Whatever you say in public – and this is as public as I get – tempts providence . It follows therefore that one should tempt providence properly , and bring down a whole building on one’s head rather than a mere ceiling . So here goes:

” I know the successor to Facebook ”

There , it is really quite easy . And it came to me naturally while contemplating the plainly inadequate oarsmanship of the Brothers Winklevoss and the demise of BeBo , suffocated in its sleep by the new regime at AOL . The twins , litigants in the Facebook case and winners of a $65 million dollar bonus for losing , are plainly seekers after Lost Causes . Thus they were rowing in the Oxford boat defeated by Cambridge in the recent Boat Race . I am not sure if they were connected to their lawyers and launching an appeal against the race judges while still rowing , but I am pretty sure that their mobiles were close by , and that their stay in the UK has been an intensively networked experience . And that is where , if they truly want to defeat Mr Zuckerberg , they should be investing their winnings . For the successor to Facebook is lurking out there in the mobile networks even now , built for the network , and not adapted to it as Facebook was .

Over at News Corp , the senior strategists are doing all-nighters to work out what AOL just got : neither MySpace or BeBo will make it . I could save them so much time . The answer is : Go and buy www.foursquare.com . Here is a made for the network social media environment that lets users rate the places that they visit , put them into the social media context , give them credit and points for discovering things ( I could be “mayor” of my local pub if I was’t too busy drinking there ) , and above all , like Facebook , give them credit in the eyes of their peers .

Amazingly then , tomorrow’s social media on the mobile/cell network appears to be a close relation of a number of web-based antecedents . Craigslist for a start . Mobile networking is all about spatial awareness and recommendation . Other parallel players might be the splendid www.brownbook.com , derived from the recommendation directory world , or Qype in Hamburg , Germany. If you are too late to buy FourSquare then there might be some ideas here . The latest BrownBook release now lists 34 million commercial entities globally where you can make comments and recommendations .

Once FourSquare is up and away bigtime ( sorry , the language goes with the subject) , you will want to create the real time links that show you when your friends are checked in to the bar or restaurant or hair salon or pub that you are just approaching on the street outside . Then the fun begins , but early investment before concept maturity is advisable . And only a few things remain to be said . One is that having discovered this I seem to have let the cat out of the bag before buying a major ( or any) stake . Which is why I am poor . Secondly , I seem to be saying that the future of social media and directories are inextricably linked , which is not where I thought I was going to end up . Lastly , if the history of the network is about constant innovation , then BeBo , MySpace and FaceBook can all be described as players who innovated once , and then stuck to the knitting . Which is why they will all be overtaken by the Next New Thing . And , guess what , you read it first here !


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1 Comment so far

  1. Andrew Spong on April 8, 2010 11:09

    4SQ was being touted as ‘the new Twitter’ at SXSH last year…


    As well as this year…


    They must really mean it. 😉

    The importance of focusing on how you’re going to utilize geospatial apps in a mobile setting cannot be understated.

    Just don’t expect scholarly publishers to get it, OK David?