Where’s the middle?
Social computing has grown in many directions: social networks, social media, personal homes pages, start pages, just to name a few. There seems to be a crazy gravitational force developing, though, that is pulling everyone toward the middle. Those who have stuck to their core technology and/or mission have reaped the biggest revenue benefit. eBay is still tight. Google is tight. Flickr is tight. YouTube and MySpace are tight. But even these companies are beginning to look beyond their missions. They want more pie and they are greedily pursuing it.
The more they target competitor’s customers and develop competitive functionality, the more they lose focus and differentiation. They are all moving toward the middle. What will we call the middle? How will consumers describe the middle?
Will every main social computing company have so much pie on their face that they become unsightly? Will all those cherries and blueberries and peaches and custards and apples turn into one brown sticky mess?
Billy Bob Thornton’s “Uhhh huhh” comes to mind.