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Just read this post on Mashable about “dead” Dodgeball. Interesting to see how services develop and why some succeed and others fail..
Dodgeball, the text-message based social networking service, seems to have been left for dead.
Dennis Crowley, the founder of Dodgeball, and Alex Rainert have both left the sinking Dodgeball ship. Acquired by Google in 2005, Crowley insists that Google is not providing the resources necessary to innovate their service, let alone keep up with recently popular Twitter and newcomer Jaiku. Crowley and Rainert have decided to quit Google, leaving Dodgeball to fend for itself. An announcement from Crowley says that the whole experience at Google was frustrating, “especially as we couldn’t convince them that Dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space.”
In the end, that leaves Twitter the reigning chief. Not that their dominance was in question as of late, but Dodgeball is sure to meet its end very soon. It’s a shame that Google never built up Dodgeball, considering the current and future mobile market, but then again, Google has $3.1 billion deals to tend to.
Thanks to BlueAce here some more info from the guys themselves:
So…. Alex and I quit Google on Friday.
It’s no real secret that Google wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected. The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us – especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space. And while it was a tough decision (and really disappointing) to walk away from dodgeball, I’m actually looking forward to getting to work on other projects again.
So, what’s next? Starting today (Monday!) I’m joining the kids at area/code who are knee-deep in building all sorts of Big Games (remember PacManhattan? ConQwest?). Alex is moving on to IconNicholson where he took a gig as a Creative Strategist focusing on mobile and emerging technologies. (And sorry, but I don’t know what Google has planned for dodgeball going forward.)
ps: Clear your calendar for this Saturday (April 21). A whole crew of us are dj’ing to celebrate our escape. (details + invite coming soon!)
Do you work in the mobile industry?
Have you heard about Microblogging?
Do you know Twitter?
Well….Check out Jaiku’s new mobile application for Symbian series 60 3rd edition devices.. It is amazing. See screenshot below..
Micro blogging preferably with location information is really going to be soo big business.. I AM 100% SURE
It is timely(now), location aware(where), social(who, what) and easy to use.. All critical elements of a great mobile service are there..
So now you know it.. no more excuse that you didn’t see it coming….
Nokia identified music as being an important domain very early(maybe to early?). After the first disaster with the 3300..they waited too long to come with a coherent music story(hardware wise). Nokia’s multimedia business unit having their own roadmap compared to the Mobile Phones BU. We saw music editions(headphone + memory card), the 3250( a ugly brick), N91 featurewise great but size was for many unacceptable. In the meanwhile SonyEricsson build the Walkman line.. Clear vertical music solution! Positioned no only to the high end but also the midrange(volumemakers). Next to having ‘great’ products they secured distribution with the global operators.
So what is the stauts now? Nokia revitalising their music portfolio with the XpressMusic line-up. Interesting part is that they entering in midrange. Sony Ericsson full force the leading categorykiller(not correct in th retail sense, but I like the name). Nseries seem to be more more positioned as being multimedia computers instead of musicplayers, gameplayers, etc..
Nokia’s acquisition of Loudeye(od2) gave them the platform to offer a complete end to end OPEN music download solution. Well that sounds interesting, especially with www.musicrecommenders.com (a web2.0 site in disguise) as being a great place to collect ‘intelligence’ about users, music, profiles, preference, etc.
Strategically Nokia is positioned great to play a BIG part in the music arena. Some critical elements to achieve this success are in my opinion:
Start pushing traffic to musicrecommenders.com and start building a community around musicrecommenders.com
Finds ways to recommend music without the need to be on the site(great music player(pc and mobilephone) with recommendation function)
Be the YouTube of music recommendations. Size counts here!!Get music download service in java client(J2ME)
Well maybe you have then all the elements to be succesful. Scary thing is that the only thing where you really can add value(offer something new) are the music recommendations.
Great new service where you can download and make ringtones.. This service might have a big impact in the ringtone business. It is changing the revenuemodel of ringtones. Building on site traffic and advertising instead of transactions.
Amazon is the big advertiser of the site(offering CD’s based on your preferences). You know what would have been really been great? That I could have logged in with my Amazon account.. 😉
A great article on the development and drivers of social networks at Gigaom. I see a huge opportunity for operators to jump on this wagon. It makes a point for object(photo, video) oriented social networks to get a critical base(get them on it) and then start to involve the users a valuable asset in the value chain through communications.
“Social networks, which are rapidly becoming the portals of the next generation, must place high strategic priority on their communications functionality if they wish to continue their pace of traffic growth, usage, and retention.”
More and more I have the idea that the movements of social networks can be compared to the weather. They change due to some constant changing forces.. The three main forces that, I believe, change social networks are: size, feeling of community and relevance. These forces are constantly moving. For example MySpace: its is so big that people feel lost again and miss the community/family feeling resulting in less relevance. Youth are the first to leave. YouTube/Flickr? Same thing happens. They start to be so big that I am starting to get lost.. Feeling that I am missing out on the good stuff(real stuff). From a technological and marketing point of view working with tags should help me guide right? NOT! Also the provision of other content with the same tag around your selected photo/clip doesn’t work. It gives me the feeling that I always need to search.. The focus is on the search not on the experience. I am never satisfied in my true need: feeling connected share experiences and be entertained. You know as around a campfire. I am not satisfied with leaving just a comment.
Next to that these big social sophisticated smart databases are to clinical in the end to really entertain me. Where is the Ben & Jerry’s in these networks. The human aspect? Surprise me sometimes. Simple things like Google does during special days(christmas, Halloween). Without a ‘human’ face it will be hard to build a brand and loyalty.
It is such a difficult balance between size(enough relevant content), community feeling( feeling connected) and relevance(understanding the TRUE needs).
Only way to have lasting social networks I believe is that Instant Messaging and Social Media merge. Giving you the objects to share and the people to share it with..
Hi, Finally found a good mobile photo/clips upload platform with a strong social network component. On the one site it uses MMS, which is great: well accepted, fixed price, dont need to download apps. Next to that with an MMS you want to share something personal. That is the difference with SMS which focuses more on communicating. Until now it was inefficient to share via MMS: too expensive if you want to reach a group. On the other side it uses TAGS!! Tagging the MMS is brilliant. I just don’t know where you tag the MMS: When you upload or when you visit the intenet page. Any way this way you create an open dynamic platform. Only problem I have is that it is global and too focussed on profiles(flirting). I rather see a platform where local pics and clips can be seen. The tags become much more relevant that way. So make country sites(you have the country code). For example sunset on the beach in the Netherlands, or a goal at a football match, etc. Next to that i find that the homepage is too full. I rather see the tags immediate on the frontpage, inviting you to explore. Next to that I don’t know how the mobile experience looks. I hope they have an adjusted site with tags and a search option. Another comment, if I add a comment on someone’s profile, does that person receive an sms notification with a link to their homepage? Last comment, can I videocall to my profile?
In general it is a smart concept. Not just copy pasting from succeful internet sites. It combines mobile well accepted technology and combines with the things we learned form internet.
So I will subscribe and give some answers too the above mentioned questions.
Interesting part of this article is ofcourse the churnrate or disloyalty of dating focussed social networks. Gives me the idea that dating is more of an add-on application for your social network. Something you can switch on and off.
Seems every day now you hear about another social network startup. From what people in the industry have been telling me there are between 300 and 400 new social networking/dating startups in the last 2 years. Only 4 or 5 of those sites will be around in another 4 or 5 years.
This looks promising.. Anyone had any experience??
I was wondering what would happen with the social aspect of watching TV together. Now that we massively turn to user generated snack TV behind the laptop.
Seems that there is a way of integrating watching TV and ONLINE(beyond the livingroom) social networking. Very curious about any experiences with this service..