John

Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

2009: The Year Facebook Grows Up

In Online on January 2, 2009 at 9:38 am

socialgraph

(Pic from ibiblio)

So we’ve started on the New Year, and already some are wishing for a time machine that’ll skip 2009 entirely and straight into 201o–the year, when optimistically the economy starts to recover. For tech startups, 2009 is going to be high and dry, with MarketWatch tech columnist Therese Poletti writing that the Web 2.0 boom is over. “If you are a software entrepreneur working on yet another inane social networking application, perhaps you should switch gears, give up, or keep your day job.”

While the past few years have consistently introduced web-altering free-to-use social applications, it’s highly doubtful that we’re going to have a breakout web service like YouTube in 2005, Facebook in 2006, Twitter in 2007/08. All these services brought the web to a new social level, were free, and are now a part of our everyday lives. Unfortunately, they all had poor monetisation plans, with the rare exception of MySpace, which was bought by Fox and was thus handled in a “Big Media” sorta way.

While “monetisation” did become Web 2.0’s buzzword towards the 2H of the year, the realisation comes too late now that global advertising dollars is expected to drop in 2009. But, as Jason Calacanis constantly iterates, entrepreneurs “build value during downtimes”; so as Web 2.0 (gosh, I hope people will stop using that term) comes to a hushed pop, this is the year Social Networking, especially Facebook, incubates and matures: If Facebook was an anti-social fresh grad in 2008, it’s going to be a suit-and-tie, backslapping corporate man in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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