Feeds

VCs back Friendster

Let a million fake IDs bloom!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Unemployed HTML coders, take heart: gullible Venture Capitalists can again be tapped for cash to bring implausible business plans into life.

The phenomenal popularity of the Friendster social network where people meet online friends has prompted Silicon Valley fund managers to give the Bright Young Things another chance. Some 1.8 million identities - many of them fictional - haunt the Friendster network.

Friendster received $1m in private equity from three investors including the co-founder of PayPal earlier this month, and Kleiner Perkins and Benchmark have apparently coughed up $10 million more.

But why is that founders of social networks often seem to be the most anti-social people in the industry, as this delicious feature story in SF Weekly describes. The snarling founder of Friendster, Jonathan Abrams isn't a weblogger, but he has all the characteristics of a blog-bore: he can't stand criticism, and he can't get a date.

His policy of deleting fictional identities has riled his creative users so much that it's spawned a neologism - Fakester. Fakesters have their own manifesto, and the Fakesters even held a protest event in San Francisco at an appearance by Abrams at a Commonwealth Club 'Urban Singles' night earlier this month.

Abrams doesn't just hate Fakesters using Friendster because it makes his link-maps so dense (for example, everyone wants to link to 'God', or 'San Francisco'). He makes money by the degrees of separation between users: and users quite quickly realise they don't need a Dweeb sitting in the centre of this network, playing match-maker.

There's certainly a modest business model to be made from such software: British site Friends Reunited is the classic example of a social phenomenon that has successfully supported a mom n'pop operation (albeit by now a bloody rich mum and dad). The wonderful Hot Or Not also shows a simple idea can prosper, if it's good enough. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.