Do Larger Social Media Channels Always Have the Upper Hand?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of small scale communities vs. larger more popular ones? Is bigger always better? How does communication differ amongst larger social media channels as opposed to smaller yet more specialized ones?

Come to think about it, it’s true what they say: “sometimes less is more“! Allow me to further explain.

During our ordinary lives, we are always faced with situations that make us wonder: Do we really need many friends or just a few true close ones? Do we need fame or simply a good reputation? Do we need many meals a day or only a few healthy ones? This applies to everything we do offline and online as well!

Earlier on this week, while doing some usual research on the web, I came across the video sharing channel, Vimeo, which is very much similar to Youtube yet on a smaller scale. The first idea that popped to my mind was trying to figure out the reasons why Vimeo is not as popular as Youtube, treating the situation as a problem. After some research, I was able to find out that maybe, just maybe, this smaller number of users is there for a reason: specialization! Although Vimeo and Youtube have a lot in common, Vimeo’s competitive edge probably lies in its ability to create a more intact and integrated chain of users who make up communities that know each other by face and name and who interact with each other on a more personal level than any large social media channel can possibly provide!

But the buck doesn’t stop there!

There are many other social media channels for which this theory can perfectly apply, namely: the infamous social bookmarking sites Reddit and Mixx vs. Digg.

Got 69 points and 25 comments on Mixx, but not even noticed on Mixx!

Got 69 points and 25 comments on Mixx, but not even noticed on Digg!

Let me break it down to you in simple points to bullet-proof my argument…

Top 10 Web Startup Business Screwups!

Why do many new web startups, with great ideas, valuable assets and deep motivation, fail? What are the major mistakes startups commit leading them to failure? What can be done to prolong the life of a startup rather than bring its business life to a guaranteed end?

It’s sad: the percentage of failed startups. It’s almost depressing! Even years ago, going back to the 90’s, it seems that startups have been failing continuously yet more discretely since social media channels and Web 2.0 were not in play!

A Table of Web Companies that Vanished!

A Table of Web Companies that Vanished!

Now many of you out there will think: why should I consider opening my own startup when there’s a 50-50% chance that it’s going to fail? Why not just apply for a stable company and settle for being an employee with a steady income? I beg to differ, the remaining successful 50% could be perceived positively! What failing startups lacked is the ability to learn from the mistakes of the many others! Yet now, with the abundant availability of failure stories, both online and offline, it has become easier to learn from the mistakes of others and try hard to avoid them.

So here’s what I’m going to do for this particular post: I’m going to choose a list of startups that failed and point out their mistakes clearly, explaining how they could be avoided in future ventures.

  1. Simplicity Does Not Substitute for Functionality!
    • AlmondRocks (as we were able to conclude from the little resources we found) created blogs that were too simple that they were actually useless!
  2. Don’t Underestimate Competition:
    • TinFinger Took their competition, Wikipedia – one of the top ten websites worldwide- lightly. They also concentrated on the technical side of the interface (RDF triples and semantic web) rather than the friendliness of the user experience.
    • Feedster, a search engine which seems to have been resurrected then killed again, is yet another example of underestimating competition, in this case: Google!
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