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Phosphorus and Lime

A Developer's Broadsheet

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The Rise and Fall of Friendster
From today's New York Times:

The venture capitalists considered shutting down the company. But a sense of obligation (“It was my feeling that the investors and the board had done something of a disservice to Friendster,” Mr. Siegelman said) and economics (Friendster still had a well-known brand and millions of registered users, even if most had not visited the site in some time) prompted Kleiner Perkins, Benchmark and some of the private investors to sink an additional $3 million into the company at the start of 2006.

-- Wallflower at the Web Party

It's funny because I was on Friendster just yesterday for the first time in weeks. (It was in response to some spam message someone had sent me. Still spamming on Friendster? Talk about out of touch...) One thing I noticed was that they no longer tell you how long since that last time someone checked in. I took that as a bad sign.

The article did set straight one misconception: I've read more than once that Friendster failed because it didn't innovate enough but instead focused on fixing technical problems. The article makes clear that slow page loads was a major reason for its downfall. That and it's cliquey network structure -- but I've addressed that elsewhere.