Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Temporary Insanity

   How much longer can what's popular on the Internet now stay popular?  Does each thing have an expiration date set to expire? Content on the Internet is obviously fast pace and changing each day. A news story attracts most of its readers in the first few days or even less.  A video might get passed around for a weeks time. All websites they reside on and more needs to be questioned.

   Most of us have social media websites we visit regularly. For the past three years Facebook has been the top choice for many. I signed up for Facebook in 2006 when a friend invited me. I didn't think much of it. I literary only knew one other person on the site so there wasn't much I could do with it. I let my account lie dormant while spending time where my friends were, Myspace. There was a good four year period when that's what most people used (maybe you were Xanga type of guy.) While everyone was searching for a new layout for their page and leaving "pc4pc!" comments, Facebook was gaining popularity with the college kids it welcomed. I'm not going to go into the whole history of Facebook, that's not what this is about. But why did people totally switch from one thing to another? I know its full of inaccuracies but in the movie The Social Network,  Mark Zukerberg asked how The Harvard Connection would be different from Myspace or Friendster. The answer was that girls would want to date guys from the school and because of exclusivity. That's just two things Facebook became to have making it stand out. There are more answers to that question and you can see the differences between the two now. Cut to today and only a tiny fraction of users remain on Myspace.

   Just in the same way, what's next? How much longer can the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even YouTube continue? Each of them have been established as some of the top go-to places. Not to say that the whole population is divided between these, because there are a lot of similar places to talk with friends, upload pictures and watch videos. There isn't a clear answer. Each can adapt to the interests of the users if they are willing to.

   One reply could be that because the Internet is improving and becoming more and more advanced is the reason why things can't last. Websites that were created in the early 2000s don't stand a chance in their original form. The features and layout of YouTube are ever-changing since it started almost eight years ago. Very likely it will soon have its first video with a billion views. Yet those who make money uploading videos on the site for a living are sensitive to the fact that YouTube won't be around forever. They have other pursuits and create content elsewhere. Some are part of a company, like Maker Studios, that produce content immune to the popularity of YouTube. People want to secure material in something more reliable than a single website.

   Indeed none of these websites will suffer a fall unless another rises above them. If and when this takes place is anyone's guess. I'm certainly not the only person to examine this. Are you questions them too?

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