I will be the first to tell you that I am glad that MySpace is in trouble. After working with Facebook for the last few months I have decided to pull all of my content off of MySpace and just link to My Facebook account. However it and a recent article (LinkedIn to Open Platform in Response to Facebook) it has become clear that we are rapidly outgrowing the services available in some of the earlier Social Networking applications that we have been using. LinkedIn is a great site (I use that as well) and I think that both Facebook and LinkedIn have their values.
However as the networks grow and the companies producing the applications understand more and more about how their software is used things change. Sometimes the change for the worse (Wis.dm)! What has become increasingly clearer to me is that we will begin to outgrow some of these applications rather quickly. I agree with Michael – LinkedIn is here for the near term. They do however have some interesting challenges as applications which provide similar capabilities begin to produce more user retention.
The problem LinkedIn faces is a market suffering from too many social networking options; Facebook offers a one stop shop that for many is becoming their main and in some cases their only choice in social networks. LinkedIn must evolve to compete, the move to open their platform is a definite step in the right direction.
Evolution is key and we are already beginning to see the challenges ahead as “applications” like Twitter and Pownce begin their trek through the uncharted waters of social networking.
As the fundamental communication process is transfered to the Web we will see a myriad of options available to us. Who knows maybe some day instead of posting to all of the sites, we may actually have a “LifeComputer” at home which publishes strategically to social network stations which publicize our lives for those that are interested.