Smaller, Smarter Communities - YouTube's Achilles Heel
Scripps Networks, who bring you the home and garden cable channel HGTV, is launching it's own social networking site. Dubbed "Rate My Room," viewers will be able to login, share tips and remodeling strategies, upload photos of their work, comment on other home-designer works - everything you would expect from a social networking site. Other features in the future will include video uploads from PCs and mobile phones, blogs and wikis.
So, why is this important? It's another sign of social networking exploding all over the Net, and perhaps the overstated importance of the major networking sites. I imagine that fans of HGTV would much rather visit a specialized networking site than try to scour YouTube, MySpace, Digg or any other social sites for their desired content. It's a much faster and more direct way to get the information they want and need. In addition, who is to be more trusted - the experts of gardening on the premier gardening network, or some guy selling gardening tools out of his garage? And for advertisers, these niche social sites that are springing up bring a great opportunity to reach an incredibly targeted market.
As the technology to create social sites gets more efficient and cost-effective, there will be no shortage of specialized social networking sites. Watch out GooTube - what you've helped popularize may just end up destroying you.
Read part 2 of this series!