CrowdVine misses the point

CrowdVine is a lot like Ning and allows you to roll your own social network. From the looks of the people who have joined to test the Beta Tony Stubblebine must have some solid valley credentials. The problem is that the power of a network increases with its size, possibly even proportional to the square of its size. So CrowdVine’s offering undermines the core power of the network by making it niche. An application built inside an existing social network like the offerings appearing for the Facebook F8 API is far more appealing.

Having said that, something that none of the networks offer is to allow you to managed multiple networks. So that you could have for example You Friends, Your current Co-Workers, your family. And friends in one network would not necessarily be able to see people in your other networks. A number of people I’ve spoken to say they avoid adding people to social networks because they have different groups of friends that ‘don’t mix’.

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2 Responses to CrowdVine misses the point

  1. Hi Jan,

    Thanks for taking a look at CrowdVine. The Foo Camp network that you linked to is an example of a niche network that’s purpose is soley is to increase the existing networking value of that conference. People are using it for two weeks prior to the conference to introduce themselves and they’ll probably use it for about a week after the conference. I’ve used it for four other events and the effect is always to put the hallway conversations on steroids.

    Size isn’t really an issue there when you’re looking at value from the user’s perspective. It can be from the business perspective, especially if you’re trying to build a venture-backed ad-supported business. I’m not though. CV has no investors or debt and is already profitable. So I have a lot more leeway than most people in deciding what is worthwhile to build.

    I think you’ve rightly pointed out managing multiple networks is a big need. I’m not thinking of that as the primary purpose of CrowdVine but I’m definitely supportive of the standards that are going to make that happen.

    As for Valley credentials… I’ve worked for both Tim and Ev. Tim was nice enough let me try CV on the Foo Camp crowd. That’s where all the big names came. You should have linked to Reid Hoffman. I’m puffed that I built a social network that he joined.

  2. Hey Tony,

    Thanks for replying. First of all: well done for building a working site without amassing any debt, even more impressive than getting Reid Hoffman on board 😉

    You make a valid point that if you’re not looking to actively monetize something; you can be more relaxed about growth. Which is a very cool place to be!

    I like social applications because they make users into ‘first class citizens’ but I hate them too because I feel like I don’t want to pour my efforts and friends into more than one.

    CrowdVine is a simple, slick application and I wish you all the best with it.

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