Is Zurker A Facebook Killer? Or Is Adblock Plus?

Yesterday I joined cooperative social networking site Zurker. Like Diaspora before it this one is being promoted as a potential Facebook killer. To take over from Facebook any new social networking site needs a critical mass and we haven’t seen this happen yet – but presumably will do at some point. After all, Facebook effectively killed MySpace, and MySpace effectively killed Friendster. However the mechanisms for taking over from Facebook may be more complicated than Zurker founder Nick Oba realises. That said I’m giving Zucker a go and if you want to do so as well you can get an invite to participate in the site’s beta testing by clicking here.
I’m still posting a few times a week at both Diaspora and even occasionally at Identic.Ca (promoted as an ethical version of Twitter) but as yet I haven’t seen much action on  either. Ultimately the real Facebook killer might turn out to be software rather than a rival site. One of the things that drove the Facebook share price down immediately after the floatation (aside from the obvious over-valuation) was a forecast about a downturn in revenue due to increasing numbers of people accessing the site via smart phone browsers that didn’t carry advertising. Now suppose there was also a much higher take up of software that blocks advertising from computer web browsers and that this really spooked the markets? That could create the kind of turmoil around Facebook that might make it more vulnerable to another site taking over a substantial proportion of its users. So maybe more people using Adblock Plus [or better still UBlock Origin] is potentially the real Facebook killer – since Mark Zuckerberg is much more under pressure from outside forces now he’s taken his company public.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by Luther Eliot on 2012-06-04 22:03:57 +0000

The Facebook killer is the man or woman sitting next to you with a gun in their pocket and anger in their heart!

Comment by Andrius Savickas on 2012-06-04 22:56:20 +0000

Adblock is time tested, Zurker is fresh winds!

Comment by Alex Dipple on 2012-06-04 23:36:07 +0000

I’ve never heard of Adblock but I’ll give it a go… I’m a late, but hysterical adopter… I joined Diaspora at your advice but think I was going through a twitter phase at the time. Now I cant even remember how to do a ‘hash’ for a hashtag and I really loved those. I’m fickle I guess.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2012-06-04 23:49:12 +0000

Do use Adblock as it will massively improve your online experience (pages load faster without the ads among other things)…. and also we want a mass adoption of Adblock by FB users to send a shock wave to its share price!

Comment by Si Baker on 2012-06-05 14:23:28 +0000

Adblock also cuts out those fucking annoying pre-song ads on YouTube & other video sites. Highly recommended.

Comment by Alex Dipple on 2012-06-05 15:48:38 +0000

thats sold it to me.

Comment by Tom Anderson on 2012-06-05 17:45:34 +0000

From Zuckerberg to Zurker – one small step for those online, one giant leap forward for Web 2.0!

Comment by Marcus Lewty on 2012-06-05 18:22:34 +0000

Nick Oba is savagely ambitious – check all his web start ups – but to date not very successful.

Comment by Dave Almond on 2012-06-05 19:16:50 +0000

Identic.Ca is way too much of a Silicon Valley sounding name to me. Using the abbreviation for California as a state after a full-stop at the end of your name is so unactivist like that you won’t attract the committed.

Comment by Kid Strange on 2012-06-05 19:28:00 +0000

Zurker rhymes with lurker and that’s a poo you can’t get to flush down the loo among other things…. so maybe this social network will stick!

Comment by Zain Smith on 2012-06-05 21:17:50 +0000

Friendster is still big in Asia.

Comment by Alan Ackerman on 2012-06-05 22:04:26 +0000

Is the name Zurker supposed to cheekily remind you of Mark Zuckerberg’s name?

Comment by Grumpy Old Man on 2012-06-05 23:09:44 +0000

Bring back Web 1.0!

Comment by Retro Gamer on 2012-06-06 10:29:35 +0000

Bring back the Commodore, Sinclair and Amstrad PCs of the 1980s!

Comment by Frank Double on 2012-06-06 20:47:21 +0000

Maybe we should all go back to MySpace now that News Corp have bought and resold it at a loss.

Comment by Bob Billy on 2012-06-06 22:50:29 +0000

What about having a craze for retro computer viruses?

Comment by How To Watch BBC iPlayer Outside UK on 2012-06-07 15:00:08 +0000

Aside from AdBlock there are other pieces of software people should know about such as Expat Shield. While it’s always been possible to tunnel into UK only services such as the BBC iPlayer from outside the UK via a Virtual Private Network, the average user would probably find this too much hassle to set up, and VPNs often charge a monthly fee. To solve the problem AnchorFree launched Expat Shield. This is from the same stable as Hotspot Shield which offers the same service for US users.
Aimed at expatriate Brits, Expat Shield Windows app (supporting XP, Vista and Windows 7) assigns a UK IP number to your Internet connection, meaning that when you connect to the iPlayer website, it thinks you are in Her Majesty’s kingdom, when in actual fact you’re on the beach in Spain or maybe at a South Pole research station.
Installing the software is a cinch, although you’ll probably want to uncheck the option to additionally install the “Expat Shield Community Toolbar” as it’s not a necessary part of the service. When I installed the software, I got a warning that the software hadn’t passed Windows Logo testing, which guarantees that it’s fully compatible with the operating system. If you get this warning too, be aware that there’s a slight chance of some kind of system instability as a result of using it, although I used it with no problems.
Once installed and launched, it’s as simple as clicking the “Connect” button and your Internet connection is instantly diverted via a VPN which will fool iPlayer, and any other website, into thinking you’re in the UK. This is just as useful for other country-locked websites and services like Spotify.
Expat Shield is free to use and is supported by ads that are displayed when you connect and disconnect from the service.
The license agreement for the Expat Shield states that it is only for use by expatriate Brits. While there’s nothing to stop anyone in the world installing and using it, it’s clear that AnchorFree is covering its back against accusations of helping users break the terms of the services it helps users access.
With the BBC having promised a worldwide version of iPlayer aimed at Brits abroad by next summer, it may not be necessary to use a VPN in the future. For now though, Expat Shield is a simple solution to a common problem.

Comment by Diane Rodham on 2012-06-07 17:09:56 +0000

Are you still up on the down stroke?

Comment by Tineka Smith on 2012-06-07 19:08:23 +0000

As Facebook’s stock continues to spiral, now falling 27% since its public debut, some analysts predict that the social network could be no more in 5 years.
It’s hard to believe that Facebook’s 900 million users could eventually abandon the site but Eric Jackson, the founder of Ironfire Capital, says it’s true.
According to the Jackson, Facebook will have fallen by 2020. “In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo disappeared,” Jackson said on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street.
“Yahoo is still making money. It’s still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it,” Jackson said. “But it’s 10% of the value that it was at the height of 2000. For all intents and purposes, it’s disappeared.”
The analyst researched how different generations of web companies have developed over time.
The first generating consisted of giant web companies like Yahoo. Then the second generation of social web companies, like Facebook came along which caused Yahoo and affiliates to fade.
Jackson says the third generation now consists of businesses that focus on monetising the mobile platform, which is an area Facebook is having difficulty to grasp.
“When you look over these three generations, no matter how successful you are in one generation, you don’t seem to be able to translate that into success in the second generation, no matter how much money you have in the bank, no matter how many smart PhDs you have working for you,” Jackson explained. “Look at how Google has struggled moving into social, and I think Facebook is going to have the same kind of challenges moving into mobile.”
As the world continues to become more competitive “those dominant in the previous generation are really going to have a hard time moving into this newer generation,” says Jackson.
Facebook has attempted to strengthen its mobile platform since publically admitting its weakness in mobile to investors prior to its IPO.
The social network launched an App centre as well as acquiring Instagram for $1bn along with other mobile apps like Lightbox and Karma.
Yet, Jackson is adamant that the company will never succeed in mobile.
“Facebook can buy a bunch of mobile companies, but they are still a big, fat website and that’s different from a mobile app.”

Comment by Antisthenes The Cynic on 2012-06-07 21:42:41 +0000

Wouldn’t “Is Zurker A Pyramid Scheme” have been a better title? A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.

Comment by Michael Roth on 2012-06-25 05:47:40 +0000

Yoo Hoo! Take away the ads, and hopefully Web 2.0 will devolve into Web 1.0!

Comment by mistertrippy on 2012-06-25 19:52:20 +0000

And if we keep going in this direction it won’t be long before we’re back to the stone age!

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