Social network space a tad crowded?

I just had to post something here about this because it totally blew me away. Not to pick on the folks at Alice Hill’s RealTechNews, but I was just reading a post they had about something, and down near the bottom there was a gigantic line of icons, each of which represented a social-networking website where you could click and either submit the post or bookmark it or whatever.

I’ve included a screenshot here because I found it so incredible — there are 25 icons, from a little animated TV set to a star and a sheaf of wheat. They represent everything from Digg.com and del.icio.us to news sites such as Newsvine.com and Fark, to lesser-known bookmarking sites such as Spurl.com and RawSugar, to ones I’ve never heard of such as LinkAGoGo and Scuttle.com.

If you’re a VC and you’re thinking about investing in the social networking space, I suggest you take a look at these and despair. And this isn’t even all of them — I can think of a few that aren’t even on the list (maybe their icons weren’t cute enough), such as Diigo, eSnips, Dogear, Kaboodle, LookLater, StumbleUpon and Frassle.

socialnetworkicons

Google bookmarks — is that the best they can do?

Okay, it’s not as bad as the Google China thing, but I have to say the bookmark feature that Google just released has to be one of the lamest things to come down the Web 2.0 pike since Froogle. I mean, come on. Saving your bookmarks with a toolbar? How 1990s. Sure, you can keep them in one place so you can get to them from anywhere — Yahoo’s only had that for about two years.

Not only that, but I have to say that Google’s implementation sucks, from a whole bunch of different perspectives. One, it relies primarily on a toolbar, which I hate. I don’t need or want another toolbar offering to install itself, and I don’t care how useful it pretends to be. Whatever happened to bookmarklets and plug-ins? I thought that was the wave of the future. Of course, Google isn’t even supporting Firefox with this one yet, so there’s another strike against it. And when you go to the Google site — which you can do if you don’t want to use the toolbar — there’s no way to import bookmarks from a browser or file, or to sort them.

Then there’s the fact that there’s nothing even remotely different about what Google is doing — no digg.com-style ratings, no del.icio.us-style sharing, no integration with any other part of the Google-verse even. Kind of like the company’s blog search isn’t anywhere to be found when you’re searching Google news, which you would think would be a natural (Yahoo seems to think it is, since their search blends both). In other words, a completely ho-hum product. Why even bother?