Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

A plethora of Web 2.0 = Way too many Swiss-army-knife-collaborative-platform-technologies

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 29, 2006



Every Web 2.0 company is offering a variant on the Swiss-army-knife-of-collaborative/social-media-technologies. Each one offers pretty much all the same things: sharing, blogging, sharing anything, any and many types of communications, collaborative apps--and mashing together whatever services you need online. And the ones that don't,  have plans to add such features.

Yesterday, my colleague Richard Koman took a look at the Web 2.0 companies picked out by the San Francisco Chronicle. Other mainstream publications are doing similar things.

IMHO, this is a "Web 2.Uh Oh" trend because it leads nowhere; this is not the Northwest passage to the next boom. (This is so one-point-five ... :-)

I've been saying this for more than a year, but now with so many of these things coming out of alpha for the fall season, it is a good time to draw attention to how dead-end most of these ventures are.

For instance, what would it take for a GOOG or a YHOO or a MSFT to reverse engineer any one of the Web 2.0 companies? About a week to launch the alpha and a month to launch the beta-- plus they have the scale already built-in to monetize the heck out of them from day 14...

How many video hosting and editing sites are there? North of 200... How many similar sites are there that fall into any Web 2.0 category? Somebody will do the math... 

I don't need to know the exact number to know that there are far too many of them. These types of companies only succeed if they become de facto platforms for large enough communities.

Communities are not created by press release, they are not announced, they are grown. With so many community-creator-platforms out there, we will have some large communities created on some of the technology platforms--but that will be for a small fraction of the total number of ambitious ventures.

Ask me (not email) and I'll tell you where the real action will be, where the next boom will be :-)

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