iYomu: “Social Networking for Grown Ups”?

“Every single person working in the media today who experienced the dot-com bubble in 1999 to 2000 believes that we are going through the exact same process and can expect the exact same results — a bust. It’s déjà vu all over again. And since this moment in time is only the beginning of the cycle, the best nuttiness has yet to emerge.”

iYomu logo

It’s ironic reading those words by John C Dvorak the very day after seeing last night’s demo of iYomu, the “Social Networking for Grown Ups” website to be launched on 13 August. It’s also rather nostalgic.

iYomu is entering an over-hyped marketplace. MySpace is the biggest of the social media websites — pig-ugly and (last time I bothered with it) a tad unreliable. But it’s got 201 million users. If MySpace were a country, it’d be 5th-largest. Facebook is flavour of the month, “only” 11 million users but growing fast. Photo-sharing site Flickr gets 3000 new images uploaded every minute. They’re worth squillions. In theory.

Yet the vast majority of Internet users wouldn’t know what “social networking websites” are — indeed they can barely use email. And for all the success stories, there’s dozens of failures.

So as sharp-dressed Frances Valintine and a relaxed David Wolf-Rooney, both New Zealanders, presented their Vision to a small collection of eminent bloggers (plus me), I couldn’t help but wonder…

Will they become millionaires, or will it all crash and burn?

I also wondered how many times Frances would use the word space. I stopped counting at 15.

I’ll explore iYomu and report daily as it moves from beta to launch and beyond. I think it’ll make an excellent case study. If you’d like to join me and be eligible for the US$5000 prize draw, let me know and I’ll send you an invitation — though I’ll demand that you post at least one useful comment back and, if you win, buy me dinner.

(There’s also a Big Global Incentive to join once the site launches officially, and you’d be in that draw too, but that’s still a secret.)

There’s still one thing bothering me from last night, though. If iYomu is for “grown ups”, why doesn’t it have a grown-up name?

[Update: Check out this more detailed description from one of last night’s attendees. Saves me having to repeat the feature list. And also read my thoughts on why Facebook will beat both iYomyu and MySpace.]

10 Replies to “iYomu: “Social Networking for Grown Ups”?”

  1. Why is there no “skanky back alley sex” in the ‘I am interested in meeting people who are interested in’ bit?

    “Grown up” indeed *snorts*

  2. @Snarky Platypus: That’s why immediately below that drop-down list there’s a box labelled “suggest a description to iYomu”. Whether David will take up your suggestion ad add it to the list is another issue… 😉

    Or, click on iYCommunity in the left-hand menu and then “Create New Community”. But you can start…

  3. Great to see a quality alternative for people who want social networking without the hassle of Myspace, Bebo etc. It also has some cool concepts such as the “vault”, a definite for adults rather than teenagers….

  4. @kiwifiedpom: What’s disappointing is the fact that you’ve posted exactly the same comment to so many websites which mentioned iYomu. So which PR company do you work for?

    From here on in, if any comments are posted by you, I’ll just automatically mark them as spam and Akismet will do the rest — unless, of course, you actually engage in true dialog.

  5. Ouch! But yeah, I thought I’d seen that comment a couple of times before! I think the site isn’t very pretty or user friendly. The name is annoying and the “IY” before everything is doing my head in. It makes things hard to read, I’m sure my mum will love it. I don’t think you’ll get her off of flickr though.

  6. @Kiwified kiwi: Heh! And which PR firm do you work for? Flickr’s? 😉 But you’re right, the “iY” prefix will date so quickly. There’s been a few pieces on marketing websites about that recently — I’ll post them when I’m back at my own desk this evening.

  7. sorry for delay in reply didn’t mean to ruffle feathers, I like the iyomu idea and felt like spreading my feelings across a few blogs in question, similar to those who are not keen, perhaps a little naive but wow what a sting back from some individuals. I thought the southern hemisphere was a little more relaxed!

  8. @kiwifiedpom: Well, when exactly the same words are copy’n’pasted in comments on different people’s blogs, it’s Sign 1 of comment spam. When the words — entirely by coincidence, I’m sure! — just happen to mirror the specific key promotional messages of the product, that’s Sign 2 of comment spam. When the style of language being used (dialect and sociolect) just happen to match the demographic of your typical PR firm staffer, that’s Sign 3.

    As the saying goes, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”

    Some of us have been online a long time and are good at spotting ducks.

    I’ve written further analysis on iYomu. PR staffer or not, you’re more than welcome to discuss it.

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