Sold to a succession of owners, it ended up in the hands of
Russians after it established a strong audience there. I still have an account there but it’s dormant because I never agreed to the new terms and conditions that forbid discussion of LGBTQ issues.
The last time someone brought up livejournal, there was discussion about a code fork of LiveJournal called Dreamwidth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamwidth You might want to take a look there if you haven't already.
> Dreamwidth is an online journal service based on the LiveJournal codebase. It is a code fork of the original service, set up by ex-LiveJournal staff Denise Paolucci and Mark Smith, born out of a desire for a new community based on open access, transparency, freedom and respect.
There were definitely tribes where people would try to out do each other with warped and disturbing posts. Digging through tribe.net archives will find posts bragging about murder, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, what-have-you. In that context they were intended as entertainment, rather like horror fiction, but in today's social media climate such a free wheeling context is incomprehensible.
What a bunch of weirdos...
Facebook started as Harvard only, then to all Ivy League and Boston-area schools, then other colleges and Oxford and Cambridge in UK. The speed of growth and direction of growth was just right. People wanted to join before they were able to join.
Other have started with limited invites, but they were more random.
> People wanted to join before they were able to join.
I'd argue the more important factor was that because the early audience was so limited people felt comfortable sharing a lot more personal content than they would on the open internet - even just simple things like their real name and photo. That created much more interesting content for other people to look at, driving engagement. In the early days, when there were maybe two or three dozen schools on FB, it felt like a like a pretty small high-trust community. All of your friends from high school were on it, and their college friends, who maybe you met once or twice, but that was it - no parents, no employers, no randos. It was a very different vibe than most other social networks. I also don't think anyone thought it would be around very long. It felt like a new social network popped up as the cool new thing every few months.
I'm sure there was some aspect of pent up demand due to exclusivity, but I think the community and openness created by that exclusivity was a much bigger drover of its success.
I'm guessing the "Harvard only"-ness made it cool - and at a certain point, essential - to join, lest you be left out of the "Harvard scene". And it went from there...
If Google had made G+ big for some set of people, others migh've been clambering to join. I guess it did become the social media account to have for people with a voice in tech, but that meant only "nerds" were on it.
Imagine if they got Hollywood stars to use it first. But I guess that's what's happened to Twitter.
Disclaimer - I worked there.
ITV bought it and, even at the time it was obvious, had no idea what to do with it.
It seemed like a lot of those early 2000s British tech businesses, like Jungle.com, where there could’ve been something really huge but the lack of investment culture meant they got outpaced by better funded rivals from overseas.
After the end of Reader was announced, Feedly allowed you to sign in with Google and automatically import everything in Reader.
The transition was basically seamless, and I haven't missed Reader since.
I think it also spawned all kinds of comedy and culture and while the meme-like aspect of most of them could be considered cringy, there's still a lot to be said of the impact that app had.
I don't think there's been something that's really had the same base features outside of TikTok? (and lord knows I'm not installing a piece of Chinese-based software =|)
FFS, it's a SOCIAL NETWORK. A social network is worthless if your friends can't get on it. There were so many memes at the time of people getting excited to get an invite to join Google+ only to find that out of there 50+ Facebook friends, only a couple of them were on Google+. And if your friends aren't on the network you don't get into the habit of checking your feed, and then eventually you just forget about it entirely.
It'd be nice if Facebook would implement something similar to Google+'s "Circles" feature. I'd love to be able to post some programming humor and have it only get displayed to my fellow technical friends and not clog my grandma's feed. Facebook has a way to do this, but you have to check individual people, and do it for every post.
Bebo founder is selling his house in SF for $39 million , that doesn't seem like a failure to me.
Even if FB loses 200 million users, they still have over 800 active million users. Same with Insta.
Most of the platforms listed had a few million users when they ran into issues and collapsed. When you think about all the blatant privacy issues FB has been caught red handed doing and they still they boast over a billion active users?
At this point, I can't imagine anything sans a government intervention via a breakup that would put a dent in the FB user base.
At the time, they were poised to step into the fray when FB was fumbling with users privacy. Their unabashed attitude of collecting and selling users data was just starting to leak out into the media and users were not happy.
Diaspora had the opportunity to seize on user dissatisfaction and take a huge chunk of their user base. They couldn't get their app to market soon enough and the window closed on them. A co-founder suicide and an ultra quiet release followed and put the final nails in their coffin.
Interestingly enough, I've gone back to Diaspora and I'm currently in the process of hosting my own pod. I was also an early adopter of Ello and after a few years of a dormant account, have started using it again. I now enjoy using both and have found stable, engaging communities with both.
The network is chugging along nicely, albeit outside of any limelight. Hundreds, if not thousands of people communicate there daily. There are no real dramas, so it goes unnoticed by the big media.
I always thought Friendster was the interesting one, because they had cornered the SF hipster market at least. Friendster died because it was too popular and they couldn't get it to scale, so when people couldn't login or get their profile to load, they stopped using it. I think with competent technology it could have been Facebook.
I remember noticing how her ‘friends’ included non-singular entities... like a ‘friend’ which was actually a proxy for her school’s alumni, which all her former schoolmates were ‘friends’ of. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it then, but what it was alluding to was the lack of a notion of communities or (in Facebookish) ‘Groups’.
This wasn't entirely bad to meet up with people outside of your circles, but you needed some way to control the firehose. And, you know, I think that's still not a solved problem. I think I would be more keen on social networks filtering me feed if I had more control over those filters.
The real news is that MySpace has 393 employees still. I wonder what they do?
It used to be great for that. You used Facebook to do your normal social networking, and still had a Myspace account so you could go down the rabbit hole of discovering bands from the local to the international level.
What happened to it? I don't even remember. They should have shaped it into a music-oriented social network. If they invested a lot of money into it, maybe they could draw people back from Facebook and even compete with them.
Myspace is the only time on the internet there was a standard place to list shows that everyone was onboard with. The reason was because it was so easy to do so. Except for the date, city and genre all the fields were just text and you could put whatever you wanted. This meant that even bass players could figure out how to list a show.
When facebook first got the clear lead, most people still signed onto myspace at least once a week, especially everyone I knew in a band. The minute they made the change, they all stopped.
Too many people I knew had profiles with white text on a yellow background and autoplaying music. It was just horrible visiting their profiles.
I've always viewed this as MySpace's top feature and the direction away from this is why MySpace failed. The name even implied it was a users space of personal creation. Tumblr sort-of did well with similar ideas, but to a lesser extent.
No annoying app/game spam which was a major annoyance on FB back then--I didn't want to grant god-knows-who access to my profile just to play a game or take some stupid quiz. And gee, look what happened with Cambridge Analytica and friends?
The other one was lack of a simple way to post to specific sets of contacts. Silly irreverent posts, photos, links, etc. went to friends. Daily life/bloggy type stuff went to friends and family. Things I wanted to share with the world went to public. Facebook never made that easy.
Plus I was already using their IM platform as GChat-cum-Hangouts on phone and desktop so no need to dick around with Facebook's IM app.
But regardless of how good or bad any feature of G+ (or any other challenger) was, the issue was the same: unless all of your contacts actively moved over, you were shouting into the wind.
The days of choosing your favorite webmail provider allowed competition in that space because they all did basically the same thing. Nobody else had to do anything differently. You just pick the one you like and maybe set up a forwarding address at your old one.
With closed social networking sites, you can argue that the only thing that matters is size of userbase. And if Facebook was the first to get not only the kids and the techies, but your mom, your neighbors, your barber, and your bartender, how many of those do you think will care enough about a cleaner UI or better photo hosting to cross-post or pull up stakes?
I don't even care about Google+ per se. I am bummed about some of the groups I was in who had to find a new platform, but mainly I just wish there was some way to accomplish the same thing while allowing people to choose their preferred service.
that gave us Tornado - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado_(web_server)
It was an amazing social network in every way. It had great UX and minimal UI, it was fast, had power features but was still simple to use and the idea of lifestream meets social feed still makes perfect sense.
The community it gathered allowed me to jumpstart at my career at the age of ~14. I even discovered HN on FF. It’s been nearly 10 years after I first signed up and I still meet people IRL that I’ve followed on FF. It’s always like meeting your countrymen in a foreign country. We talk about the old country before Zuckerberg bought it.
It was a great way to meet people. By the mid-2010s, the place was dead, infested with fake profile spam bots.
I spent hours late into the early morning on it. I don't do that any more, be it from age or what online alternatives are currently available, but Bolt has a place in heart and mind for me.
Our 2003 smartphones? Blackberry actually did have a few models with an integrated phone at that time, but they stretch the definition of "smartphone", and most people didn't have them.
EDIT - despite what they may have become, and despite the many ways that the web has been “broken” since, we have so much to thank google for.
EDIT - so hard to believe this all happened 15 years ago. It’s ancient history at this stage, but seems so recent to me.
Or more likely, AJAX techniques were being widely used to the point where Mozilla had to violate their whole ethic about not supporting proprietary IE extensions and even named their shit after an unrelated COM object. Then Google showed the public what could be done, but the truth was a lot of us were already doing it.
But yeah, Firefox had its big push around that time too so I guess that had a lot to so with thimgs as well ...
Didn't want to confirm any personal information, and tested clear anyway, so never responded.
It was a social network?
Having watched social media sites fail since BBS days, clearly a critical mass of users are looking for alternatives, with a mass exodus once enough start going to the same new place (vs how G+ failed).
On the flip side, it was that experience that prompted me to start Stream. We power feeds for over 500 million end users these days (https://getstream.io/). Kinda cool how nowadays you can buy a scalable version of pretty much all tech off the shelve. Algolia for Search, Stripe for payments, Twilio for voice, emails etc.
1) Start with a comment relevant to the actual topic
2) Identify a problem that resonates with the key demographic
3) Betray a personal failing
4) Convert the failing into a point of strength
5) Expand on your newfound strength
6) Compare yourself with larger more well-known and successful companies
7) Include a link to your product
I do think it's almost, but not completely off-topic.