Note: Be sure to checkout the Top 10 Web 2.0 Winners list as well.
Last week, Michael Calore, posted his take on Web 2.0 Winners and Losers and while I agreed with some of his picks, there were a lot that I didn’t think belonged. I also wanted to go a bit more indepth as to why these sites have made the list. With that in mind I have put together my list of 10 Web 2.0 losers and winners (coming Tuesday).
Now many of these sites might not be considered Web 2.0 with regards to the technology they use, but this list was made to show the losers (and winners) in this era of the web regardless of the technologies they are using.
- Odeo. As I talked about in the Business Notes section of 9rules, Ev Williams talked about the failures Odeo has experienced and honestly it doesn’t look like it is going to get any better. After a promising start built from a ton of hype the momentum quickly stopped once Apple introduced podcasting within iTunes shortly after. Comparing a show’s subscribers in Odeo versus iTunes it is clear who the winner in the podcast directory game is and it’s not Odeo.What many people will consider Odeo’s downfall was their speed of development. Just last month they released a Myspace widget, which in the podcasting/audio space you would’ve figured that would’ve been one of the top things on their list to get out the door. Also, many people are worried that they have lost their focus due to the release of projects such as Hellodeo and Twitter.
- Squidoo. With the backing of Marketing guru, Seth Godin, it was easily assumed that Squidoo would do pretty well, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. Squidoo is a concept that had great potential to work 5 years ago, but now there is no reason for anyone to create a page and fill it with links to other places simply to look as though they are an expert in that category. In this user-generated era of content users always expect to get paid (Note: “paid” doesn’t always mean monetarily) and Squidoo offers no real benefits for anyone to invest their time in.
- Edgeio. When Michael Arrington is a part of something people are going to pay attention. However, it doesn’t seem that much attention is being paid to Edgeio except for spammers. It’s always nice to visit an English speaking site and once I look for housing I can easily find any place in China.The real problem is that Edgeio assumes you will use your website to sell your goods when there is very little chance that your audience has the reach of either eBay or Craigslist. Sellers will always go where the majority of the people are for the best chance of making money.
- Flock. When your supporters’ main argument is, “They haven’t even released a 1.0 version yet”, there is a good chance something is wrong. What exactly is the market for Flock? Arugably, Flock received the most amount of buzz last year before a beta was even released. With 12 employees on board and a stockpile of money to work with everything was looking rosy. That was fall of last year and now that we are in Fall 2006 what do we have so far?Beta 1 (v0.7). Let’s not forget that their founding CEO has quit along with their loudest cheerleader and you have signs of a company that is in trouble no matter how much the crowds want them to succeed.
- Netscape. It’s hard to call Netscape a loser because by default they should be receiving a ton of traffic with the use of one of the oldest Internet brands around. However, I don’t see them doing much simply because of the use of that old brand. Many people remember Netscape as being Microsoft’s whipping boy and newer people couldn’t care less what Netscape is because they know one thing, it isn’t Digg.With a broader range of categories than Digg, it seems Netscape is trying to appeal more to the general public than just the technology crowd. However, that crowd doesn’t seem to be interested in going through stories and voting up the top ones and too much of the Digg crowd will remain loyal to Digg because of the community and interface (Netscape needs a UI overhaul in the worst way).
- Microsoft. In May, comScore Networks reported that MSN Spaces was the largest blogging service worldwide, but who knows about it or uses it? Microsoft seems content to think that just being in the market is good enough for them and the market and will kindly hand itself over. What have they done exciting on the web in the past year?They want to compete with Google and Yahoo in the search space, but don’t seem to be making any ground there. Then there was the Adsense competitor that hasn’t made any waves. They completely missed the bus in the Social Networking space and have already fell behind in the Online Office Suite space. Now they believe they have the ability to compete with YouTube with their upcoming Soapbox. With the amount of cash they have they can catch up, but it doesn’t seem like they have any interest to do so.
- AOL. Not so long ago AOL had the largest social network on the Internet with their IM service and although they still dominate that field they weren’t able to capitalize on it and translate it on the web. Imagine starting a Social Network with your friends list already added as your friends and your account and page already setup with your IM information. The chance was there and they clearly missed it.Add to that a homepage that can’t compete with Yahoo and you are left with a company struggling to find a new identity.
- Bloglines. When AskJeeves bought Bloglines many people were hoping that the #1 online RSS reader would finally get the overhaul they had been waiting for. Sadly, those people are still waiting. Bloglines has always been the leader in its field, but due to the lack of innovation their marketshare continues to dwindle and it doesn’t seem that any change is on the horizon.Make sure to checkout Bloglines Revisited.
- SixApart. For a company that used to be the darling of the blogging world it’s surprising to see them lose so much traction so fast. WordPress has taken over the self-hosted blogging application crowd and is poised to do the same with their hosted platform as well. SixApart has not pushed anything innovative in their MovableType or Typepad applications and their recent offering, Vox, seems to just conflict with these two even more.
- Technorati. What does a couple years of development and multiple rounds of funding get you? Nothing but the same if you follow the Technorati model. The only ones who seem to care about this blogging search engine are the site owners who wish to keep track of who is linking to them and that’s if the service is even up to allow them to do so.The problem is that most people don’t care about blog search and the ones that do will soon go to Google because it is guaranteed to be up. After three rounds of funding and in excess of $12MM burned you would expect Technorati to be a force on the web, but that hasn’t been the case and it doesn’t look like it will be the case in the future either. There is no reason for the big search companies to acquire them because they can do what Technorati does so who is the likely buyer?Make sure to checkout Technorati Revisited.
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Originally posted on September 24, 2006 @ 1:28 pm