PhotoIf you think about it, most of us have been using social networking sites for over ten years now.

It’s hard to pinpoint which site truly invented social networking, but according to many,, which started back in 1997, was the first to combine technology and socializing.

But it wasn’t until Friendster came on the scene that the entire concept of social networking caught on with the masses.

Friendster was one of the first sites that allowed users to share personal interests with online friends, and since it started in 2001 the entire world of social networking has grown to enormous heights, and has become as much a part of our everyday lives as our vehicles or home appliances.

In fact, there are so many different ways one can share photos, post music and circulate videos, that many spend hours upon hours each day shifting back and forth between Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

But what if there was a website that provided a one-stop shopping experience for all of your social networking needs? And you were able to get paid if people liked what you posted?

Meaning, you could post that video of you playing air-guitar, update your followers on your latest blog entry, and put up that annoyingly cute painting of you and your companion being blissfully in love, and make money from it. 

There’s a website called Pheed that provides just that.

Best of everything

PhotoInstead of being a social networking site that focuses on just a handful of features, it grabs the best parts of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites folks frequently visit.

O.D. Kobo, who is cofounder of Pheed, says that improving upon good ideas is what brought the world so many wonderful and lasting creations.

“The wheel had to come about before the car,” he said in an interview. “There are stages like how Friendster came, then MySpace, then Facebook, each one improving on and adding to the format. There was Twitter and now Pheed, the evolution of a genre.”

Of course one of the main benefits of Pheed is not having to shuffle back and forth between different sites, but the fact that users can charge other people to view their content could provide the site the proper niche it needs to stand out.

There are other sites like YouTube that have a monetization feature, but since Pheed allows you to perform a number of social networking functions at once, users can potentially make money on their songs, videos, writings and other content they post.

Users have the option of charging others a one-time fee for viewing content or they can charge a monthly subscription fee. Both monthly subscriptions and one-time views run between $1.99 and $34.99 depending on what’s being offered.

If Pheed plays its marketing cards smartly it could potentially attract the filmmaker, musician or photographer that wants to make a bit of cash from their art. Historically it’s only been the independent musician that has heavily relied on social sites to advertise and sell their works.  Somehow Pheed will have to prove to its creative portion of users that the site is artist-friendly.

Multitasking lifestyle

O.D. Kobo

Kobo says that although he likes websites like Facebook and Twitter they are extremely limiting in terms of other things you could use them for, and with most people living a multitasking lifestyle these days, visiting one site for all of your social networking updates can be quite convenient.

It seems Pheed is off to a good start too, as the company had a soft launch of the website and allowed celebrities and well-known business honchos to use it and spread the word.

Kobo also wants to separate Pheed from other sites by having users post high-quality content, like short films and live music broadcasts, and hopes the monetization feature will inspire people to post inviting content as opposed to just posting spur of the moment thoughts or photos.

The biggest challenge for the Los Angeles-based social site is to not get swallowed by other sites and maintain its uniqueness. Also it will have to establish itself as a cool place to visit once the newness wears off, which is a huge obstacle for start-ups.

But Pheed has managed to carve out a niche and be noticed which is a great accomplishment in today’s crowded cyber world. If it can separate itself from other websites by making itself the place to see quality postings and where people can also make money, it could turn social networking  upside down. It'll be fun to watch.

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