Let's hear it for local ingenuity.....the Minneapolis Star Tribune (and others) announced today that local entrepreneurs Tom Petters and Drew Levin are launching YFLY.com, a competitor to MySpace and Friendster. Yfly will target the 15-26 year old demographic by featuring 'real' celebrities (as opposed to the Burger King mascot guy and movie characters you might see featured on MySpace). Technorati shows 89 blog hits for YFLY (which launched this week), vs. 223,074 for Friendster and 2,860,485 for MySpace. So there's a big mountain to climb there.
One way YFLY is differentiating itself is to offer users (again, teenagers and young adults) tips for networking safely: getting to know people without making themselves into on-line targets.
Another differentiator is the technical platform: YFLY is based on Ruby on Rails, an open source application that's the next hot technology. (Honestly, I'm no technology guru, so I'm not sure exactly how hot this is. But according to my geeky friends it's pretty cool.)
Rock'n'roll best wishes to YFLY!