Since we are on a theme of sorts this month, what say we keep this whole social network thing rolling? Two more niche social networking sites have popped onto the SuperFly radar in the last week. One, focused on the 40-60 age demo, and the other on “creative people.”
TeeBeeDee is going after the older age demo in a way that other social networking sites have not. A criticism that other boomer+ sites have dealt with is the “AARP factor.” This has been leveled at Eons, which endured some hard times earlier this month due to staff cuts. Basically stated, it is hard to keep the conversations that occur on these sites out of the cane-and-pill chatter and focus more on the business of living a vibrant life. TeeBeeDee states this explicitly on their site: “Learn from others, share what you know, and connect with people who want to keep on growing.”
Quarterlife has an even more difficult assignment: launch & maintain a social networking site AND internet television series without becoming mired in over-hipness. It will be tough, given that their self-selected demo is that of “creative people.” From their site:
quarterlife.com is a social networking site for creative people. Whatever your interest – photography, writing, music, filmmaking, dance, design – quarterlife.com will help you go to the next level. Connect with like-minded people, gather information about schools, grants, and internships. It’s a place to explore the issues in your life, where changing the world is as real as the friends you meet.
There is a connection with MySpace, as their series makes its premiere there one day before the launch on the Quarterlife site. [The series, BTW, is produced by the minds behind “My So-Called Life,” a show that did its own battles with over-hip-itude, IMO.]
These services are launching into a world not-yet-completely saturated with niche social network providers. Will the participants [possibly already users of MySpace, Facebook, etc.] take time from their identities elsewhere online to go into these spaces? Is the value proposition strong enough?