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Sunday, March 20, 2005

acquisition monday 

flickr has been acquired by yahoo.
ask jeeves (and etc.) has been acquired by Interactive Corp (aka Barry Diller).


I thought this quote from the flickr blog was interesting:
"Yahoo Photos and Flickr have different kinds of users with different needs, and will remain separate for the foreseeable future. Flickr would also suffer from a sudden deluge of LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg! so we're going to grow it carefully."

I've been thinking a bit about online communities and how they work and how I participate in them. My thoughts are pretty much in "draft" state right now -- but here's some initial thoughts:
- i like to participate as a "voyeur" -- i'm curious to see what others are up to -- but i'm not likely to make friends or "network" via interactions i have online...although this does happen occasionally.
- i'm interested in tracking the actions of "influencers" -- aka the cool people in the industry that i have blushes (blog crushes) on.
- i'm interested in a customized web experience that leads me to influencers or other items that reflect the lifestyle i want to lead (which may and is likely different from the online life i lead -- i expect that i consistently contradict myself)

I'm thinking that as more people participate in interactive, online communities -- it's likely to get overloaded with people who aren't really the type of people i want to interact with, even in a voyeuristic sense. That's why this quote from Flickr caught my attention -- "growing carefully" is all about making sure that individuals are able to connect with the right type of people -- the ones they want to connect with -- it's about seeing the trees in the forest. This is a big challenge for open-door communities where you can pretty much browse to anybody. For example, take a look at Orkut -- which has apparently been run over by Brazilians...i know i get random links for "friends" from brazilians on orkut all the time. It's annoying -- because i'm not really interested in the random connection.

so do we create participatory communities where the users share common values without creating barriers to entry that make it difficult for newbies to join? Will online communities that work become more exclusive? where you have to prove your coolness in someway in order to get entry into the truly neat and interesting stuff?


i wonder who will acquire or sixapart (moveabletype)? time will tell...certainly feels a bit bubalicious lately.