Another timely reality check
It seems like such a short time ago that MySpace was the place to be in terms of social networking – now it seems that’s all over and Facebook is now the 'site du jour.'
It’s not the first time something like this has happened, either - there have been countless communities online that have grown, peaked, and slowly faded into obscurity. Like a roving band of wildebeest, it seems communities arrive en masse, graze for a while, and move on to pastures anew.
See the full article for more details.
I consider sites/services such as MySpace to be instances of what might be called "the restaurant at the end of the Internet" pattern -- fashionable and fun for some, but also popularity roller coasters that have to contend with unclear differentiation and relatively low switching costs (and often outrageous monetary soul-sell-out temptations for founders...).
Facebook might prove to be an exception, staying stridently independent (and thus avoiding the stigma of being owned by advertising-centric and dubious "news" organizations such as News Corp.) and morphing into an accessible platform that is proving to be fertile ground for creative application development/sharing (in the form of "mashups", composite apps, etc.). Indeed, Facebook may be at the center of a perfect storm of sorts -- at the intersection of social networking, user-generated content/apps, and the mainstreaming of the always-on net generation. (But now I've exceeded my cliche quota for the day, so I'll leave it at that...)