Was reading a review of Steepster.com on Teaintech (Google juice, right there!) and to summarize it, it was: “Twitter, only customized for tea drinkers, a special needs community!”
My first thought upon reading this was: There is always a spot for a niche site that serves a community with truly unique needs if that community is sufficiently tightly lumped. That way, they can migrate to a new/unique/obscure social network and all find each other. (The obvious advantage of a large social network being that everyone is already there.)
My second thought upon reading this was: Facebook solved this problem by introducing Facebook Apps, allowing the user experience to be customized to special audiences via the creation of integrated applications.
Twitter is different than Facebook (today, although Facebook appears to be moving aggressively into the Twit-o-market). The ability to shout the tea you drink out to anyone, even people that are not your friends, is different than Facebook and noteworthy. Clearly, we need apps to serve this market.
Now, to round out this post, because everyone knows I like to keep my posts meaty, here is some more information for aspiring Web 3.0 Entrepreneurs: twitterapps.com is taken. It was registered about 4 months ago to Matthew Lamb of Bala Cynwyd, PA! He has a baseline WordPress installation up with most of the default starter stuff still showing: “Hi, this is a comment.To delete a comment, just log in and view the post’s comments.”
Finally, Facebook appears to have no apps for tracking and sharing your tea drinking habits. Alas, they appear to have 30 apps for “Send your friends a cup of tea”, which kills me.
Big opportunities for Twitter to prevent the segmentation of their audience and for Facebook developers to actually build practical apps for people. This is a perfect opportunity to apply the new Publisher tool, something that Facebook has seen precious little of.
Update: Great post from the always brilliant Bokardo on relationship symetry in social networks. This certainly gets at some of the underlying social dynamics that are driving Twitter’s success today and why Facebook is following them so quickly.