The internet will always develop new niches… make them yours…

Ever wondered why networks tend to grow more quickly if they allow groups of self-form?

It’s because, no matter how well you know your subject and your customers, you’ll never predict their most interesting motivations for starting a group. And the ones that you might dismiss can end up being incredibly popular…

Take, for example, the Lolcat Bible… a wiki constructed to translate the Bible into the language of those lolcat pictures you’ve doubtless seen around the internet.

(Spotted thanks to a post on Dana Boyd’s blog)

Now would you have created a group for people interested in creating a Lolcat Bible? Would you have been able to quantify how many people would be interested in contributing, and how many people would then view it? Would you have even guessed Lolcatz would take off?

Me neither.

But by allowing anyone using your website to make their own choices, decisions and ideas, you’ll capitalise when one of their groups does take off. If you’re trying to explain it to the type of people who inists on quantifying everything by Return on Investment, you could try explaining that rather than spending time and money on second-guessing how to force people into categories, you’ll be hiring an unlimited number of people to do your research and development for you, and then reaping the benfits…

Still not convinced? Take a look at Wikipedia’s list of internet phenomena, and see how many you recognise. Then take the list round your peer group, and prepare to be shocked how many people who you’d have thought closely shared you interests will have radically different knowledge (Idea taken from The Long Tail…see reading list, right)…

One of the biggest joys of the internet is the fact you can find people, products and information on pretty much anything you might need, want, or be interested in. So why would you ever want to stop people experiencing that joy?

Oh, I can’t resist:
funny cat pictures & lolcats - Your problems are irrelevant to Technical Support-cat