The web is constantly changing, evolving. It’s like ocean tides or the flux of massive weather systems. (In fact, the web metaphor itself may be played out — it’s more like a kaleidoscope than a web.)
That’s sort of the insight behind web 2.0, and internet entrepreneurs were quick to capitalize it. But then they got complacent and thought their work was done.
Not so fast. Writing in the Washington Post, Yuki Noguchi (first link above) notes that people are starting to move on from myspace, and IP Democracy (second link above) follows up with the interesting question “are hot web sites like hit TV shows?” An excerpt from the Noguchi article:
Teen Web sensation MySpace became so big so fast, News Corp. spent $580 million last year to buy it. Then Google Inc. struck a $900 million deal, primarily to advertise with it. But now Jackie Birnbaum and her fellow English classmates at Falls Church High School say they’re over MySpace.
“I think it’s definitely going down — a lot of my friends have deleted their MySpaces and are more into Facebook now,” said Birnbaum, a junior who spends more time on her Facebook profile, where she messages and shares photos with other students in her network.
From the other side of the classroom, E.J. Kim chimes in that in the past three months, she’s gone from slaving over her MySpace profile up to four hours a day — decorating it, posting notes and pictures to her friends’ pages — to deleting the whole thing.
Well, I don’t know if myspace is going down. After all, it’s got a long way to fall. But maybe web folks should think short-term — or if they think long-term they should think about spin-offs and adjuncts rather than simply maintaining whatever they’ve established. IP Democracy writes:
This meteroic rise and ultimate dwindling puts me in mind of hit TV shows. At their best, hot TV shows can dominate the cultural consciousness, generating huge (although thatâ€™s a relative term given the increasingly fractionalized) audiences and scads of ad revenue. . . . Moreover, hit TV shows can become the springboard for more money-making ventures, even when they fade (â€œCheersâ€ spawned â€œFrasierâ€). The trick for any given TV production company is to keep the creativity and business ingenuity going, and not rest on past successes.
Of course, it’s hard to imagine rightreading.com not remaining the top-ranked site on the internet (according to independent evaluators) into the foreseeable future.