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Posted on October 14, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer

When I first saw this post  on Mashable, I really thought it was a spoof on all of the new social networks out there trying to be the next Facebook, using  the new Google+ "Circles" idea as a theme.  As it turns out, CircleMe.com is actually a new social network which allows you to focus on...well, you (or me to focus on me...you get the idea). 
 

Right now the network integrates with Facebook (so you can have a new place to organize and spam all of your friends), Netflix (so you can talk about movies you like), and Foursquare (so you can always tell yourself where you are). 

 

It does function as a "home" page, for you to use as a web portal or for you to use in place of a blog as a contact form.  However, it really doesn't (yet) have the features of other sites that already do this, like About.me.  It focuses on real-time interaction (subtly poking fun at Facebook, which is sometimes mocked for connecting people who have not wanted to speak to each other since the third grade).  But then again, there are plenty of place already online where you can discuss movies and get coupons to whatever business near you (like Facebook, for example). 

 

The marketing strategy of harnessing the cultural narcissism of the current generation is admittedly a brilliant one, but such a transparent data-harvesting venture is likely to make this new-next-Facebook-or-maybe-not simply the next social network to fail in this effort. 

 

OK, so seriously, what is it going to take to be the next Facebook? 

 

My not-so-humble opinion is that there will never be another Facebook.  It will have its own place in history as the first network to really get everyone together in one place in an effective way. Just like there will never be another Google (search).  It will forever be remembered as the first (and probably only) really successful search engine.  Instead of trying to be the next Facebook or the next search engine, the smart money will be in meeting a need that isn't already being met yet, rather than in in replacing something that already exists.  The next huge internet success will probably integrate with Facebook and Google, but will look and feel entirely different, and will provide a service that will become so useful in our daily lives that we'll wonder how we ever lived without it.

 

Twitter has done this to an extent by creating an international live -updateservice no one has been able to successfully copy as of yet - they are relying too heavily on grant money, however, and are thereby too vulnerable to being overtaken by a competitor who has figured out a way to monetize a similar service or by one of the government agencies which has used it over the last couple of years and may decide it is either too big to fail or too big not to be regulated.  Apple was very close to doing this with the iPhone, but got greedy in trying to make its servces too exclusive, thereby leaving the door open to the competition to provide a similar service that was cheaper and accessible to the masses.

 

So, what will be the next innovation?  I wish I knew, because I would already be on that bandwagon.  One thing is for sure, however, it will not be a a social networking wannabe like CircleMe, which is simply trying to emulate the success of a true entrepreneur.

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