should know I was an early bloomer in growing a music collection.) Thus, with my advancing age in mind, I've been conducting an unscientific demographic experiment over the last year or so concerning my Facebook account. It centered on the following question: When would my suburban mom contemporaries, and the people I knew from college and high school who don't write a social …
I'm pretty sure that I never went to the Pownce.com site until today, the day after it was announced that the Twitter competitor was going to transmit its last micro-post a week from Monday. Never having been part of the community, visiting the site only now felt a little bit like rubber-necking at the site of a car crash. It's interesting to watch, as long as the cars are totaled, but all the humans walk away from the wreckage with nary a scratch