In my opinion most of the so-called "community" web sites don't live up to their name. Most sites don't really have a real sense of community. GlobeAlive, a search engine that returns live people, has the potential to become a pillar of a real online community. On it's own, GlobeAlive doesn't have the user- or expert-base to really get to scale that is necessary to really make the idea work. But if GlobeAlive could combine efforts with Blog community sites, it could gain the users, and broader scope required for it to take off. You could search for other bloggers based on keywords, and connect to them instantly via synchronous chat. As part of this idea, GlobeAlive might index members' blogs, using that data to compile keyword lists for search ranking. Bloggers could also use the service as a live conversation tool, with buttons and/or embedded chat rooms on their blogs. The blogoshpere is already well-connected asynchronously via hypertext. GlobeAlive could become the synchronous web connecting bloggers: the [chat-based] phone system for the blogosphere! To accomplish this, GlobeAlive would need to take on a new (or second) focus, a "blog communication" service. I think blogs are a natural starting place, but it could expand beyond that. In summary, I think that building a GlobeAlive user base around communities has the potential to build a valuable user base -- once you have a large community of online "real" people, the "live search engine" angle will fall right into place.
Posted by Mark at June 4, 2003 5:28 PM
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