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Summary:

Given the breakneck growth and millions of Murdoch’s dollars at its disposal, it is even hearsay to ask the question: Can MySpace be upstaged? Fred Krueger and Evan Rifkin think, no, believe its possible, and their self-funded, six month old start-up, Tagworld will be the one […]

Given the breakneck growth and millions of Murdoch’s dollars at its disposal, it is even hearsay to ask the question: Can MySpace be upstaged?

Fred Krueger and Evan Rifkin think, no, believe its possible, and their self-funded, six month old start-up, Tagworld will be the one to bring down the giant. However, ridiculous it may seem, the goliath has been slain before. The Facebook and MySpace came out of nowhere and lapped the early social networking leader, Friendster. The roots for Krueger and Rifkin’s ebullience can be linked to David Hornik’s theory on Social Networking 3.0.

Social networks are becoming an important ingredient of all sorts of consumer experiences. Social networks inform the conversations that take place among friends on LiveJournal. Social networks enable the discovery of new music on MySpace.

The Santa Monica, California-based company has built an updated version of MySpace, and incorporates some of the Web 2.0 must-have technologies such as ajax and tags, blogging, social networking, social bookmarking and RSS. The service is expected to go live tomorrow.

Krueger, chief executive of the company says that while there are many discrete services out there, (such as Flickr and Blogger) it is difficult for those non-techies to cobble together a perfect personal page. In other words, they took everything that’s hot, and put it into a blender, and came up with a mass-market offering. Will this “remix” be too much for the mass market, especially when compared to folksy simplicity of MySpace?


Tagworld is making music the core of its strategy. The company will initially offer a gigabyte of online storage space for music, and will upgrade the capacity in the near future. Users can upload their own music to their online locker, and will be able to access that music over broadband anywhere, not just on their home computers.

Tagworld is also working with musical acts (it is signed up nearly 300 acts such as The Shins and The Postal Service thus far) which can upload specific tracks that Tagworld members can add to their playlists. Users can add their playlist to their Tagworld page, from where it can be streamed via a flash-based player. The artists will also be able to access details such as how many times a song has been played, or added to a playlist. Of course consumers can simply use that space to store and share photos. Rifkin believes access to this specific information is going to make Tagworld more attractive to record labels and indie artists.

“We think the MySpace hasn’t improved very much,” says Rifkin, “And that is our opportunity.” Krueger and Rifkin believe that their true competition is MSN Spaces and Yahoo 360, since they are two services that have all the elements of what Tagworld is trying to achieve. The service has a cleaner interface, comes with more storage space, and has many more features when compared to MySpace. Will that be enough to get people to switch from their social networking environment?

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  1. Having been a member of MySpace since its near inception I have to say I’m not seeing anything here that makes the average MySpace user say “OMG, I gotta be on here.”

    People forget that a big reason that Friendster lost its steam to MySpace was because back at the time Friendster’s site was slow as molasses trying to deal with the crushing load to its servers. Granted MySpace has had its share of load issues as well over time but the biggest problem is one of critical mass of users. The whole point of being on a social networking site is to be linked to other people, friends, etc. What is the point of being on Tagworld when all your friends already are on MySpace?

    Furthermore, what percentage of users on MySpace and Friendster:

    A) Know what AJAX is?
    B) Care about AJAX?
    C) Know what social bookmarking is?
    D) Care about social bookmarking?
    E) Ditto RSS
    F) Ditto RSS

    And the reason why Krueger and Rifkin believe their true competition is to MSN Spaces and Yahoo 360 is because those services have nowhere near the critical mass of users that MySpace has. Heck, just go look at traffic stats for MySpace. There is a good reason Murdoch paid that huge chunk of change for the site.

    Basically, at the end of the day the question to ask is wether or not hot 20-somethings are going to ask if you are on TagWorld like they do with MySpace nowadays at clubs and other places. Just my $0.02.

    -DES

  2. aggressive marketing + ajax hype = tagworld

    It will be interesting to see who ends up buying them. As long as they can purchase enough “users” and traffic, and have a product that doesn’t crash during due dilligence, someone out there will throw down 8 digits.

  3. Jacob Varghese Sunday, December 11, 2005

    I agree with the other commenters that this won’t really work to pull users away from MySpace. Also considering all the money they have now, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of big improvements in the MySpace interface.

    If any company would buy tagworld.com, then it would be one of the mp3 retailers – napster, real, apple.

  4. .derkilicious » Blog Archive » Warning: MySpace suicide imminent Sunday, December 11, 2005

    [...] Background information on Tagworld: Krueger, chief executive of the company says that while there are many discrete services out there, (such as Flickr and Blogger) it is difficult for those non-techies to cobble together a perfect personal page. In other words, they took everything that’s hot, and put it into a blender, and came up with a mass-market offering. Will this “remixâ€? be too much for the mass market, especially when compared to folksy simplicity of MySpace? # [...]

  5. Rags’ Soapbox Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Music Lockers are Back

    During the halcyon days of the dot com boom, a number of companies strove to provide music locker services whereby a consumer could access their personal music collection anytime, anywhere. MyPlay, MP3.com and Musicbank come to mind, though I’m sure

  6. ajax – i think its cool, but end users dont care, they just want it to work and look nice. (i think its cool

    RSS / tagging, i think (really slow) later on, when its more intergrated in the new windows

    my space looks ghetto (old web 1.0), so you can customize it your self, just like your your car with dub’s on it. and most people just look at the pictures anyway.
    I showed some friendsters and myspacers riya, now they thought that was cool and they wanted to do that.

    tagworld sounds like a weird name? should change it while its still early,
    what i like is the storage, interface is nice, but i agree with the first post – stack up on servers cause users hate slow sites.
    I think tagworld should let you link your myspace and friendster accounts + free storage, now i would join that!

  7. “Normal” users do not care about “tagging”, “ajax”, or “rss”. They are going to be where most of their friends are, which is MySpace. I think TagWorld will just be another site that gets pushed back to collect dust in the corner.

  8. I remain a TagWorld skeptic mostly because they have unverified registration, which points to bot-based users. Thus I distrust the metrics. Plus looking at the social net and the counts in there, it doesn’t mesh with the usercount.

    Plus it doesn’t work on Safari. :)

    I’m following this (I work at a record company), but I’m kind of dubious.

  9. going after the music audience is just silly. myspace owns it hands down. there is no way i would start from scratch on a new music network.

  10. Tagworld – MySpace for Web 2.0?

    Tagworld is being widely heralded as the next big thing in social networking – it’s really an updated version of MySpace with oodles of Ajax and a spattering of Flash. The site claims to have over 200,000 users (up 40,000 in the last three da…

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