Tag Archives: bebo

Bebo

Things happening at Bebo.

I’ve just noticed a comment in the press saying that Michael Birch, one of the founders of Bebo, has actually bought it back in some bankruptcy sale for around $1 million – if we go back in time a bit to Bebo’s peak, I think Birch sold it off to AOL for something around $850 million. That was at a time where in many countries Bebo was the dominant social networking site, this being at a time before Facebook had really started its rise to domination.

I do remember at the start of an academic year walking through one of the computer areas in my campus library and noticing one or two of the students had this Bebo site up on their screens. At that time I had not heard of it before and was curious as to what it was. Fast forward 12 weeks and we’re almost at the Christmas break, walking through the same computer area again and found an almost exact opposite situation – where there were only one or two people who did not have a Bebo window up somewhere on their monitor. It really had gone from nowhere to everywhere that quickly. However Birch then sold it off to AOL, and once they got their hands on it they did their usual thing and made a total pig’s ear of it.

The faster something rises up then the faster it can fall down, and so under AOL’s guidance it rapidly descanted into almost total oblivion and irrelevance. AOL in turn sold it on to Criterion Capital Partners. However it did maintain (and still does as far as I can tell) a sort of core number of active users on the site.

Now that Michael Birch has paid $1 million to get it back I wonder what he’s got planned for it. He can’t just re-invent it as it was, Twitter and Facebook have taken that ground away from him. So what will he do?

I think it is going to be a case of ‘I’ve no idea’, because if it was that obvious such that I could think of it someone else would have already done it, so he’s going to have to come up with something quite novel and new.

After all, it is one thing to develop a brand new site that no one has ever heard of so it doesn’t have either a good or bad reputation; it’s another thing to pick up an old site which is seen by many as a bit of a joke and to try and turn it around. On the other hand he has got a well-known brand name behind him again. We’ll just have to see what he does with it, I’m almost tempted to sign up again purely to keep an eye as to what may develop.

Nerimon & the Internet.

I can quite sympathise with Alex Day over closing off much of his ‘Nerimon’ internet stuff. I like YouTube (& BlogTV), but things like twitter, well, now the novelty has worn off it’s becoming more irritating than anything else. One trouble for me is that it can be very fast-moving, and if you have more of a life than just sitting on the internet and having a twitter browser page open, then it’s very easy to get left behind in some conversation. Don’t look at it for a day and you may have pages of tweets and ‘half complete’ conversations to work your way through. Facebook, I just keep that because many people use it as a way of highlighting YouTube Gathering. Bebo, once very popular with the student crowd around me so having access to it was handy, but it’s fallen out of favour and I never bothered with it other than as a back-up blog channel. I quite like DailyBooth and will probably stick with that for a while.

I like the internet. I want to use it. I enjoy this sort of technology stuff. My first e-mail address, or mailbox as it was called then, I got over 20 years ago. But I want it so *I* use *it*, not to have it control and dominate my life. I guess it does dominate – I’d be totally lost without it – but I still want it such that *I* have control and *I* decide over when and how I use it.

So go for it Alex, and everyone else who wants to. Get rid of the non-essential crap that just distracts you away from life. Keep the core elements, the rest will still be here if you want to return.