Thu 2 Apr 2009
On Diane’s advice, I skipped Gather altogether, though I did read the article about it (“Can Gather.com Get Book Lovers Online?”).
The article set off my Spider-sense early on, and it continued to tingle throughout. I’m not sure why any industry needs to be “given a platform” by someone else; industries are quite capable of building their own platforms through advertising, which I’m certain should be considered part of the expense of doing business. That Gather sees itself as giving a platform to major publishing houses just convinces me that the impetus for the site wasn’t “hey–what if we made a networking site for the over-30 crowd?” so much as “hey–I bet if we made a networking site and it became popular, we could make a lot of money in ad revenue.”
Again–just my assessment, and one that I have not backed up with a throwaway email address and the time to make a personal experience of it. But the deluge of spam that Diane suffered makes me wonder.
Instead, I joined ning–I’ve heard good things about it and so I decided to give it a chance. On poking around a bit, I realized that for the most part I’ve had enough of socializing with strangers online; instead what I’m interested in is socializing with friends online and/or getting item recommendations and being useful somehow. So I left the ning page without doing anything more than creating the barest of profiles and instead moved on to the cooking and movies sites.
The top 100 list on Film Crave leads me to believe that the site must be a monocultural boyzone (the culture: U.S. geeks watching the most popular films). And The Goonies is not a bad film, but this site has it as one of the 100 best….
At Flixster I realized that the site was available as a Facebook application that I had used awhile and then removed. I can’t remember what the reason was, but I do remember that the quizzes tended to be silly and that I thought their list of top films was more a charcoal mine than a diamond mine.
At NibbleDish I searched on “vegan” and found that the left half of the search results page shows matching recipes with some very appetizing photos, and that the right half is devoted to “sponsored links.” I decided not to participate on this site.
At BakeSpace I did the same search. Users can apparently upload photos of the recipes on this site as well, though many don’t and the uploaded photos are posted in thumbnail on the recipe page. The smaller photos aren’t nearly as appealing but the general lack of ads is. I decided to participate on this site since I have a fair amount of recipes I could add and since it seemed that it might be useful to others if I did so.
So I uploaded a recipe to BakeSpace (which, in spite of the title, is not strictly about baking).
I might continue to contribute to BakeSpace, simply because I think it’s a neat idea, but the rest of the social networks covered in this Thing don’t really speak to me.