Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Friendster Back from the Dead? 91

Posted by Zonk
from the brains? dept.
garzpacho writes "With a fresh infusion of $10 million in funding, Friendster is making a bid to rejoin the social networking A-list. The cash, from VC firm DAG Ventures, accompanies plans for a complete project redesign, a focus on adult users and a newly awarded patent for social networking. A real comeback might be unlikely, though: 'Turnaround stories for companies that draw on advanced Web technology known collectively as Web 2.0 remain unprecedented, says David Sze, a general partner at Greylock who specializes in consumer Internet companies but does not invest in Friendster. Still, Sze says Friendster doesn't need to have a MySpace-size traffic explosion to turn a profit. Says Sze in an e-mail, 'If those users are reasonably valuable and monetizable, I think [investors] can make money on their investment.''"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Friendster Back from the Dead?

Comments Filter:
  • all the fake photos I need are on Myspace!
  • by demonic-halo (652519) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:12PM (#15956121)
    I still have an account on there. I really like their birthday reminders, lets me know which friends to avoid so I don't end up having to buy them birthday gifts.
    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:37PM (#15956316)

      I still have an account on there. I really like their birthday reminders

      I get a kick out of Friendster because I get emails saying I haven't logged in "in a while" and how great it would be if I logged in. Friends get the same emails, and we all ignore them, because friendster had/has nothing to offer beyond a popularity contest. I grew out of worrying how MANY friends I had years ago.

      We agreed it was like a desperate ex...popping up every once in a while, telling you how nice it'd be to hear from you...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        I grew out of worrying how MANY friends I had years ago.


        Judging from your UID, that would have been 3 or 4 years ago then?

      • by achacha (139424)
        I have done my best to keep my friends list at 0 for a while on friendster... and I hope it stays that way, I am anti-popularity and less I use it the better my chances!
    • I think they'll make a comeback, now that Colbert is pimping BlackFriendster on his nightly comedy show.
      • Comedy show?? Shug ! I thought that was news ! :P
        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          Actually his show is more newsy than most 6:00 broadcasts in the States. You get World news, interesting events, and facts. And I'm not talking only the Wikipedia "facts" that he strews about, but his journalism exceeds most legitimate non-comdey newscasters. And he's involving the blogsophere and "netizens" in his broadcasts too, which is a clever move.

          He could have a bazillion friends on a social networking site, and put the horde to good use. Perhaps by telling them to all vote independent next elections
  • by xintegerx (557455) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:13PM (#15956128) Homepage
    Why buy Windows every year when you can buy Windows 3.1 on eBay for the cheap? It has everything except DirectX for games, or the ability to run .NET and Office 2003 applications, but so does Linux.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBNBQRXvkps [youtube.com]

    (This is a joke)
    • I used a Windows 3.1 machine not so long ago. Machine itself was slow, but it was interesting to note that it was damn responsive to user inputs. Did we forget something that we once knew?
      • by Korin43 (881732)
        Turn off all of the spiffy visual effects in Windows XP, remove all the useless programs that run in the background but you don't use, and uninstall your bloated antivirus and you'll find that your computer runs just as well as that old Win 3.1 box.
  • by supabeast! (84658)
    hey DAG Ventures, 1999 called, they want their stupid investors back!
    • I'll admit he isn't my favorite comedian, but there is no reason to call David Allen Grier stupid.
  • Friendster making a comback, but so are discos.
  • The problem with ANY new or 're-established' "web 2.0" social networking site is that the existing ones are firmly entrenched, and theres not a big reason to switch to a different one if all your friend are already on the one you have.

    They're going to have to do something different and unique to get noticed, otherwise they have a snowball's chance in hell of making it work. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      All they have to do is call it Frienstr. Once you lose the e at the end, its web 2.0 gold.
      • by virtuald (996377)

        Don't forget about adding a 'beta' to the end of the name as well. Also, integrating an AJAX-driven GUI will help them incentivize dynamic value from their resulting rss-driven communities.

        (thanks to the Web 2.0 bullshit generator [emptybottle.org])

    • by kryogen1x (838672)
      ...and theres not a big reason to switch to a different one if all your friend are already on the one you have.

      In 2006 AD, social network war was beginning.
      Friendster: We get signal, main screen turn on.
      MySpace: How are you gentlemen! All your friend are belong to us!
    • by Opie812 (582663)
      ...if all your friend are already on the one you have.

      Typically, I would think this was a grammatical error of some sort, but around slashdot I tend to think you're probably correct.
    • Take it from a young idiot with a bunch of young idiot friends that all have accounts on every social networking site. Every teenager will sign up for it and half of the idiots will click the links to download ringtone's for their phones, and other crap. It is the easiest way to make a buck.

      I get invites from retards all over the place that I meet, for myspace, bebo, ringo, hi5, all that useless crap. Then eventually poor sods like me sign up accounts hoping the invites go away. Then you just get spammed da
  • Blah. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:17PM (#15956163) Homepage Journal
    If I get hold of a once-marketable name, slap some "Web 2.0" style buzzwords on it, and do some patent-trolling, can I have $10 million in venture capital too?
    • Re:Blah. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:32PM (#15956283) Journal
      If I get hold of a once-marketable name, slap some "Web 2.0" style buzzwords on it, and do some patent-trolling, can I have $10 million in venture capital too?
      Yes. Yes you can. In the last version it was all ".com" and "web" and "online." Now it's Web 2.0. There's a sucker born every minute, and apparently some of those suckers are too young to remember the 90s.

      • by shark72 (702619)

        "There's a sucker born every minute, and apparently some of those suckers are too young to remember the 90s."

        Trouble is, some of those suckers made lots and lots of money.

        Yahoo! and Fox are apparently satisfied with their purchases of Flickr and MySpace. Sometimes it's a win-win.

    • Too bad you can't register 0.com. I'd love to have web2.0.com as my site...
    • what, did they change their name to Friendstr?
    • all the resurrections seem to happen with *ster names too (e.g. napster, friendster), maybe someone should get the hint that every *ster name needs to be resurrected. or like you said maybe now is the time to snap up robster.com, completely fail at running it, and then ask for money to resurrect it.
  • Between the lines: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theCat (36907) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:18PM (#15956167) Journal
    "With our patent on social networking, we really don't need traffic at all. Maybe just enough to have a claim to *be* a valid site so that we can extort... erm... exercise our patent rights with actual... erm... other social networks that have beat us to the... erm... violated our intellectual property at the expense of our feckless... erm... creative leadership."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by colmore (56499)
      This is an interesting software patent case.

      If we're going on the assumption that *any* software is patentable (I don't believe this, but the courts do, so that's where we are) then web software in particular is problematic. Where does software design end and business plan begin? Friendster seems as close as web software gets to the 19th century idea of "by twiddling this pressure valve my mill is 80% more efficient" patent. There might be precedents, obviously other sites have allowed users to make conn
      • Patents aren't ever good for the market in a specific instance. Patents are only good for the market as a whole, as they provide incentive for people to innovate, since any invention gives them exclusivity. Exclusivity is bad once things are already there though, because it stops other companies from emulating that innovation at a lower cost or higher quality. Patent law is a tradeoff we make for the long-term benefits.
    • by pete6677 (681676)
      Yep, that's what I was thinking when I read about that "venture capital" they received. Someone is investing in the soon to be filed lawsuit against myspace. Friendster's schysters will argue that myspace "stole their IP" and now they want a bunch of money from the myspace owners. Like they say: those that can, do, and those that can't, sue.
  • MySpace will crush this pretty quick...

    I see this comeback being about as successful as the Napseter comeback.
  • Lack of interest. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) * on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:19PM (#15956172)
    I think I was speak for most slashdotters with "Meh". I am still hoping for Pets.com to get back with Web 2.0.
  • How long until? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shr3k (451065) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:23PM (#15956207) Homepage
    How long until we have a repeat of the IM wars? One network is going to want to be compatible with another network, but can't because that network won't open up its protocols. One network might even join forces and share compatibility with other networks (e.g., Friendster, Facebook) to take on one giant, established network (Myspace).

    Hopefully, someone will come out with some kind of meta-network that lets me join each network and keeps up-to-date a basic compatibility (e.g., like GAIM and Trillian do for IM).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by generic-man (33649)
      AIM is to Jabber [jabber.org] as Friendster is to XFN [gmpg.org]. Like Jabber, XFN would work great if anyone actually used it.
    • by dominion (3153)

      I've actually been working on just that. An open source social networking project that's distributed, called Appleseed [sourceforge.net].

      We have two test sites, and we're just starting to get into the distributed part (single sign-ons, cross-site communication, P2P searches, etc).
    • You're looking for People Aggregator [peopleaggregator.com].
    • by sootman (158191)
      How long until we have a repeat of the IM wars? One network is going to want to be compatible with another network, but can't because that network won't open up its protocols. One network might even join forces and share compatibility with other networks (e.g., Friendster, Facebook) to take on one giant, established network (Myspace).

      Anyone want to make a real-time strategy game out of this?
  • Sze says Friendster doesn't need to have a MySpace-size traffic explosion to turn a profit. Says Sze in an e-mail, 'If those users are reasonably valuable and monetizable, I think [investors] can make money on their investment

    How exactly are they going to make money?
    With those googleads like ads they got there??
    http://www.friendster.com/ [friendster.com]

  • by drgroove (631550) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @12:27PM (#15956230)
    Friendster is great, but, though I personally traffic it more than MySpace, I'll never pay to use it (or allow myself to be nickel-and-dimed for using features within it), nor will I click on any ads featured within it. Frankly, I don't see how monetization of Friendster is possible; even those of my colleagues who are "hard core" Friendster users (i.e., visiting the site daily, frequent message/picture posting, etc) have no intention of paying for the service. Too many free options exist outside of Friendster for this approach to be successful; users will simply flock to the next "free" (as in beer) social networking service should Friendster become too heavily monetized.

    I think they're doomed.
  • is anybody else who uses OpenDNS having trouble visiting http://www.businessweek.com/ [businessweek.com]?
  • I think they might pull it off if they offered some sort of niche social networking, maybe for adults/woring professionals past college age that could use social networking tools without all the crap and creepiness found on myspace. I would use something like that.
  • These silly social networking sites are like bars: there's very little that the owner can do to make it "cool". Whether it's "cool" or not is largely determined by the mob mentality of their customers and inertia. It's unlikely that Friendster will make any kind of significant comeback. MySpace has too much inertia, and if it truly is social, then people want to hang out where their friends already do.
    • by unother (712929)

      I don't think so.

      Personally I think the move is right (and I had been advocating it informally for some time). Friendster should concentrate on "adults" (AKA 25+) as MySpace is quite the annoying kid-world sometimes; and furthermore, is so addled with marketing that older people would be frankly turned off by it. Not to mention if they don't focus on being THE site, they avoid the quite obvious traffic and scalability issues MySpace is constantly plagued with.

      I applaud the move and it makes sense. I

  • They seem to be hiring again [crunchboard.com]. If you enjoy a real challenge and have the skill-set..
  • They can do what MySpace did, and pay 100,000 girls a hundred bucks each to pretend that they are "bi."
  • The patent drafter can say anything he wants in the description, like "a system in accordance with the present invention includes a computer and a keyboard", but the only rights the owner gets are in the claims. Friendster's patent rights amount to (every word in this must be present in a competitor's product in order to successfully sue for infringement - caveat...not considering doctrine of equivalents): 1. In a computer system including a server computer and a database of registered users that stores f
  • ...until this Web 2.0, 'social', {insert more buzzwords here} crap fad is over.

    Unfortunately, something even more lame and stupid will probably replace it...

    Sigh.
  • ...plans for a complete project redesign, a focus on adult users and a newly awarded patent for social networking. [emphasis mine]

    That reminds me -- I need to delete my Friendster account.

    I shouldn't be hesitant about it; after all, Friendster has done exactly zilch for me. But I worry that my dropping out might negatively impact, even a little bit, the social networks of my friends, particularly those who joined at my invitation. Still, I cannot abide that my social network is being used to further

  • Humph! They added AJAX controls to the frontpage, added vids, blogs, blah, blah - not impressed.

    Just because it used AJAX, ATLAS, .NET 2.0 or any of the "new" technologies doesn't mean anything. It's still going to be bottom-barrel internet fodder. The idea of social networking and reputation driven sites have been around for ages (look at /.)

    The question then is this: do social networking communities or even reputation servers in the longrun do anything for anyone, except in small specialized communit

  • Please don't consider this spam, because it really IS relevant - a friend of mine has started a very slick new social networking site, uses CSS, has RSS feeds, IM chat similar to Gmail... The feature set is really amazing, it's got feature parity or better with every social networking site I've ever seen and evite and blogging, has unlimited photo sharing, and does email as well. It's called Zoji [zoji.com], please check it out before you mod this.
    Here is the About Us [zoji.com] page. He considers it really "pre-launch" sti
  • a Beowulf cluster of friends!
  • by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @02:26PM (#15957216) Homepage Journal
    It's easy, Friendster, just do what your competitors can't do.

    1. Quit having unexpected errors every 10 minutes
    2. Actual search functions that allow exact matches, etc. Not a fake search engine that returns everything.
    3. No huge influx of Brazilian users
    4. Don't allow customization of pages to the point of saturating a T1 connection upon viewing.
    5. Actual active moderators(in message boards, etc).
    6. No spyware-deploying ads.
    7. No private profiles. No purpose of a private profile on a social networking site.
    8. No orkut-like invite system. No new user filtration like facebook has.
    9. And the big one: no spambots allowed. Captchas, ACTIVE IP banning, and numerous other defenses. Myspace is losing the war on this.

    If Friendster can set a solid ground with doing the above, maybe they can get some converts from those who are tired of myspace's problems.
    • "7. No private profiles. No purpose of a private profile on a social networking site.

      I agreed with all of your other points but there is actually a VERY valid reason for private profiles. To explain by example I present the following:

      My best friends girlfriend is very beautiful, all around amazing girl that guys go nuts over. Literally. One of our EX-friends from highschool started stalking her and tried to add her as a friend on MySpace. She didn't like the idea of him looking at pics of her or commun

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Cyberhawk (716151)
      What's the problem with the influx of Brazilian users?

      Ok, I am Brazilian and I know very well that Orkut and "flog" sites are annoying as hell, putting into account the exaggerated number of teenagers-with-lots-of-free-time-with-nothing-bett er-to-do-than-surfing. But the problem is not about them being Brazilian, is it?

      MySpace is full of teens, all (or the grand majority) from America, and suffers from the same problems that every other successful social site does: the average user sucks.

      That's a whole oth
  • Friendster might still be trying to come back, but according to Steven Colbert, he's still actively trying to look for his new Black Friend(tm) on Blackfriendster.com!
  • I suspect they got the cash infusion because they just got a very general patent on social networking. They could force just about every other social networking site to pay them lots and lots of money.

    The stuff about "resurrecting" Friendster seems to be more of a PR move. They'll try to compete, but pretty soon, they'll claim they can't compete because other sites have stolen their patented ideas. Then Friendster can sue these sites and claim even more damage.
  • Greylock doesn't simply "not invest" in Friendster; they're the lead investor in LinkedIn, Friendster's direct competitor.

To be awake is to be alive. -- Henry David Thoreau, in "Walden"

Working...