I am at Supernova in San Francisco. I just spoke at a panel on social networks in which AOL and Yahoo were represented. AOL has over 100 million unique users, mostly in America. Yahoo has around 400 million uniques with USA being it´s number one country as well. And other than Flickr my guess was that most people in the audience did not use AOL, nor Yahoo. Also other than Flickr I could not see how any AOL or Yahoo properties benefit from the Web 2.0 effect, namely that your experience gets better on the net because somebody else is surfing the same site as well.

But if anything AOL and Yahoo were eye openers to me in the sense that I wonder how elitist many of the sites that I invest in are. Companies like Technorati, Netvibes, Joost and many others are much smaller than Yahoo and AOL and have little chance to ever catch up with them. So is the Web 1.0 just here to stay? Is the Web 2.0 a minority group that just looks huge to us because we live in it but it is tiny when all is taken into account on the internet? Or will AOL and Yahoo eventually evolved and make most of their experiences comunal? Hard to tell.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Atakan Cetinsoy on June 22, 2007  · 

Hi Martin-
Just added your feed to my NetVibes. The panel was enjoyable in contrasting the established sites to the up and coming. IMHO AOL, Yahoo! and the likes have in a way missed the train on social networking as we define it today.
Why create a new profile with them if you’re already on several established social networks where your friends are. At this stage, I believe it is more important for the incumbents to reorganize their contens into microchannels than can be subscribed to on whatever social network. This puts the pressure on those networks trying to create a walled garden and extends the reach of major networks beyond their existing spheres. Combining a teaser approach with on ramps that lead to richer user experiences directly hosted could be just what the doctor called for the Web 1.0 media behemoths.
The jury is out…

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Gregor on June 22, 2007  · 

I think the Web 2.0-Community is elitist up to now, but it will change. Taking a look on google trends new services (e.g. twitter, netvibes) are showing a remarkable uptrend. Simultaneously Web 1.0 services remain static in trend (e.g. aol, yahoo).

Of course, as you described, we’re talking about completely different levels at present, but considering the diffusion theory, probably more users will recognize the advantages of Web 2.0 and conquer the barriers.


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pradyum on June 23, 2007  · 

Excellent perspective here & also on the panel.

What surprises me that web 1.0 company executives don’t come across so articulate! Yahoo & AOL both are struggling, and if they remain single trick ponies, it is just a matter of time before they become irrelevant.

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Jose on June 23, 2007  · 

Don’t forget one thing: yet we have papermade newspapers…
When was the last time that you bought a newspaper?
It’s the economy, st…. (Clinton said)
Please, don’t worry about the past.

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