Ringo started out as Monster’s attempt at making a social network. This makes a lot of sense: like mashups, social networking can be seen as a possible disruptive technology threat to Monster’s core business: job search (a form of vertical search).

I’ve already mentioned job mashups in the past, but last year’s breakout success of LinkedIn shows that you can build a sustainable business model around job-related social networking.

In light of this I was shocked to notice the new homepage of Ringo:

Ringo homepage

Look familiar?

Flickr homepage

Anecdotally, this makes sense because the only person I know on Ringo uses it to share photos with me. From that and their clever spam of me—in a holiday promotional e-mail they mapped my friend’s photo onto an image in order to sell me a custom calendar—I would guess that photos form the majority of Ringo’s income.

But Flickr already rules this niche which is one among potentially many in photography: for a dump of your cameraphone photos there is photobucket; for professionals there is smugmug. This is not counting the fact that social networking sites like Facebook already have passable photo sharing built in and sites with interesting ideas like riya have abandoned photosharing for vertical search. Why make another Flickr?

But more importantly, Monster is a job site. Shouldn’t they be dealing with LinkedIn? Talk about losing your focus!

4 thoughts on “Ringr

  1. “Everyone wants a piece of the pie.”

    I actually joined Ringo a few years back, before they really started jacking the photo element of it. Just another site to connect with friends, right? Then I start getting emails promoting photo-related things on their site, “upload more – buy more!”, that whole deal.

    Apparently everyone thinks their way is the best way to share photos. Seriously, the best I’ve seen yet is Flickr. And I’ve tried a number of sites. Ringo, don’t try to get into the action. Flickr has already got it figured out.

  2. Yeah, I’d say Flickr has the market cornered. I keep waiting for them to whip out the e-store though…hasn’t happened yet. There are a few other services that are trying to do both–social networking and selling photography–but it doesn’t seem to be working out too well yet.

    Will be interesting to see where all this goes, at any rate.

  3. @Mike Rothermel, J. Star: I agree. Actually smugmug does quite well (very profitable) but they cater to a tighter niche than Flickr. It helps that they got the e-store thing down.

    Hopefully there will be Flickr/Zazzle integration in the future.

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