Mike thinks we need to give local business portal, MyGenius, another look. Despite the fact that MyGenius is how I first connected with Mike, my preference at the moment is to find a convenient way to delete my account on MyGenius or just deal with the mail I get from time to time from the service. I am sure a good number of people benefit greatly from MyGenius but it just doesn’t rev my engine all that much.
I don’t remember how I came across MyGenius but I thought it would be worth a try. I have been a member of a pretty successful business network called Business Warriors for quite some time now and I have had good results from that service despite it being based on a very old style forum (sometimes those old ideas and platforms work well). What made a big difference in Business Warriors wasn’t so much the forum discussions, it was the simplicity and the personal contact with other members.
MyGenius has a really cool looking interface compared to Business Warriors and appears to have so much more functionality. What I noticed early on is how closed the environment is. There isn’t (or wasn’t the last time I took a look) an opportunity to plug my external blog and other content into my MyGenius profile. All my MyGenius related content must be created within and is stored within MyGenius.
Mike made an interesting comment about MyGenius:
I recently did a show on CNBC Africa about the power of social networking for entrepreneurs and the producers of the show used MyGenius as a case study, not LinkedIn. Why? It’s accessible and easy to understand for the 2.0-uninitiated. What we Web 2.0 enthusiasts sometimes see as being current, sexy and improtant may seem totally of the wall and inaccessible to the layman. I liken this to the fashion industry. All fashion shows I see on TV seem excessive and weird to me. I don’t get it at all and would feel like completely out at such an event. It’s the same with the sites we use and build. We assume ‘normal’ Web users see things like we do – are drawn to the same things we are. This is simply not the case, hence why MyGenius is getting users that LinkedIn simply ain’t.
A cursory look at MyGenius reveals a different story. MyGenius’ appeal is its fancy functionality. It is loaded with an array of pseudo-Web 2.0 functionality (although there is an apparent misunderstanding of some basic Web 2.0 elements – what is supposed to be a blog is really a kind of message board).
MyGenius tries to leverage off the social media revolution that has been sweeping the local Web. What you get, though, is a pretty busy interface that is closer to a pre-Web 2.0 site than a functional and effective social media powered website. Of course it is a little inaccurate to talk about whether a site is a Web 2.0 site or not. Web 2.0 is about sharing and connecting, not to mention a ground up approach to business interaction on the Web. MyGenius does do some of this despite its message based model with its clubs, meeting co-ordination and basic blogs. Despite all this functionality all the site succeeds at from my perspective is that it is a really busy site with not a lot of depth. MyGenius doesn’t do it for me. That is why I haven’t been paying it all that much attention lately and why I don’t intend spending all that much time on the site.
I am pretty excited about exploring LinkedIn further and I already connect to my business contacts on Plaxo Pulse. I don’t need another social networking site for business that doesn’t bring anything really innovative to the party.