I've spent the last few weeks working very intensively to help get a website launched. It's a women's fashion site, and all of us who have been involved are pretty pleased with ourselves at how much we've achieved in such a short time. A few years ago such a site would have been simply an online magazine, perhaps with eCommerce included. From now on, social networking is de rigueur.
I'm not going to go into detail about the project, or even name the site, as the work's ongoing and there might be perceived to be commercial confidentiality issues. (Sorry!) The point I want to raise, I guess, is that I get the impression that just about everyone building a website these days is going to want it to have a social networking component. What does this mean? I think it means that there are soon going to be a heck of a lot of places one can go to on the web to interact with others. I'm not sure how many social networking sites we want or need. Is the latent demand so great that they'll all thrive (at one extreme), or will the whole 'market' consolidate down to 2 or 3 biggies, like Facebook and MySpace?