“You just don’t get it ” and Social Networking

Is there any more lame a comment than “You just don’t get it”. Its a simple, dismissive phrase that says more about the person saying it than the person/organization its directed to. Its a way of saying “You dont agree with me, but i dont have anything of consequence to say. “You just don’t get it” stops any discussion where i might be asked to say something worthwhile dead in its tracks..

I have a simple question. Who does get it ?

The guys who started Myspace obviously got it. They were able to build a social network and actually make money from the operation of the company. It started off as a network built around music and evolved where its users took it. The same with Facebook. It started with a simple premise and its users drove its growth. In both cases, although its difficult to sell advertising on the sites, there aren’t any legal reasons why they can’t.

There are hundreds of social networks of all shapes and sizes, but how many are sustainable ? Friendster was a great idea. They got it, but they weren’t able to sustain it. The many others out there, particularly those that don’t host video have a shot because its not expensive to host webpages. If you can build some momentum, then you can sustain a user base as long as they stay interested in each other.

Youtube on the other hand doesn’t get it. Why ? Because its not a sustainable model. If it was owned by any company with less than a billion dollars in the bank, they wouldn’t be able to keep it alive. Google is loses money hand over foot because of the bandwidth bills. They can afford it. Few others could. Beyond the bandwidth bills, there is the legal liability. Again, few companies can set aside hundreds of millions of dollars “just in case”.

Youtube is also not a social network. In a social network, the members provide all the content. That’s what makes it a social network, right ? A social network doesn’t have to go out and license content. They don’t have to give away hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock and cash to gain content. They encourage and trust their members to evolve the network.

Entities that have to go out and license content are called Traditional Media Outlets. TV stations license content. TV Networks license content. They both complement that content with webpages that allow user discussion and interaction. The interaction doesnt make the a social network. They are still traditional media outlets.

They pay the highest licensing fees for the content they feel is the best. For content that production companies can’t license anywhere else, traditional media outlets can get that content in exchange for a percentage of advertising sold. The rest of the content out there is available in exchange for eyeballs that the production company hopes creates revenue from other sources.

Youtube is what it is. A very, very popular, traditional media outlet that provides its content on the net. It is video on the demand that is absolutely no different than the video on demand that comcast or any other cable company or telco offers, except that its user uploaded, limited to 10 minutes and the quality is awful. It fills a need as a place to find anything. It has done a phenomenal job of using user created content and user uploaded stolen content to create a huge, huge audience. Unfortunately for Google, it remains to be seen if that is worth anything. One thing for certain. Its not a social network.

Is there an opportunity for social network that focuses on being a video outlet ? No question about it. The issue is that this outlet won’t be able to hide behind the DMCA. A video based social network, in order to be sustainable, has to reliably be able to generate revenues from the uploaded video. It has to be able to market the brilliance of its members and the product of their work to advertisers and sponsors. It has to be able to market its members video online and offline. You can’t hide behind the DMCA and know exactly what your members are offering on your site. Revver is trying to get it right. But its not easy. Ning is creating great tools so that niche social networks can be built that can be sustainable with multiple revenue options. Im sure there are others I dont know about. It will be exciting to see “who gets it in this space”

Video, music and personal pages are not the only beneficiaries of social networking.

I love the combination of social networks and the political process. I just signed up as a delegate on Unity08.org . I think the community opportunity integrated with politics has a chance to catch on. I don’t think it will be easy, but with a little luck can have a huge impact on the political process. I’m a believer that we need to get beyond the 2 party system. Hopefully this is a first step.

42 thoughts on ““You just don’t get it ” and Social Networking

  1. Dont forget about Dallas\’ own DALLASPEEPS.COM – We got it! 🙂

    Comment by Rob Howard -

  2. I like your approach to this…and I pretty much agree. What is \”getting it\”? There\’s no absolute, total solution to everything. Myspace wasn\’t. Youtube wasn\’t. Nothing is. Nothing is totally complete and all things to all people.

    Comment by eidfdf -

  3. Hey Mark,
    I do believe that Google has plans to monotize their video via AdSense. Each one of the videos on google and youtube has a name and tagging. And that tagging can relate to a specific AdWord. I\’m not sure if they\’re recieving enough money via adwords at this moment, but as the userbase of the web grows and more people look to the web to advertise, the adwords will come into play more and will help Google grow further.

    Furthermore, there is software in the works that will recognize the subject matter of video. Although it\’s in its infant stages at the moment, eventually there will be software that will be able to recognize the content. For instance, if a kid is watching a video of a skateboarder, skate board ads could automatically play.

    Part of the luxury of having the resources that google has attained, they can now plan for future preparedness without focusing all of their attention on the immediate losses incurred while buying YouTube.

    I\’d appreciate your thoughts on this.


    Comment by Brent -

  4. I Get It.

    I agree with you that YouTube is not a sustainable model. It is really nothing more than a web-based equivlent of file sharing networks except that YouTube covers all the bandwidth costs. Long-term, it has little viability once a crackdown on content is established.

    You are also right that a social network can be effective as a video distribution outlet. But videos, songs, art, books, on the internet they are all just 1s and 0s, couldn\’t this network handle them all? Furthermore, people have shown that using the internet they can distribute and promote things they like. Why can\’t they also fund them? Currently, before any director or band publishes they go to a corporation who fronts the money for the production in return of a license on the work. Why not go directly to the fans for funds? The whole process, funding, distribution, and advertising, can all be done directly through artists and their fans. This way piracy becomes a non-issue because payment has been made upfront. Let \”piracy\” become the new way artists distribute and advertise.

    On another note, I know shooting down your comments is not the best way to get on your good side, but what you are saying about MySpace is also a common misperception. Please see http://www.startup-review.com/blog/myspace-case-study-not-a-purely-viral-start.php

    \”Public perception seems to be that MySpace launched and instantly grew its user base through word of mouth viral marketing. This was not the case. MySpace used a combination of tactics, including traditional, cost per acquisition (CPA) campaigns through established online brands, which yielded successful results.\”

    \”They started promoting MySpace by running a cash prize contest for Intermix employees (~250 of them); asking them to invite friends to use the site. This had some success, but was limited to reaching only a certain size. Next, they made use of the ResponseBase e-mail marketing list, which made some impact, but was largely considered a failure…\”

    Comment by Brandt Cannici -

  5. I have to agree with Mark on this one. If nothing else, because of my own instinct. YouTube is less likely to draw people back day after day like a true and stable social network. Many people, like myself, will simply tire of it over time.

    Comment by Spencer Ferguson -

  6. Unity08 continues in their belief that \”neither of todays parties reflects the aspirations, concerns or will of the majority of Americans.\” Just like the GOP and Democracts, they take BIG donations. Those donors then call the shots. Here\’s their new donor/advisory council as reported by Irregular Times:

    Peter Ackerman, investment firm corporate executive Jacqueline Adams: public relations corporate executive Mark Cuban, communications and sports corporate executive Susan Cullman, PAC executive John Dwyer, lawyer for corporate law powerhouse Arent Fox Angus King, co-Founder of Unity08 Dale Mathias, investment firm corporate executive George Vradenburg, communications corporate executive Sam Waterston, actor and Unity08 spokesman William Weld, Republican ex-governor. Here is a list of the above people who gave the maximum allowable donation to Unity08 before being appointed to the Advisory Council:

    Peter Ackerman Jacqueline Adams Susan Cullman John Dwyer Angus King George Vradenburg William Weld

    Mark Cuban, the Internet TV and Dallas Maverick announced his joining on his blog, BlogMaverick. Will he also announce he\’s running for President \’08 on his blog? Perhaps he\’s waiting in the wings just like Al Gore, Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, and Michael Bloomberg? Just imagine two billionaires in the race. Public service. Unity? BTW, Mark, your \’page 2\’ and search functions aren\’t working…

    Comment by Jeff Lapides -

  7. I have your answer: James Sun of http://www.zoodango.com get\’s it. James and his team at Zoodango have closed the gap between social networking and real world networking. They have discovered a platform for connections to be made, not by teans and those looking to see a funny video, but by real business people. At zoodango you are in charge of what is said about you personally and professionally. You can make genuine connections with others in your area or across the world. Through linking with others you know you expand your professional network to who they know as well. It\’s through these exponentials that the gap is closed, making business networking a reality.

    Comment by Jeff Collins -

  8. The interesting thing about both myspace and facebook is that they got the \’it\’ when a lot of current and preceding companies didn\’t. Linkedin also has found \’it\’ – it\’s become an indispensable tool for business networking. The road to myspace is littered w/ examples of people who didn\’t get it – does anyone remember egroups, ecircles. And what the hell happened to friendster?

    People talk about the network effect from social NW sites but there\’s no network if there\’s no value. The network grows the value of the \’it\’ exponentially. You know you\’ve got it when hurts for users to leave the service. Ex: I use Linkedin for business development. Because of the size of my network, I can reach over 3k people in my industry. It would hurt like hell if I lost that so I\’m locked in to Linkedin.

    One other important point about both myspace and facebook. Both were 2nd generation social sites who learned from their predecessors. They let other make the big/early mistakes.

    Comment by Mike G -

  9. You could make the same argument about cable back in the day. Things are just beginning to unfold on the web. Who is to say YouTube won\’t involve to a number of channels with great programming and be profitable?

    Comment by DudeAsInCool -

  10. Google may \’get it\’ more than we think… with the money in the bank. They\’re acquiring customers… at some point the material with copyrights will have to go away. Then we just have the fun stuff. I was talking to my 4 year old daughter the other day about playing t-ball, she doesn\’t know what t-ball is… so I youtubed it.. found some shoddy video a guy uploaded of his young son playing… she liked the concept and wants to play.

    Google has huge market share, when you get to that point what do you do? Like AT&T, Tyco, and many other large corporations did before them: you buy them.

    Growth is hard… and even harder to sustain. Everyone is fighting for the same dollars.

    Mark, how much does it cost you to gain a new season ticket holder?

    Comment by Karl K -

  11. Whoops…address correction, so sorry….

    Comment by Jeff Lapides -

  12. Mark Cuban,
    Since you are one of the reasons I decided to start blogging and you\’ve now joined Unity08.com and you believe in the power of people in social networks and politics, will you consider our setting up Mark Cuban Quest .com as part of our \’social\’ search site, http://www.PresidentialQuest.com? I didn\’t see so far where you absolutely refused to run for President? Perhaps you\’ll \”Stop the Disenchantment\” as I suggested last week: http://chuckhagelquest.com/blog/?p=5

    Comment by Jeff Lapides -

  13. Here is a site developed for business to business networking. Similar to Facebook and MySpace but different in that its purpose is to link companies and also business professionals, serving as a business networking model rather than social networking.


    Comment by Chris -

  14. \”I love the combination of social networks and the political process. I just signed up as a delegate on Unity08.org . I think the community opportunity integrated with politics has a chance to catch on.\” Yes it does. In fact it\’s caught on very much already. The key is to realize that blogs are noise but wikis are wise… or at least potentially wise. That they are also respectful of reader time, and don\’t burden everyone with absurd nonsense like this: \”I believe X.\” \”Oh, but I believe Y because of side case Z.\” \”Ah, yes, you are right, I know we should not be wasting a lot of time on side case Z but Y is just like X except for Z so I support your position Y.\” \”So we all agree on Y now?\” \”Yes\” \”Yes\” \”Yes\”. \”OK, Y.\”

    On a blog or mailing list, the new reader must read all that worthless crap to discover that everyone believes Y. Whereas on a wiki, the new reader sees this: \”Y\”. If they want all that debate, they can dig into the talk pages and old versions. Cory Doctorow correctly describes Wikipedia as a \”palimpsest\” where most of what\’s going on is in there. But that doesn\’t mean that the new reader in a political context, especially not one who wants to just support a unity position, should be reading all of that for every issue. Just the ones that matter to them. And they DO need training in how to wiki, which means, they should just go edit Wikipedia until someone calls them a troll. After which, they should just call themselves a troll, and consider themselves initiated. (How else does one get past pejoratives other than reclaiming?)

    \”I don\’t think it will be easy, but with a little luck can have a huge impact on the political process. I\’m a believer that we need to get beyond the 2 party system. Hopefully this is a first step.\” It might help to start by getting beyond the 2-position system. While there are excellent examples of how to use wikis to compile readable issue briefings with two positions per issue and also of leveraging social software to radically deepen and improve the scrutiny on press and politics and especially of a partisan democrat org pulling together everything it knows into one big soup, these are only loosely cooperating on notations and issue naming (which is absolutely central to any \”unity\”, how can you claim everyone was consulted if they couldn\’t find the issue that mattered to them most, and didn\’t know for sure they had found the one and only binding discussion on that?).

    As for actually getting beyond a 2-party system, it sure would help if wikis would implement ways to do formal votes (not for banning people, that\’s oppressive and stupid lynch mobbery) and train everyone in how to fill out a preference/rank ballot. That would make it easier to push electoral reforms.

    Comment by Craig Hubley -

  15. I prefer business networking. If you are going to get together with people you might as well do that with others who are genuinely interested in helping you succeed. I have found business networking thru LeTip well worth my time.


    President of the group http://www.myhaberdasher.com

    Comment by Stone Williams -

  16. Mark, I agree with you that most companies just dont get social networking. Thats whats so embarrassing: They SHOULD get social networking, because all it takes is common sense, listening to your audience, and knowing the needs of your marketplace.

    Yet this is proving difficult for many established firms. Consider mega-giant Wal-Mart, which tried to create a social network to promote their products. This was doomed from the outset, especially when Wal-Mart planted fake profiles with kids wearing only Wal-Mart clothing and using Wal-Mart products.

    Besides, how can Wal-Mart expect to have a good online community when it cant even keep offline communities happy? Case in point: Closing down all local businesses every place they open a store. Clearly, Wal-Mart does not get it.

    Google does not get it either. Their Orkut social network fell flat on its face. Why? Because behemoth Google started the network itself. This violated the No. 1 success rule for social networking: Be authentic and organic.

    Just look at all successful social networks out there, and youll see one common theme: They were started by people who understood their niche, and could relate to their niche without having the corporate stigma attached to them.

    Proper network naming can help too. Friendster gives the image that you meet friends. MySpace sounds like a place to make your own. Facebook reminds you of yearbook. Orkut sounds like nothing. And thats exactly what it became.

    Now lets consider YouTube. I agree with you that its not really a social network, but rather a media company. Thats why it made perfect sense for Google to buy it. After all, Google has evolved beyond a search engine, and become a media conglomerate.

    What better way, then, to tighten their stranglehold than by buying YouTube as a future platform for online advertising? This lucrative promise will far outweigh the current losses. So in this case, Google actually got it.

    Too bad Cisco doesnt get it. This IT hardware and software company bought two social networking companies in the past week. Maybe they think they can pull a MySpace, get a groundswell of support, and make boatloads of money. But they have no business in being in the business of social networking, because it does not serve their audience or their goals.

    Compare them to MySpace, which skirted the corporate image because owner Fox was a media company that already appealed to a large part of MySpaces demographic. As such, MySpace could offer things the audience wanted, and help expand the network.

    What is Cisco going to do, offer a wireless router with every subscription? Highly unlikely. Cisco only gets that social networking is todays buzzword, but has no clue how to realize its potential.

    All of these companies fail to see the writing on the wall. Soon, niche social networks will be the only sustainable networks. Thats because they draw all the real advertising dollars, thanks to targeted design and better click-through rates.

    Conversely, broad or ill-defined social networks will have to fight to survive. They must investigate other ways to monetize their offerings, and keep their business plan viable. Advertising with Google ad words only accomplishes one thingmaking Google richand believe me, Google gets that loud and clear.

    Social networking is not rocket science. Any company who is listening and paying attention should be well on its way to building and funding the right social network for its audience.

    Besides, the ones who get it will also get the last laugh. And theyll be laughing all the way to the bank.

    Comment by Andy Leff -

  17. I think something like the unity party could work but probably not by next year nationally.
    The mayor of my small town near Cleveland has announced he is going to retire. I have thought about throwing my hat in the ring and I would not be apposed to running under the unity party. I would much rather make descions for my community based on the best possible outcome instead of making them along party lines.
    If you can find enough people to run and win as a unity party members in smaller elections across the country I think you would get a lot of people interested. Like anything else big goals are great and if you take the to lay the ground work and hit many smaller goals along the way your chances for success will go way up.

    Comment by Mark -

  18. Mark – I am in complete agreement regarding this ridiculous response. It\’s insulting to the receiver\’s intelligence!

    Regardless – I wanted to make a comment on social networking and \”controlling your brand\” (per your last blog entry). With all the tools at our disposal, can someone like the Oscars truly control their brand? Perhaps you mean content rather than brand? What if hundreds, if not thousands of bloggers (even linking to the oscars site) post entries saying how boring the show was, how stupid it is to waste time to watch it, how worshiping movie stars hurts our society, etc?

    Take Dell, for example. Dell was in fact hurt by the bad pub they received on numerous popular blogs. IT people generally have a lower opinion of Dell quality now. So the brand suffered.

    Let me sum up my short (?) point – Web 2.0 incl social networking further takes control out of your brand. Brand looks to be tied better to performance and delivery.

    Comment by Chris Hamoen -

  19. Put your money where your mouth is (maybe you have, I didn\’t research this). We can have a multiple party system such as is common in city council elections simply by changing the election system through state and local laws. You can do this for Congress, it is Constitutionally Kosher, and you have the money to help make it happen. But I don\’t think that people will suddently stop whining about government/abuse/corruption, (real or imagined) overnight. If you don\’t like the 2 party system you have to work at changing the laws.

    But first, I ask you to consider how stable the US and UK have been compared to France, Israel, India and Italy. In other words, you can\’t \”get beyond\” the 2 party system, because it\’s state of the art.

    The entire appeal of a multi-party system for liberals seems to be that they\’re so convinced that if only the Democrats would adopt ALL their pet issues, they would win in a landslide, because of course people would agree with you. But, gosh, the Democrats just won\’t do it.

    But we ALL think we\’re right and you\’re wrong. When it comes to politics we\’re all wrong, because there is fundamentally no perfect solution where everyone gets along and is happy.

    That\’s why our founding fathers valued stability over efficiency. Put in their terms, a parliamentary multi-party system usually results in tyranny of the majority with occasional episodes of tyranny of the minority. Your frustration is by design, in other words.

    Or as I like to say about glitches in software, \”It\’s a feature\”. Congressional gridlock and the two party system is a feature, not a flaw.

    Comment by solomonrex -

  20. Mark you are right on as usual. Check out YouPerView.com

    Comment by mike -

  21. Hey Mark,

    I just discovered your blog. I like it! I sent you an email on your computer about something totally different and I discovered your blog on the web.

    I just got started into understanding political issues since the senate races. (my mom \’encouraged\’ me to) and I find it very interesting to listen to many points of view on political issues. Sometimes it gets a little \”out there\” with the party spinning and all the \”I\’m the only one who knows what\’s right for this country\” sermons….
    My question is about unity o8. Is this any different than the independent party? How do you choose the people you support? Do you have a link that breaks things down into \”How a political issue would affect me or my community\”? I\’ve given up trying to talk to my friends (16-18)… They think I\’m wack, but I think stuff like this is important.
    Thanks for the info and your thoughts.
    Isaac (Iceman)

    Comment by Isaac Lipscomb -

  22. Mark I agree with you for the most part but I have one question.
    What would youtube have to be to be a non traditional media source? I think moving the audience away from the couch to the computer is pretty nontraditional. I think the paradigm of video on demand is done much better by you tube than it is by any cable network i have ever seen. I have watched things on youtube that I actually own on DVD for the sheer lazyness of not feeling like searching for the DVD. I know that you are banking on this not being the norm. I dont know what the norm is so I can\’t comment on it, but I certainly take ease of use over video quality any day of the week.

    I can tell you one thing though. I am 23 and I can bet you that the proportion of people who feel the way I do that are below 23 is much higher than those above 23. We are getting older by the day.

    Comment by superdave -

  23. Mark, Thanks for posting about Ning, we signed up and it\’s very cool. There are some issues with Firefox, and our RSS feed didn\’t display well, but I think they\’ll work out the kinks as it gets bigger.

    Comment by Affiliate Network -

  24. My gut instinct (which, again, has no real authority on anything) says that something like DVDs would be a later development, because of the community that you would need already in place to make an investment (of not just money, but due diligence to figure out the logistics of…) like that profitable.

    Also, there\’s probably a ton of operational issues as far as the formats of videos and then also the licensing and etc with something like that.

    That being said, it will probably happen at some point, I mean Flickr is doing the same thing with pictures, there\’s no reason that video sharing/Vimeo wouldn\’t do it with moving pictures.

    Comment by FSBO -

  25. \”Youtube is also not a social network. In a social network, the members provide all the content.\”

    In a social network, the members network socially.

    Check the comments at YouTube. YouTube\’s very different from MySpace but a social network or, more accurately, social networks have formed among the members.

    LonelyGirl13 (or whatever she\’s called) is a great example of user generated content and of a social network amplifying her work on YouTube. It was always about much more than pageviews or video plays.

    Comment by Clyde Smith -

  26. I like your approach to this…and I pretty much agree. What is \”getting it\”? There\’s no absolute, total solution to everything. Myspace wasn\’t. Youtube wasn\’t. Nothing is. Nothing is totally complete and all things to all people.

    Comment by maui -

  27. So basically you wrote this article to promote that site unity08? Otherwise I don\’t see a point to it. In fact, I couldn\’t bare to read all of it.

    I have an idea cuban. . . learn a programming language and show us that you get it.

    Comment by brant tedeschi -

  28. This seems odd to me. Social networking sites like MySpace are built from the ground up. There was never a media blitz propping up MySpace. Common people discovered it, signed up, and told their friends, who in turn told more people.

    You\’re the first person I\’ve seen to talk up Unity08 who isn\’t a news pundit. Once the website grows in popularity beyond the David Broder crowd, maybe I\’ll give it a shot. For now, it just seems too idealistic and unfeasible.

    Comment by Eric -

  29. \”Youtube is also not a social network\”

    It may not be a \’true\’ social network but it has a lot of the aspects of a social network. I know that I have met and communicated with many members on the site. I have joined groups and used the site to network with users who may be interested in my videos.

    So while I agree that it is not a \’true\’ social networking site, you are able to more networking than you can with any of the traditional media outlets (which offer nothing similar) so I don\’t think Youtube should be labeled as JUST another media outlet. They have differentiated themselves in a new way.

    Do I agree with their way of handling copyright issues? Heck no, I stand behind you on this issue.

    Comment by Mark Barrera -

  30. who cares?

    when i was a kid we stole songs off the fm radio with a casette tape recoder and shared the song with friends.

    no one cares now.

    Comment by gary -

  31. Mr. Cuban Goes to Washington–I love it!

    And if you think your \”Happy Gilmore\” parallel (posted on Dec. 25th) works well in the realm of sports marketing, you should really try it in the political arena…

    To say the American people are thirsting for AUTHENTICITY & CHARACTER in their political representation might very well be the understatement of this young millennium…

    Sounds like you\’re ready to help mix it up, and with your mastery of all-things media & marketing, you\’ve clearly got the recipe… And the resources…

    The right mix of charismatic, capable & genuine candidates is all that remains.

    (And judging by those NBA standings, \”sustaining momentum\” might not be such a problem after all!)

    So if you need help generating it, you know where to find me–have got more \”passion & creativity\” than I currently know what to do with!

    Go Bucs.

    Comment by DS -

  32. You don\’t like \’you just don\’t get it\’, but \’youtube is what it is\’ is ok?

    You\’re right though. YouTube can\’t be sustained profitably without a serious overhaul. And that overhaul will likely lead important contributors to competitor sites.

    49-9? — awesome.

    Comment by Matt -

  33. Hey,

    this entry made me think. I agree with you that google/youtube
    does a very bad job about the legal aspects of the uploaded
    content and mixing it up with bought licensed content.

    But on the other hand it got me thinking what makes a
    sustainable social network (for video content)? How long can
    you keep a community or social network interested just their
    own work?
    In my opinion it\’s very hard to just create or keep a video community/social network with content on consumer or amateur
    level. This is why I think that mixing professionally produced
    content with these content makes sense. It keeps or leads the attention on the platform and could, if properly implemented,
    lead the visitors to the content of the social network.
    So for instance it could link Jack Ass episodes with content from any skater or boarder kit out there doing their best tricks. I don\’t like the term long tail, but it is actually what could be used here very well. Use the mainstream to attract the users/visitors and lead them to the content of the social network.

    Actually I would like to go even further and allow the users of the network to use the uploaded licensed content to create new content in new contexts. But I think the legal systems and the media industry is not ready for this kind of creativity, yet.

    With this in mind I think Youtube is different from other media outlets, as it has the infrastructure to involve the user into the media production and I think we shouldn\’t think to much in categories.

    But maybe I just don\’t get it!


    Comment by Lars Kirchhoff -

  34. I liked this post.

    Comment by benny -

  35. Mark

    Add us to the list of people who get it. Take a peek – register and send me an email if you want to hear more. We have a lot of stuff up our sleeves!

    Aaron Hall

    Comment by Aaron -

  36. I agree that we need to move past a two-party system and mass social networking sites could be a way to rally a cause. I feel in order to succeed, there needs to be alot of passion and creativity.

    The passion for a cause is just obvious to me. When someone is passionate about what they are doing it just flows out of them and makes others want to be a part of the project or go out and do their own thing.

    Passion and creativity seem to walk hand in hand but not always and not always in a positive fashion.

    Pedestrian safety is a huge issue in Hawaii so I pondered on what could be done to effect change. I first, created a myspace group. I had to have a name that would catch an eye or two. If I just went with Pedestrian Safety Advocacy Group or PSAG, the draw wouldn\’t really be there right. If it was, only people who cared about the issue would join or read or whatever.

    Instead I named the group the Pedestrian Liberation Organization or PLO thinking that PLO would be more of a draw. But, I was surprised to find out many young people, either going to college or finished with school, don\’t even know what the PLO is…

    So I thought some more and then wrote a wiki about the group, thinking that it might generate more buzz.

    Then it hit me. The best way to mass market this and get people to think is to turn it into a story treatment for a movie, The Ballad of the Angry Pedestrians.

    So I posted the story on the myspace just to see how many views it would get. I posted it less than a week ago and I have a private account so almost 20% of my network has read or at least seen it based on the hits I\’ve received. This isn\’t quite the national average for people who vote, but hey, it\’s a microcosm within a microcosm of society. Keeping systems theory in mind, I could anticipate if I continue to be passionate and creative, the cause will be one that more people care about, the movie will be made, things will change, and pedestrians will be safe!

    Comment by Jason Walter -

  37. Mark:

    I have never uploaded a video to youtube, but admit to watching The Arenas 1 armed free throws, 1 too many times. If the media companies would give the consumer (me)what they want,we would gladly pay. In my dreamworld, I would have one Media provider that would be a lot like Sirius Radio on steroids. I want the digital highway to have off ramps to all the differnet worlds I live in. I like having my media experience avialable to me in a consistent, customized, go anywhere manner free from all government imposed moral authority. My access and experience should be the same on a boat at sea, in my office, or in the bathroom if I should decide to hang my \”media device\” in there.
    The only thing I ask for from this provider is that they offer anything and everything that has been digitized available for purchase 24/7 at \”a la carte\” prices.It is their role to negotiate with all content owners and assure they have been compensated reasonably out of my money.(and no laws broken)

    About a year ago INHD broadcast a 1080i NBA game with no announcers or camera angle changes? If i remember correctly. If I were on vacation in say Costa Rica, I should be able to chill out on a hammock somewhere with my HDTV \”media devise\” and feel like I am sitting courtside at game. And I mean that literally. I want to hear clearly every word that you hear. I know more than a few guys that would pay full ticket price without the hassle of parking for that.

    Oh…In this dreamworld ,Arenas can also make a trey with 2 arms.

    Comment by Laxdog -

  38. Mark I agree with you all the way. You would like my comments discussing the future of myspace and Japan\’s Mixi.
    the site is http://blog.thevrworld.com/

    Comment by Bo Armstrong -

  39. I forgot to add that Facebook and MySpace are indeed social networks that are real businesses. The reason is the tight demographics of their audiences. Advertisers are willing to pay a lot of money to get their brands in front of that audience.

    Perhaps some sports oriented social networks could succeed as well because of the strong brand associations and audience demographics. The problem there would be the high price of video content which each league/team copyrights.

    Social Networks will have a few big winners and a thousand broken hearts.

    Comment by Don Dodge -

  40. It is not clear how many of these social networks will survive beyond a few years. Some of them will fail due to cashflow and others will fail when the \”fad\” isn\’t cool anymore.

    Dogster, Catster, Friendster, and many others, don\’t have very strong social connections and themes that will go beyond the novelty stage…in my opinion.

    Political social networks are strong for the time period leading up to an election, but after an election they completely collapse.

    YouTube was burning cash big time, and still is. Not because they were paying for content…just the bandwidth bills were killing them. Imagine if YouTube had to pay royalties for content. I really don\’t see this working.

    The content owners think their audio and video is worth $1 to $10 per stream because that is the retail price of a music download or DVD. YouTube can probably get advertisers to pay a penny a stream…maybe 5 cents a stream. The gap in perceived value is just too great to make it work profitably.

    Social networks are just that…social. Trying to make them into a profitable business that can sustain itself beyond the fad or novelty stage is very tricky.

    Don Dodge

    Comment by Don Dodge -

  41. Ning is just the latest entrant in the Content Plantation Sweepstakes.

    Comment by alan herrell - the head lemur -

  42. Unity 08 sounds nice in theory, but in practice in cannot and will not help or work. I agree there needs to be more than 2 parties, which there are. The problem is that the \”other\” parties have difficulty gaining momentum. The major parties always steal their thunder by adopting the ideas that start to work, which is exactly what is supposed to happen. The problem is that because of campaign finance reform and because of other election laws limiting who can get on the ballot, it takes longer than it should for the smaller parties to gain recognition on their ideas. But a \”mixed\” ticket just shows that those candidates are not solid in their beliefs and ideas. The economy and I think the people want more than anything is to know what they are getting, even if it is something they don\’t agree with.

    Comment by Lucas -

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