When I used to work at Yahoo! the phrase online real-estate was used to describe the space on page available for advertising and promotion. A couple of blog posts have taken the analogy between property and online services to new levels.
Stuff White People Like hides some canny observation beneath its iron fist of satire. Its post on Facebook:
For a brief period of time, MySpace was the site where everyone kept their profile and managed their friendships. But soon, the service began to attract fake profiles, the wrong kind of white people, and struggling musicians. In real world terms, these three developments would be equivalent to a check cashing store, a TGIFridays, and a housing project. All which strike fear in the hearts of white people.
White people were nervous but had nowhere else to go. Then Facebook came along and offered advanced privacy settings, closed networks, and a clean interface. In respective real world terms, these features are analogous to an apartment or house with a security system/doorman, an alumni dinner, and a homeowners association that protects the aesthetics of the neighborhood.
Within a matter of months, MySpace had gone from a virtual utopia to Digital Detroit, where only minorities and indie bands remain.
The scandal mongers at Valleywag Fox News VP calls Facebook users “more sophisticated” than MySpace users where Fox News VP of development Joel Cheatwood discussed the different constituencies who made up Facebook and MySpace communities. Which neighbourhood would you like to live in?