Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Bigger They Are

Maybe a week ago -

I was engaged in a bit of friendly online banter with Ana from the Traffic Cafe blog: we were chatting about (*naturally*) our blogs. Ana is a WordPresser and I'm a blogspotter. We have different ideas of what one's blog should look like. I don't favor the in-your-face templates with large print etc. Ana's blog's font size is fine, but she's not really that keen on the new 3-column layout I switched to at the end of December 2011. She's a smart one, so of course her remarks carry a lot of weight. Nonetheless, I look at a lot of blogs and websites, and many have a lot going on in their sidebars and side-sidebars, so I'm keepin' on with the style I selected.

So I'm driving to work this morning, radio on in the car, and the talk shows are discussing the facebook IPO. One of the stations had guests on who were analyzing the success of facebook, explaining how and why the social network is so popular.

The discussion turned to why people stay on facebook... I almost drove off the road when I heard one person say "facebook is popular because when you get to the page there's a lot going on. Lots and lotsa stuff, and that's what keeps people on the site. It's a lesson for people who want to have a successful money-making blog... you gotta fill up that blog with content and fill up those sidebars with lots of widgets and links to keep people on your site!"

Wow! I said to myself, "take that, Ana!"

Then, on another station, they were also talking about facebook's popularity and one dude went on and on saying how wonderful it is, how happy people are with it and how it will never be replaced... I though "Ha-ha-ha, those are kiss of death words, buddy!"

I've seen big giants tumble before.

Even if you THINK you are a happy facebooker, I know you're not happy with some of the changes that have removed useful features. The impact facebook had came directly from the ease of layout and the ease of interaction. Once you start imposing things that people don't want or find difficult to adjust to, they will jump ship when something friendlier comes down the pike.

Gmail took "Reader" off the main navabar and pissed so many people off they put it back, but then they wnet and took it off again. Because right now they are powerful enough to get away with it.

Google also removed a very convenient feature from the main search page. One used to be able to search for something in Google, and then click on the "news" tab to perform the same search of current news articles. They have disabled that, so now if you switch to news you have to re-type your info in. It's not all that big a deal, simply a minor annoyance. But the old way was more helpful and direct.

Facebook is forcing the TIMELINE layout on users - even if you resist switching they will eventually up and switch you whether you like it or not.

My prediction: TIMELINE is facebook's first nail in the coffin! Remember when NObody ever thought anything could ever replace MySpace?

As I said a few paragraphs up, "I've seen big giants tumble before. " Technorati once had a lot of influence and sent hundreds of surfers to my blog everyday. Technorati carried a lot of weight circa 2005, but became so smitten with MySpace, they shot themselves in the foot by one day declaring that MySpace pages were blogs. BIG mistake! The company's potential future, one that I saw as a rival to Google for generating traffic and revenue, folded up like a cheap tent. Almost immediately, I saw incoming traffic from Technorati drop from 200-300 a day right down to ABSOLUTE ZERO.
"In the last few days, Technorati began indexing MySpace blogs. Aaron Brazell says "The quality of the Technorati results has diminished in my eyes" and "99% of MySpace blogs are not blogs" (The RSS Blog, April 2006)
EVERYBODY knew that MySpace pages were NOT blogs. Everybody but Technorati. And I would imagine, that this single action by Technorati may be considered a milemarker on the road that led to MySpace's downward spiral

Technorati survived (thanks to Shani Higgins: I know they thought they were doing the right thing by adding MySpace, but in retrospect, what a horrible decision!) They're apparently still trying to figure out what a BLOG is!

Anybody out there remember Netscape? CompuServe? Archie? Gopher?

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1 comment:

  1. Ha-ha, Dave:

    When you start running a social network filled with a bunch of people who have some free time on their hands (count busy bloggers out), then the busy design might be perfect. lol

    Loved the follow-up and glad to hear that you drove on without any accidents.


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