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Stowe Boyd is a well-known media subversive, and an internationally recognized authority on real-time, collaborative and social technologies. His new blog is Message.
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October 31, 2005

Multiply Gets Funding Despite Social Spam Stigma

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Posted by Stowe Boyd

Over a year ago, Clay Shirky and I got into a complementary blog thread about the spammish emails that social network application, Multiply, was sending out: (see The Ten Commandments of Social Networking). This interchange led to me laying out the first seven of the Ten Commandments of Social Networking, which spawned The Operating Manual for Social Tools project.

I haven't really heard a peep from Multiply since, but today got an email alerting me to their having received some investment, which is leading them to develop a Japanese version.

I haven't heard much since I dropped out of all the social networking apps... is anything happening out there, or is the bloom off the rose?

Comments (18) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Technology


COMMENTS

1. Michael Gersh on November 2, 2005 12:10 PM writes...

Stowe,

You had just written that you haven't heard a peep since you composed your ten commandments. I had responded to your commandments, albeit indirectly, over a year ago in a letter to Judith Meskill which she had posted on her social software weblog. This letter listed how Multiply promptly addressed some of your specific concerns.
http://socialsoftware.weblogsinc.com/entry/1252605482758926/

I'd also like to direct you toward a journal entry I had written a few months ago entitled "Social Networking is Not Broken". In it I quote you directly... a quote which indicates that you recognize that social networking is just an "element" of something bigger.
http://michaelg.multiply.com/journal/item/22

Considering your understanding that social networking is just an element, I find it disappointing that you've chosen to simply lump all social networking apps together. Multiply is primarily a blogging, photo sharing, and video sharing application. Multiply just leverages social networking as an "element", in your words, to make its sharing features better.

Rather than continue the propagation of what was an unfair stigma to begin with, perhaps you can look at this objective endorsement of Multiply's ground-breaking social technology as a reason to take a closer look at the what the product does.

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2. Stowe Boyd on November 2, 2005 12:29 PM writes...

Michael -

I hope you will understand that I won't interpret your comments at Meskills blog as a direct response to my post, here.

Besides, what I really meant was that I hadn't heard very much buzz about Multiply since that flap -- not so much that Multiply folks hadn't contacted me.

Yes, I lump together all sorts of implementations under the rubric "social networking" including Multiply, Suicide Girls, and MySpace -- so you're in good company!

Permalink to Comment

3. Michael Gersh on November 4, 2005 08:37 AM writes...

Stowe – thanks for responding.

I know you lump them together. I should’ve been more direct and inquired "why?"

If Flickr, which currently lets you limit access to specific photos to your contacts, updates their product to allow you to also limit access to your social network (as Multiply does), will you then lump Flickr in with Myspace?

If Feedster or Technorati adds the ability to search content in blogs written by those in your social network (as Multiply does), will you then lump Feedster and Technorati in with SuicideGirls?

Likewise, if del.icio.us adds the ability to see what are the popular tags for bookmarks in your social network? Likewise, if Typepad adds a feature that alerts you when one of your contacts replies to a blog entry written by somebody in your social network?

You wrote that "when the social networking modeling and analysis becomes just one helpful element of the substrate that these next generation offerings will be built on, then we will see the true explosion in social networking use." But how will you recognize this if you drop out at the mere presence of the model?

I just hope that when, not if, the hypothetical examples I've listed above come to fruition, you don't herald them as "next generation" but rather recognize they've simply caught up to Multiply in terms of leveraging social networking.

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