Raise your hand if you use or access all three of the aformentioned. Ok, I know we all use Google for something, and we all probably have a Yahoo mail account for some reason, and well MySpace… It’s something all together different, But I bet you have vistied a couple of MySpace pages. Hell, you might even have a MySpace page! If so…My bad..
You see the first 2 sites have a specific purpose whereas MySpace is more “me-time” oriented. The simple fact that we talk about MySpace in the same breath as a Yahoo mail or Google, is in and of itself an amazing phenomenon. Given it’s realtively short history.
As a social network app., MySpace doesn’t appeal to me that much. The technology that surrounds it does, but thats because I’m sorta “tech-y-geeky”. But we need to look at the demographic for MySpace to fully understand the impact of it. It’s geared towards 18-24 year olds, but it extends in either direction as well. i.e. 50 year olds use it and so do 15 year olds. But what it tells you, is that people are starved for self expression. Starved to meet someone or with the hopes that someone wants to meet them. They should call MySpace a Viral network thats connected by social norms. MyViralSpace.
I heard a comment last night on 60 minutes, that the internet is a direct reflection of society. I always knew it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it is so true. We want to meet other people, we want to be with those people and we want to be rich and we are motivated by things that will pleasure us and we dont want to work for our money, we want to slack off and and we want to have fun. All of the motivators of our off line world transposed online. As if our lives our now 2-D. the online life and the offline. See–>Second Life.
So Yahoo seems to cover it best. Just compare the Google interface with Yahoo. Yahoo is a portal, Google is not. Google is search, Yahoo is more like the place you stop to get your coffee, grab the paper, talk to someone real quick, read your mail, pay a bill, check a score and find out who is sleeping with who before you head to work or start work. Google is for checking for George Clooney’s house pics in Italy, seeing if your old college roomate is in jail, and researching for jobs in a bigger city than the one your currently in. Google is a tool. Yahoo is a resource and MySpace is a nightclub. MySpace is where people go to cruise for others and share their sense of wannabe coolness.
Can all three exist? You betcha, but where they all will stumble is when they think they can do something that the other is doing, and do it better. Google as a portal? Maybe. Google as a social network, no chance in hell. Yahoo as search, holding their own, Yahoo Mash? The jury is still out. MySpace as a search tool, uhhhhh no. MySpace as a portal, well it sorta is, but not in the literal sense.
Ultimately, as they say content is king and thus Yahoo has prevailed up to this point because the content changes daily, hourly etc. MySpace may have some value in it’s ability to mine the data, but as a destination location, not gonna happen. And Google, well Google is as Google was. The bottom line, they all serve an audience that wont’ be going away anytime soon. At least for the next 12 months