One of the biggest media trends we're busy watching for the Jointblog is the continued rapid growth of social network communities.
Many media pundits say that "mass media is over" or that "the future is about small, not large, audiences". Both of those points may be true. Yes, Fortune 500 companies are still learning how to be successful online. However, that doesn't mean there aren't mass media successes built with large audiences.
MySpace -- less than 30 months old, earning 19% of all online advertising impressions and 40 million members (growing an estimated 100,000 new members a day). That certainly defines a mass media success. Even if it is controlled by its users, not by a media kingpin (which is the very point of its success). Despite being owned by News Corp., it's really owned and controlled by the consumer. And that is what it is all about in the new entertainment economy. The ultimate in search marketing: convenience, connection, content and control -- all made, contexted and found by the consumer.
Successes like MySpace are the rarity, not the rule. Micro niche success targeting small (but rabid) audience fan bases are the norm for success. Just look at a site like UrbanBaby.com.
Starting as an experiment by the editors of Esquire magazine, UrbanBaby was created to provide an open forum for the modern metropolitan mom. A place to vent, to share, to kvetch, to trade secrets, and to brag. Or, often, to complain about their DH (dear husband). Some love being a "SAHM" (stay at home mom), some hate it. Sure, many of the other moms often say "BTDT" (been there, done that) or bitch about sex (not enough, dh wants it too much). But what really drives its success is its word-of-mouth addiction. It's viral, habit-forming, anonymous and often viewed as a god-send of relief for sleep-deprived, over-stressed and overwhelmend moms feeling alone and helpless.
Online message boards and forums are the major engine for any website trying to build a social community.
UrbanBaby certainly is a success story to watch and is profiled in this week's New York magazine ("Mothers Anonymous"). It's like a MySpace. Only it's for moms. Time magazine calls it one of their Top 50 websites. Yahoo's Internet Life has already put in their Hall of Fame. More kudos have come from InStyle, Wired, Time Out New York and many more. And yet, it is still just an underground, below radar success, designed purely to super-serve its core niche fan base. We suggest you check it out -- if you're a mom, thinking about being a mom, or wondering what will happen to your spouse/girlfriend after she becomes a mom. Or, if you need some inspiration building your own micro niche success.
Or, if you're are simply looking for "Stacy's Mom", just like Rachel Hunter in the Fountains of Wayne video.
Hey, it is anonymous there...you never know.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, July 20, 2006,
- At 3:53 PM, said...
There is another site, similar to this - http://www.ParentZing.com
- At 4:50 PM, j&jinternetcafe said...
There are a few social communities for moms. Another great one is Operation Mom, www.opmom.com. It's a great site to share experiences, recipes, travel ideas and much more!