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