Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Another one is biting the dust

It was only three years ago that I was looking at Kuro5hin, with it's curious hybrid name.
The idea was to have everybody...anybody...get into the aggregating business by posting stuff that they came across, the letting everyone else who felt moved to do so make comments.
There was a spate of such sites. The traffic must have been pretty good, because some of the comment threads got too long to follow.

As the world of cyberspace grows and develops, as blogs give people their own personal outlet, places such as this are going out of fashion.

Kuro5hin is in danger of losing its relevance. What makes a website like this worth visiting is if there are many users contributing to it and currently there are not enough contributions to this site to keep it interesting. Whilst in its heydey in 2001 it clocked up approximately 100 million page views per day and had almost half a billion regular users, the current statistics are less exciting. Only six comments have been posted in the past year and usually there is only one page view per week, from the monkeys in Berlin zoo who have internet in their cage. The site needs to be much more dynamic. We need to think up ways to get more users contributing.

Blub. Blub. Blub.
Another site is sinking...
Blub. Blub. Blub.

* * * *

Jeff Jarvis, as usual, tells what is coming next.
This is part of the reason that Kuro5hin is drying up.
The new good word is AGGREGATING.
Write it down.
Learn it. Think about it. Remember it. Figure out how it works. Decide how it can best serve YOU.

As a member of the audience, why adjust your schedule and taste to the distributor when you can aggregate your own entertainment from anywhere, anytime?

: Advertising: They simply won't have the easy and inefficient option to buy network soon; they will have to aggregate niches of consumers to create a new and more efficient scale -- with far better targeting, better advertising, better service, better sales.

: Retail: Why settle for the same crap that's in every mall everywhere in the world (even on once-hip lower Broadway) when you can aggregate the unique stuff of an eBay?
And, for that matter, why bother with all those bricks when you can aggregate a more efficient customer base online? (See: Amazon.)

: Customer service: Smart technology companies have been taking advantage of the greatest gift of the distributed but connected world by turning customers into customer service representatives: I get a helluva lot better service on TreoCentral than I get from Sprint and Sprint saves the cost, real and psychic, of me sitting on hold and then yelling. It's free money.

: Consumer products: Customized Barbies are about aggregating a customer base of one. I'll be that car consumers will revolt against having premium packages shoved down their throats. Imagine how this could work even with Coke, which has to fight and pay for shelf space for all its many products trying to attract ever more tastes. If the let me go online and order what I want -- caffeine-free C2 cola in bottles -- I'd order a few cases and Coke would have a loyal customer and save shelving and even marketing costs... and also learn what consumers would want if they could control product design. Aggregate me, baby.


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