Web 2.0 Wars: Championship

trophyAfter 5 months, 200 applications reviewed, 20 winner take all rounds, and 4 rounds of playoffs, we are down to the Final Four. It’s time to crown our champion.

Here are the Final Four matchups:

Technorati vs Myspace

YouTube vs Techmeme (f/k/a Tech Memeorandum).

Semi-Final 1: Technorati vs Myspace

As I talked about the other day, the way to ensure a long and hopefully profitable Web 2.0 life is to become part of the interconnectivity infrastructure. Technorati is slowly but surely doing that, by becoming the de facto standard for link tracking and blog mindshare measurement. Google will always have a share of the blog search market, but Technorati seems to be lapping Google as far as adding other features. Toss in a great and proactive CEO and some VC money and the sky might be the limit for Technorati.

But there’s still that one problem. Technorati has nothing to sell. It’s free, which puts it on the back of the almighty ad dollar along with the most of its Web 2.0 brethren.

Still, most of the top bloggers use Technorati daily, and that’s a good position to be in.

I am no fan of Myspace personally, but almost everyone I know under 25 has a Myspace page and uses it as an online hub for cross-connectivity. It is definitely an important part of the infrastructure.

My concern is that Myspace is not doing enough (words don’t count) to prevent itself from becoming a buffet for stalkers and worse. But I can’t argue with numbers, and Myspace dominates the social networking space. Like Technorati, it has nothing to sell, but its huge traffic numbers will give it more revenue options than any other ad-supported Web 2.0 web site.

People who don’t blog use Myspace every day. Its penetration into the non-geek population makes it hard to argue against its continued dominance.

As an aside, I wonder if it pisses Yahoo off that Myspace has taken over the internet with what is, in large part, merely an updated version of Geocities- something that Yahoo had a decade ago?

Conclusion: Myspace wins convincingly.

Semi-Final 2: YouTube vs Techmeme

I have become more and more of a believer in YouTube over the last few months. It too is a crucial part of the interconnectivity infrastructure- having become the central depository of online video.

I link to YouTube videos all the time, as do many, many other bloggers. That fact in and of itself is impressive, but there’s more. We have only scratched the surface as far as the archival possibilities go- from old cartoons, to old music videos. As long as the content owners don’t get stupid, YouTube may become what Google wanted to become- the archive of everything.

Like everybody else in the Web 2.0 space, YouTube has nothing to sell. But its dominant mindshare and its reliable technology make it a juggernaut in the new cyberspace.

Techmeme (formerly known as Tech Memeorandum) is the first web site I visit every morning when reading my news. I use it several times a day. To say that it is indispensable to my internet experience would not be an overstatement.

It closely follows one of my primary rules of business: to be excellent at one thing is far better than to be mediocre at many things. But as far as the larger world goes, Techmeme’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness- it is part of the interconnectivity infrastructure for those of us who read and write on tech topics, but it is largely unknown to the rest of the world.

So while it is, by leaps and bounds, the most useful and beloved of all of these applications to me, its penetration into the larger population is far less than the Myspaces and YouTubes of the world.

Conclusion: YouTube wins convincingly.

Championship: Myspace vs YouTube

This is truly a battle of the titans. Myspace has the numbers edge at the moment, but I think YouTube will show more staying power in the long run.

As soon as the parents of the world (and the legislators they vote for) come to understand the risk their kids are taking by putting their lives online, Myspace will come under increasing pressure to become safer. Will that result in a kid-migration to some new, offshore networking service that we haven’t heard of yet? I don’t know, but it might.

More likely, Myspace will become the new AOL, where newbys learn how to interconnect and quasi-blog. As they become better at it, they will move to more robust blogging platforms. Myspace has a good, long ride ahead of it, but I don’t believe it is the final destination for all the eyeballs that currently reside there.

YouTube, on the other hand, allows videos to be served anywhere. If you move from one platform to another, you can take your YouTube content with you. Look for YouTube to cater to the fast growing blog market by developing more and more tools to enable video blogging and other content interfaces.

The Champion of the Newsome.Org Web 2.0 Wars is…

YouTube, in a nail biter.