Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My recipe for Friendster.

Friendster has just received $10m in new funding. Here's how I would spend the money:

1) Localized AdSales Engine: Focus on creating sales portals for advertisers in the foreign markets where you are picking-up new members. Until you fully execute on point 2, you won't be seeing a surge in new North American sign-ups.

2) Introduce a radical new approach to Social Networking focused on who the BusinessWeek article claims you are now targeting: "Post-college, young urban adults looking to connect to people in new cities." MySpace has become overloaded with features and overrun by band spam and people that the post-college demo have no interest in socializing with (at least, we hope they don't). Build a feature-set based on the concepts BorrowMe, Favourville, Meetup, Peerflix, etc. In other words, ways by which new relationships of similar interests occur.

3) Open yourselves up: Leverage both the threat of your patents and your 10m strong user-base to start doing what MySpace refuses to do: Partner with other data providers. Build an API or at least some web services that allow the plethora of Web 2 upstarts like the companies I mentioned in point 2 Go to the plethora of web 2 upstarts and start getting them to interact with you. Give them a small share of ad revenue generated on the pages where their content appears.

Once you've done those, give me a ring.. Steps 4/5 will leapfrog you past MySpace. Maybe not in terms of number of accounts but in terms of targeted advertising appeal.

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