NMK 2007: Social networks dominated by "white, middle-class males"

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nmk-logo.jpgMore sparky debate from today’s NMK 07 Forum in London, which Kat is liveblogging. Jemima Gibbons from Interactiveknowhow put the cat among the pigeons in the day’s second debate, by claiming that social networking sites are dominated by white, middle-class males.

The assertion didn’t go unchallenged, mind. Walid Al Saqqaf of TrustedPlaces claimed that many of his sites users come from different cultures and classes. However, Friday Cities’ Paul Carr admitted that his users DO tend to be white, male and middle-class, mainly because that’s the demographic who tend to sit in offices messing about on computers all day. Carr thinks mobile social networking services will broaden that out though.

Carr also provided a pithy response to a question about whether UK Web 2.0 startups risk being marginalised if bigger US fish launch over here. “We’ll just have to kiss their arses,” he said. Although that’s possibly ‘asses’, if he’s already looking to curry favour.

Meanwhile, Buddyping’s Justin Davies claimed that UK Web 2.0 startups are hampered by the caution of investors over here, in comparison to the gung-ho US venture capitalists who are pouring money into Web 2.0 startups.

Mahalo boss Jason Calacanis addressed the same point, suggesting that if he was a UK entrepreneur, he’d hotfoot it to the US, because the UK is too cynical, and doesn’t support “the big crazy dreamers”. That’s why we’re unlikely to see a homegrown Google, Yahoo or YouTube in his view. What about Last.fm, eh? And, er, um… Okay, fair point.

NMK Forum 07 website

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Stuart Dredge