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Blogger Evolved

I swear I read something other than Hacker News, but today I was reading the HN comments in response to this blog post by Chris Dixon about how once you start taking money the clock starts ticking. This comment in particular, in response to the idea that it would be good to know what companies ran out of money so that others could try the same idea, struck me:

Doubt it would work out that way most of the time. You wouldn’t have the same experience/knowledge/insight.

The same people could probably re-do a company smarter though. Foursquare is Dodgeball 2.0. Twitter is sort of Blogger evolved.

While I’ve always thought of Twitter in some very specific ways (started by some of the same people, it solves the big problem of blogging by taking away the big empty box), something specific jumped into my mind at that moment that I hadn’t considered before. I long believed that the core difference between Twitter and Tumblr was the decision to go with path names (twitter.com/heyitsnoah) versus subdomains (heyitsnoah.tumblr.com). While this doesn’t seem like such a drastic difference, it creates a very different kind of network and feeling. The latter (subdomains) are much harder to monetize on a per-page level because as much as it might seem illogical, advertising doesn’t work all that well on the long tail (Tumblr’s answer to this, of course, is that people keep refreshing the dashboard).

Twitter has solved this problem by keeping everyone within the main experience. Your page on Twitter is less your page than it is Twitter’s page and that makes it easier for them to sell long term. I was actually talking about this on Wednesday with a friend of mine who said he felt even more creeped out by Pinterest because it felt like it took the idea of the platform owning the page even further. He felt like everything he posted there wasn’t really his and as he found more popularity on the platform he’d eventually have to move it to make it more his own. Not sure I agree with the distinction between the two, but it’s interesting to think about how seemingly small choices on how to set up URLs can have a big impact on the way the site feels.

February 26, 2012 // This post is about: , ,

Comments

  • Ric Kallaher says:

    The distinction between pathways & sub-domains is a very elucidating & intriguing distinction to point out. And your friend’s comments re handing over ownership totally sums up a long-standing discomfort I’ve had with these outlets but couldn’t quite put my finger on (or at least express properly). It’s a discomfort which has led to practical paralysis in terms of ‘getting things out there’. But I well remember Facebook’s short-lived attempt to claim ownership of any image put up via its “social” network. While that was quickly put down, Zuckerberg’s attempt to “own me” has left, as Dr. H. S. Thompson would say, a foul taste of fear & loathing. But, as you point out in Where You Live, it’s gotten to the point where “we have no choice.” Or at least it FEELS that way.

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