Thursday, September 11, 2008

TechCrunch 50 - Session 11: Vertical Social Networking

Birdpost: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: is a social network on which birdwatchers will be able to record, share and map their birdwatching experiences.
What's cool: The change-the-world concept behind Birdpost. Watch the demo.
What's the model: Freemium subscription model. Free for a month and then USD 50 per annum. Birdpost claims that birdwatchers are rich and spent USD 35 billion on birdwatching in 2001. So subscription would work. They also wish to build this out for other nature lover interests - insects, fish, plants.
What's the challenge: Tinkering the business model to ensure that while they make money, it also becomes the nature search engine.
Hot or Not: HOT

Closet Couture: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: A fashion social network for women with expert consultation wardrobe management.
What's cool: Ability to dig deeper into your email
What's the model: Its a desktop email application and its free. Revenue model non-existent. I doubt if they'd get an exit considering the fact that the technology being worked is specifically for their desktop client rather than a plugin like Xobni.
What's the challenge: Getting online email users to use a desktop app. Getting desktop email users to shift from existing desktop clients. Long-term relevance. What happens when these features get built into Gmail or Yahoo!?
Hot or Not: HOT

What's it about: Facebook for the deceased. Actually, more of a genealogy site than as a social network.
What's cool: Already has 80 million records that were avialble publicly. Also has digitized a huge amount of old newspaper photos, magazine photos, etc that was previously unavailable.
What's the model: Subscription. But that is just not taking off.
What's the challenge: Transforming this into a wiki because that what it actually must be.
Hot or Not: NOT

What's it about: Social network for not-for-profit organizations.
What's cool: The cause its been built for.
What's the model: Two entities. One deals with the contributions, 100% of which are passed on. The other entity deals with brands being charged to associate themselves with cause marketing.
What's the challenge: Adoption at the individual level. Maybe I am missing something but I just don't see the product adding any great value over the FB causes app.
Hot or Not: NOT

Shattered Reality Interactive: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: A social network (rather a community) which can go on to guide and contribute towards SRI's MMO game development (Kaos War).
What's cool: The game screens looked great.
What's the model: SRI has built parts of their game which would be given out free. This would be used to build a community who'll contribute with their ideas to build the remainder 80%. SRI thus lowers their cost of game development.
What's the challenge: Adoption. Participation.
Hot or Not: NOT

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