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August 14, 2003


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If he can't think of a way to let both audiences have their fun, he is a moron and needs to hire me as a UI consultant/product designer. I mean, come on. Tribe.net is halfway there already. He needs to be careful someone doesn't eat his lunch.


Brand vs brand: he wants the pure social/dating one, I think, without Burning Man or Pure Evil. I suspect this is the investor pitch.

Do you think the field is energetic enough to allow Tribe, LinkedIN, etc. to emerge as a competitor? Friendster now has the vast topology of a lot of participants to leverage.


It would be trivial to build the affinity-group stuff into Friendster for those who want it, and hide it from everyone else by stashing it in a prefs page. (Bad UI can be a valuable tool!) Then Burning Man would exist as an affinity group, and serve the same purposes it does now, only better. If he's really smart, he'd even build the affinity group functionality so it'll improve on the "puppet shows" some people are doing with related fakester accounts in the Bulletin Board.

I've seen some people try to encourage their Friendster entourage to jump over to Tribe, and it ain't flying. People feel too invested in their Friendster networks; they don't want to do all that work again. Sadly, be-first-be-worst seems to have taken hold. It'll take some ingenuity to make alternative services easy to try, and to switch back from.

I have another theory, which is that Friendster can make more money as a common carrier, selling the right to use its API and integrate Friendster into other apps, than by selling $8-a-month subscriptions. Then again, maybe Abrams is counting on the subscription fee to make all the too-much-free-time-having fakesters just go the hell away.


Your second point makes a lot of sense, especially in Friendster backers back new apps. Friendster is then both carrier and gateway.


i hope that i can open and use my account too long, easy and no illegal operation...

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