WoW and Cottage Industries

MySpace, eBay, Google, and Amazon are large enough to support a number of cottage industries and services on the Web. I think that Second Life is developing into one (right now it seems to be able to support individuals and consulting firms). With the launch of Shawn Fanning’s Rupture, a YASN (yet-another-social-network) for World Of Warcraft players, I realized that World of Warcraft is there as well (or at least that entrepreneurs want it to be). As he describes it to Businessweek’s Heather Green:

Using an add on or a software download, Rupture taps into the game to automatically pull together character names, profiles, and resources, and publish them on a personalized site. Rupture will also pull together stats to create individual and guild rankings and provide a place for guilds to organize their playing. As Rupture tracks each member’s playing over time, these personalized profiles evolve. And players will be able to chat in groups or with other individuals and download other addons and game demos.

WoW of Warcraft has 7.5 millions members. That is large enough to support other companies. That is already happening for in game services such as player leveling and gold farming, but what about other more Web 2.0-ish type services? It seems that social networks are the first one. As I learned on Mashable Rupture is just the highest profile YASN. There is also Warcraft Social Network, Guild Cafe, and MMO Guild Sites. What will come next for WoW ? Jobs? Craigslist? Will these be separate companies or will Blizzard try to tap into this market themselves? I can picture PVP battles when someone realizes that they overpaid for a microwave on wowBay.

Bonus tangent: Here’s a great WoW machinima video for the John Coulton song “Code Monkey” developed by Mike Spiff Booth. Thanks Allison!

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