Ning.com and the future of micro-networks
Cnet came out with this story about ning taking on myspace. A lofty goal but I wouldn't bet against Marc Andreessen. We found this mentality especially true when we built Share Your Story. Instead of using the blogoshpere as it existed, we created our own community around the subject matter - with blogs, boards, IM, etc. Keeping it focused on the subject, and allowing the various communication paltforms to emerge around personal tastes within that subject served us well - better than if we had formed a "group" in a more global space.
However, in terms of myspace, although I have no love for the site itself, the benefit to an existence there is the power of the extended network - that goes beyond one subject area. For general interest in the March of Dimes, for instance, why limit the exposure? We have looked at Ning for an upcoming project and found it on the opposite extreme from myspace - a little rigid, a little "out of the box". And we'd have to drive the volume ourselves.
So we'll see what becomes of "the next myspace", which I'm sure is in VC pitches all over the world...