Friday, September 21

Growing Pains: Really Fast Apps

We all know about fast cars, fast companies, and fast social networks. But how about a fast app?

“We’re about 5 days into the launch of BlogRush and its growth has been nothing short of EXPLOSIVE,” screams an e-mail from BlogRush. “We’ve served over 40 MILLION blog headlines…”

Zooooommm …

But all is not is not well in the land of social media for BlogRush. In some cases, it is losing subscribers because it took less than five days for programmers to game the system. From BlogRush …

• We are moving to a Manual Review; eliminating automation
• We are continuing to add security measures to ban cheaters
• We have added different colored widgets (called flavors)

This is not to say BlogRush will crash; I am still testing it. So far, there seem to be a few errors in their overall model. Much like Yuwie, they are attempting to overlay a multi-level marketing approach, where members who get members get credit (this model begs for cheaters). But more than that, one wonders how much gaming there really is — are people randomly clicking through just to drive up their credits? (I won’t know until I can measure “time on site” from BlogRush clickers to regular readers.)

BlogRush is not the only one experiencing growing pains. The New York Times announced that people would rather search for news than subscribe (really?). And CBS is speeding up its plans toward convergence. Everybody, it seems, is attempting to leap frog to the next level.

• Yahoo! just merged MyBlogLog accounts without any communication other than an opt in.

Bloglines is beta testing a start page that looks a little like PageFlakes without the news and cool content.

• Digg is adding profiles along with 50 new features. It highlights a mere five promising features on its video; it says it will only take a minute but it really takes about two-and-half. is in the process of launching Groups, which is expected to be moved out of beta in just a few days.

Hey!Nielsen is only three days away from becoming a larger public beta, Nielsen’s effort to stay relevant in a changing world.

From a communication perspective, only Digg and BlogCatalog seem to be spot on with communicating change. They both have different approaches: Digg launched the changes but had an arsenal of communication vehicles waiting in the wings and BlogCalalog has been completely transparent every step of the way.

So if communicaton is any measure as it can be with traditional companies, those who communicate the best will likely thrive. Those who don't ...

Well, hold on tight. Really fast apps mean some people might crash and burn along the way (or maybe get acquired). As they do, you can expect some measures to crash right along with them. More about that on Monday.



Sweet Tea on 9/21/07, 2:01 PM said...

Thank Rich.
I must say I like BlogCatalog the best. It just feels like home and they're always adding nice features plus I like the Blog Challenges.
I'm not sure how effective Hey Nielsen will be but I appreciate their effort and their mention of Jericho. It's an easy to navigate site and works very well for me. The only problem is, that once I go there, I don't want to leave.

Rich on 9/21/07, 3:29 PM said...

Hey Jane,

Really? I look forward to seeing what happens when Hey Nielsen moves is officially public. There is a lot of competition among social networks.

What strikes me the most is how differently each platform treats its members. You're right baout BlogCatalog; it does feel like home. MyBlogLog is okay too; I just think they missed the boat on the Yahoo merge.


Anonymous said...

Yes, we could have done a better job on the outreach informing people of the move to Yahoo IDs. For future reference, we do have a blog where we post this kind of stuff on a regular basis.

We posted way back in February of eventual plans to merge with Yahoo authentication.


Product Manager, MyBlogLog

Rich on 9/21/07, 5:49 PM said...

Thanks Ian,

I appreciate you coming by to clarify that. Please don't mistake my observation as a major criticism. I'm glad to hear you are moving forward with active communication as opposed to passive communication in the future. Your comment is a testament to that.

Look forward to see what is next.

All my best,


Rich on 9/21/07, 9:21 PM said...

More words:

For record, the worst member communication remains Facebook (hat tip: Recruiting Animal):

Rich on 9/21/07, 11:26 PM said...

More words:

Here's a great a great look at Hey!Nielsen.

Rich on 9/22/07, 6:26 PM said...

More Words:

Andy Beard does a great job flushing up some blog networks in Traffic Or Topical Community - What Comes First?. It's worth checking out.

kystorms on 9/27/07, 4:53 AM said...

Hi Rich
I liked the post, gave me a few things to think about that I had not before.
My only concern with all these social sites is, with everyone rushing to make the next big thing for Social Networks, what will everyone be socializing over?
Seems to me ( small potato's here I know :-)) that there are FAR too many SN's.
The only one I do not like solidly is MySpace, due to its 'hectic" way of building a page there and lack of controls on how and who comes to join.
Thanks for talking about these SN's, hope you write more on it so those of us like myself, can learn more about the topic.

Rich on 9/27/07, 2:27 PM said...

Hi Lisa!

If Plaxo and a few others have their way, social networks will be changing in some dramatic ways with open interfaces that will allow you to easily move from one to the other. I am also looking at several social networks that have made some great leaps in helping bloggers pool their collective threads.

Have faith! :) It will get easier. But you are right ... too many lead to social media fatigue. There are many that I am on that I have only half-updated.

I will be touching on this subject again in the near future. It also speaks volumes about not "giving up" blogs in favor of networks. :)



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