The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Friendster, the wildly popular social networking site that’s a people version of Napster (that’s right, post your friends on the Web and pass them around), snagged a $13 million investment led by… guess who? Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers! Yes, the same firm that all but fueled the 1990s boom.
The Journal goes on to report that it’s not just Friendster that has secured funding. Similar operations (dare we call them that?) like LinkedIn, Tribe Networks, Meetup, Emode, and Ryze have also met with funding good fortunes.
Why are all these places attracting investments? No, not because their revenues are zooming up. It’s because they’re getting lots of traffic. (Doesn’t that sound eerily familiar?)
So what the hell is going on here? Are we starting to fill another bubble up with air? Or have we wiped the slate clean of old worthless dot-coms, allowing bold, innovative, new competitors to emerge?