Okay, I've been reading blogs since a time when many of my friends didn't know what they were. That wasn't very long ago. Now, I read in bits that there's a Nielsen online and that they are rating blogs now. Both these things are interesting news. Even more interesting is that, of the top ten most widely read weblogs in America, only one name is familiar to me.
I've also never heard of bebo. According to this post it's the social networking site that dominates in the UK. The interesting thing about that is, one might expect that without the language barrier, the established networking sites like myspace or facebook would have taken the UK market, but they haven't. It seems like old-style word of mouth may be a big part of how those networks grow. Now that I think of it, my own entry into each of the networking sites I have a profile on (Friendster, myspace, and facebook) was prompted in each case by someone either telling me about it face to face or by an email from someone physically not far from me. LinkedIn is the exception. I have a profile there, which I haven't touched in probably over a year. That seemed like a really good idea, but I don't know if it will amount to anything or not.
But it's interesting how in the online world language barriers are not the only substantial cultural boundaries.
If a particular website can dominate its market in the US, while another one holds on to its share of the UK market, it seems to follow that a site could hold a market share that matters in terms of dollars in just one region of the US against a competitor that holds the rest. I read an article about Elvis that talked about how there were such a thing as regional hits back in the 50's and early 60's but the music market had become a national thing and those were history. Could the web bring that back?