Blog wars: Six Apart vs. MySpace
Welcome to Web 2.5. Software maker Six Apart has just unveiled a new member of the fast-converging worlds of blogging, social networking, and photo/video sharing: Vox, a website that's a slick descendent of GeoCities and makes MySpace seem so yesterday. Mashable enthuses: "Vox is a simple blogging platform and social network that's designed for non-technical people and families." And The Blog Herald gushes: "If one were to remove the ugliness from MySpace, add in the simplicity of Google as well as the rich features of Yahoo!, you would end up with Six Apart's new kid on the block, Vox."
Those sort of comments must unnerve Fox Interactive boss Ross Levinsohn. And if not those, then perhaps this one from a Lifehacker reader: "Bye bye myspace. This is really good."
What do you think? Is it time to declare Rupert Murdoch's investment a bust? Six Apart is another one of these small tech innovators with multiple balls in the air, and that's cause for concern about longevity. "The only question is whether Six Apart needed to roll out a whole new site," wonders Mashable, "or whether they could have integrated this impressive functionality into existing services like TypePad, their hosted blogging service...Vox is an amazing service, but it’s just not clear whether Six Apart has a grand plan here."
Product line confusion is rampant in the new media space, where fast iteration is critical to survival. The $580 million question, of course, is whether the first wave Web 2.0 giants are quite as sticky as their current valuations suggest - or whether the Web 2.5 gang, led by Vox, will simply steal their members away.
I must admit that VOX is appealing to me. I really like the feature that you can choose who can read which posts. This means that you could have a post for one person or you could have a post that discusses a gift but not allow the recipient to read it. It's great technology and a beautiful, simple interface.
Although, I've always hated Myspace. Yuck! It's so ugly.
MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, et al are always going to face the same challenge - it's community that makes social networks attractive but community is a notoriously fickle beast to maintain.
Flood MySpace with movie ads in order to make it profitable and you alienate a core readership. Make Facebook available to the general public and it's no longer a cool University club.
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