There have been enough and more imitations of the facebook and orkut models of social networking.The "Me too's" claim they are different because they are made for the Indian context.

An additional level of differentiation is the target group, a social network aimed at college students only is a simple example.

Reality is that everyone wants to ride the same "wave" and end up knocking each other off their surf boards.

Marketing Spends determine registrations. Awareness creation requires high spends and the revenue model is non existent for most players.

While everyone has been busy creating the same thing with a few different features, there has been one startup which probably has a bulk of the same features, but evolved a fantastic story.

The inspiration for this post is LifeBlob. I caught a part of their presentation at Barcamp Bangalore and it was amazing how a "Story" can change what would have otherwise been termed as yet another social networking site.

Lifeblob is very simply your entire life on a timeline. In their own words

"Just like you would write in your personal diary about your experiences, the events that happened in your life and stick pictures to make it memorable, we allow you to make posts on your timeline to capture those precious memories. What differentiates lifeblob is that your timeline has a social angle to it. When you make a post, you can include a list of people who are related to the post or who were participants if the post is about a real event. And in a flash, the post not only becomes a part of your timeline, but also becomes a part of the timelines of all the participants."

I just managed to subscribe to their service (which is restricted currently). The features are similar to other networks. You can blog, upload photographs / videos, add friends etc. The only new feature is you can attach a date to all of the above, and browse your life on a timeline. This suddenly changes the story.

The offering becomes different and the positioning is unique. The consumer has a story to tell about the startup rather than describe it in terms of cool features. Adoption by the masses is obviously much easier when the story is easily retold. (which is exactly what I am doing)

So if you are starting up and are looking for the next technological leap which will put you ahead of competition, remember that it probably doesn't matter as much as your story.

Let me know what your story is and if you want one, get in touch with me for a positioning analysis.