What kills a social network? A group of internet archeologists have picked over the digital bones of Friendster — the pioneering social networking site that drowned in Facebook’s wake — and we now have a clearer picture of its epic collapse.
Friendster was once the hottest thing in social networking. Google wanted to buy it for $30 million back in 2003, but — burdened by technical glitches and a more nimble competitor in Facebook — it was pretty much dead in the U.S. by 2006. That said, it trudged along for a few more years, helped by a relatively strong following in southeast Asia. Then, around 2009, a site redesign crushed it.
Here’s a good read, by Ruby on Rails developer Simon Hørup Eskildsen, on how liberating it is to disconnect from the time-eating temptations of having a smartphone:
“A few spare minutes would usually result in checking my email, Twitter and Facebook. I was a little bit everywhere, all the time. But not truly anywhere. Without the temptation available from my pocket, I feel like I am more present being wherever I am.”
Read the full story here.