The Sincerest Form of Flattery – February 10th, 2012
The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Tech startups fail at an astonishing rate – many of them crashing and burning long before they ever have a functional business model or revenue stream figured out. So borrowing a page from the movie/television/theatre industry, some startups apparenly just look around for what’s working, and then copy it verbatim. A great article in Mashable at the end of January highlighted ten of the most “blatant social media design ripoffs“. It’s a fun read, but I wouldn’t bet any money on the copycats. It’s easier to attract investors than users.
Having finally received my “invitation” to join Pinterest, it’s taking me a while to figure the site out. The biggest barrier to getting started is that Pinterest requires you to have a Twitter or Facebook account and to be connected to at least one of them. That kind of bugged me, as I envisioned Pinterest either accidentally or intentionally spamming my friends. So I chose Twitter, since it’s much easier to be ignored there! I began by “pinning” (uploading) a photo of my very photogenic dalmatian taking a nap. And I got three new friends in just an instant! Now if only I could figure out how to create a board…
Girls in the Hood
One of the copycat sites noted in the article above promotes itself as a sort of Pinterest for the male gender. If that seems weird, well it turns out they might be on to something. There’s reason to believe that Pinterest’s users are almost uniformly women —97% according to Tech Crunch. If so, I’ve got to hand it to them because it’s a marketers demographic dream. In a consumer society like ours, the role of women in making household purchasing decisions is a well-established fact. Indeed, the entire web 2.0 economy may turn out to be the most gender-levelling phenomenon since female suffrage.
Green with Ivy
Speaking of making money off of the web, it was interesting to discover that two mega-celebrities decided to forego the usual let’s-make-money-off-the-photos-of-the-baby thing and posted pictures of their newborn on Tumblr. It says a lot about the waning power of tradition media. Instead, the couple has decided they’re much more likely to make money by selling merchandise, and thus are trying to trademark the little one’s name. I wonder if Jonathan™ is already taken?