Hi5 is a social network that’s very popular. They are seeing 100,000 new users every day. Facebook is seeing 200,000.
Since Hi5 is one of the partners in the Open Social platform, along with about 16 other social networks including MySpace, I wanted to find out about the social networking space from a company other than Facebook.
Also, at Facebook you never get to interview the geeks who actually build the service, so when I got a chance to interview Akash Garg, the Chief Technical Officer behind Hi5 I jumped at the chance. Geeks usually tell more details than the CEO will. Akash didn’t disappoint.
We talk about a variety of things about the social networking industry as well as his opinion of Open Social.
Yesterday I visited Hi5 and when I was there Paul Lindner, the architect, handed me a Webvan pen. He’s holding the pen in this video. We talked at length about what’s going on in social networking (they are signing up 100,000 new members a DAY, which is about half the growth rate of Facebook but still very phenomenal). Anyway, he handed me the pen to remind me to always look beyond the hype. Webvan, if you don’t remember, was a famous online grocery service that blew through millions of dollars back in the heady days of the late 1990s.
It’s a pen I’ll always treasure and it’s sitting here reminding me to look deeper at the companies I report on. My more in depth interview with Hi5’s CTO will be up next week.
Sorry I’ve been a bit absent this week. I overbooked myself. I’m speaking at Streaming Media West in a couple of hours. Plus I’ve been getting a steady stream of videos up on ScobleShow (check out TapTu there, a new mobile search engine that, in our little test, blew away Google).
And, of course, I’m still digging through lots of feeds for my link blog. I see that the Google Reader team added some new features which I’ll try out later.