Friday, March 14, 2008
A Lesson in Social Skills
AOL is buying BeBo the number three social networking site as they start to reposition their offer and see obvious need for a social network community.
Do all social sites need to be huge to offer potential? What drives a social network site? We know Facebook started as a college site and then morphed into a post graduate reunion site before young executives found it the hip place to be seen. We are aware that MySpace and Facebook have enjoyed a meteoritic rise and now have been bought for huge sums but what about the smaller want-to-bes?
An interesting site is www.sellstudentbooks.com . It does what it says on the can ‘sell student books’ enabling students sell their used books and importantly as they do so engage in a community site that offers shared communication not just on the books. It has all the right ingredients; a need (giving students extra cash for unwanted books), an audience (students) and value added as the students act as a validator of what books matter and which texts count. Just like the lecturers did before than they help qualify and rate the content.
We love the rouges gallery of ‘sexy sellers’ and it clearly appeals to many.
The really interesting thing is that they are continuing to push the site boundaries and stickiness and are now adding accommodation and laptops to their trading offer. This is one savvy set up and deserves to be a success.