Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, June 14, 2021

say pac
Wow. Just a day after noting the continuing cultural influence of Pac-Man, I run across MindSay, a blogging/social networking site that liberally uses a blue-hued Pac-Imposter as its logo.

I guess there’s something compelling and universal about that little wedged-out circle.

As for MindSay… Looks like nothing but a warmed-over replay of Xanga, aimed at the slightly older (mid-20s) demographic who (think) they’ve outgrown Xanga. Like MySpace, these kind of sites seem to have a predictable trajectory:

1. They launch amid much hype over attracting groups of enthusiastic, hip, pretty young things

2. They attain a critical mass of a couple hundred thousand members

3. They start to cross-promote and sell ads like crazy, cashing in on what’s assumed to be a captive audience

4. They roll out premium add-ons for nominal fees

5. They get so large and ad-driven that they turn off the very members that flocked to them in the first place, leading to defections and a loss of cool-cache

6. They sputter on, devolving into purely affiliate-marketing/spam-generating subscriber rolls of questionable value

And so on, until a new crop of sites roll out. What I can’t figure out is why people continually buy into them, swallowing the hype about how they’re new and innovative, when they’re far from it. Maybe the average joiner goes into it knowing that it’s got a short shelf life.

If someone can figure out a way to break this cycle and come out with a social networking site that endures, they’ll make a mint.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/14/2005 11:00:39 AM
Category: Internet, Videogames
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  1. What I find interesting is that some even really useful sites go the way of the dinosaur. For a while College Club was the place to go to meet people, particularly of the opposite genderic persuasion. It faltered despite staying free while the other free sites (Yahoo Personals, TheSpark) started charging or shutting down.

    And unlike Friendster, it didn’t require you to rat out your friends… I mean, introduce your friends to the system… to be useful.

    Comment by trumwill — 06/14/2005 @ 11:28:38 AM

  2. […] Tuesday, June 14, 2021 25 YEARS OF PAC-MAN FEVER Enough with all the Pac-Man stuff, already! I mean, I like the game, but it’s […]

    Pingback by 25 YEARS OF PAC-MAN FEVER Population Statistic — 06/14/2005 @ 11:26:01 PM

  3. I’m one of the co-founders of MindSay. One of our members pointed out your review and I felt compelled to reply. While you are correct in that our site attracts primarily a youthful demographic, I think there are some key differences between MindSay and the services you compare us with:

    1) MindSay is primarily a blogging service. The unique aspect of MindSay is the way we connect blogs to our own social features, which makes it easy for members to find other blogs of interest. This also makes it possible for new bloggers to quickly find a captive audience on our site instead of the traditional cross-linking/self-promotion it takes to find an audience with other blogging services.

    2) MindSay has a conservative advertising policy. We have no pop-ups, and most importantly, we do not advertise on any of our member’s blogs. We even went on the record saying we will never advertise on our member’s blogs in our most recent press release (http://press.arrivenet.com/tec/article.php/610464.html). We generate enough page views on our non-blogging pages that advertising on member blogs and engaging in the practices you mention is not necessary.

    3) MindSay has attracted numerous bloggers that regularly write compelling content. Former programmer Brand Gamblin is providing insights into video game authoring at http://gamecoder.mindsay.com, while our BlogAbroad project (http://www.blogabroad.com/) featured study abroad students writing about their experiences overseas.

    Are we ever going to capture the Typepad crowd? Probably not. But we believe that we create a compelling network for people to share their views on everything from personal experiences to current events. We will continue to add quality content to our service, and connect users with other bloggers that share similar interests, locations, or simply have something interesting to say.

    I invite you to check out our service and try it for a few days. I guarantee you will receive more feedback and interaction with the audience than on any other blogging service you have ever tried.

    Comment by Adam Ostrow — 06/16/2005 @ 11:03:19 PM

  4. Thanks for the input, Adam. Keep in mind my thoughts concerned the observed lifecycle of networking sites like yours — MindSay hasn’t completed this cycle yet, so I’m speaking in future tense. As for your points:

    1) Sorry, I don’t see what’s so unique about this. Blogger, Xanga, LiveJournal, AOL Journals, MSN Spaces and others are based upon this community/blogging idea, designed to foster mini-networks among users. It’s been done. And for many bloggers — including myself — it just seems a bit too clubby, something apart from why we maintain blogs.

    2) This is one of those future-tense deals. While you’re not advertising on your blog pages now, it doesn’t mean that’ll always be the case. The Internet, like nature, abhors a vacuum. At some point, the traffic on those pages is going to beg for ad placement.

    3) As long as you offer a robust blogging service and relative ease of use, I’m sure you’ll attract plenty of good bloggers. Free is hard to beat. I can only draw from my experience: I started on Blogger and stayed with it until I decided that I had outgrown it; their attempt to create a linked-up network among their blogs helped push me out, but then again, I was leaving it anyway. I had run across the Blog Abroad sites before; hadn’t realized you guys were powering it. It looks good!

    Comment by CT — 06/17/2005 @ 03:08:41 PM

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  7. NYC URBAN PILLOW FIGHT

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