Not that very long ago, everyone was building Web sites that they bragged about how many eyes where visiting. It seemed great, everyone was going to a site so that site/company must be worth big dollars because they could do something with those visitors to make a business out of. Sadly, little was thought of what to do with those visitors outside of hammering them with ads so the big profits never happened, leaving companies unable to pay their bills once the investor millions ran out.
Jump to today, where the Web sites of interesting information/news have been replaced with social sharing services. Sites, but mostly mobile apps, are encouraging people to share their life experiences. This can be via images, short text notes, links, videos, and places being visited. Almost all of these services are free with almost non imbedding ads. Recently a couple companies have tried ‘for pay’ social services, a competitor to Twitter, a competitor for Instagram, most are tied to Web page based photo storage/sharing.
When a company doesn’t find a method to produce a profit and the VC money has run out, like yesteryear, they shut down. Different now though is that those earlier companies where providing information, the current offerings are services that require the public provide the content. This means, when a company collapses, gone is person on the street’s created content and relationships. One most notable, Kevin Rose with his Milk company and location experience sharing social service.
There is always the excitement around Facebook and it’s collecting of every bit of data about their users and their habits, as well the constant push of sponsored content and ads. The company is massing a lot of data on people using the service. Not only via what a person posts, but also how it relates to what other people they are connected to are posting. I have been noticing a lot more ads recently based on my activities when not on Facebook so their ability to relate info on their users no matter where they are is starting to show.