Sunday, September 18, 2005

Business_Do social network website still popular

Someone just invited me to WAYN-Where are you now, a new website for social network in the world where you could make new friends. The business idea is really boring, though the website's design is not bad. You have to fill in a lot of private information to register and then you could either look for new friends or invite friends there, which is already a niche business idea among social network wesbites. Say, Linkedin, Friendster, and so many.

How those social network websites make money? Some of them via getting subscription fee from VIP users, some of them via advertisement, but the money is not that fat.

One of the most popular social-network websites in China is Chinaren, a website famous for its groups for alumnies. I would say, 80 percent of the university graduates own a Chinaren account and go there at least once a week. That's really huge. But the website itself, though that popular, is not making huge money. It was bought by Sohu, one of the three biggest portal websites in China. After the deal, the only advantage is the user could access to Chinaren via a Sohu account.

"How the website didn't make money with so many middle and high-end customers?" One of the friends who invests in Internet in China asked.

I don't know. The only reason is that some websites are good at attracting customers; some are good at creating new making-money idea. But only a few could do both.

of course, Google is one of those who have done both. And others?

P.S. not sure what Ebay could do with Skype. If it only makes the recently-bought Skype do the same thing as it did to Paypal, I would like to say the deal will be a failure.

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