Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kindo's day in the sun

Its easy to throw stones at Alexa - and we all have - but sometimes whatever the reason, its nice to have a day in the sun.

This has been a great few weeks for Kindo. Last week they announced seed funding from the technology founders of Skype, me and Robin at TAG and Stefan Glaenzer from Now this week Kindo has sneaked past Geni and Verwandt on Alexa.

So congratulations to Gareth, Nils, Andrew, Demian and all the rest of the really hardworking and dedicated team.

Social networks have fundamentally shifted people's online behavior. There are over a billion people online now and the web is truly global and multi-lingual - it is no longer more than 25% American or English.

When you look at the diversity of social network successes, there are global players (MySpace & Facebook) but also very significant regional (Netlog, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Skyrock) and local players (Nasza-klasa and vKontakte). What's amazing of course is that none of these sites really existed more than 3 years ago and now they are the commonest ways for people to spend their time online. In almost every market, networks and search rule and portals are dying or dead.

The most common and fastest-growing online behavior today is to build, understand and communicate through your networks.

We have networks for our friends - our social networks. We have networks for our colleagues (LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo etc) - our professional networks. Increasingly we will have networks for families - not just sites about my ancestry (family past) but about my living family (family present).

Kindo has only been in the market since late October 2007 but it has made a very fast start.

Recognizing, rather than paying lip-service to the global nature of the web is a lesson we learned at Skype and have seen again at OpenAds. Kindo its already in 14 languages and not just with translations but blogs and a genuine local flavor.

Families can be way too serious and people seem to be really responding to Kindo's sense of fun and the authenticity and sense of fun of a global brand with local sensibility.

The market for family networks is very much just at the beginning, there is a very long way to go as these services reach maturity - but sometimes it nice to have a day in the sun.

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