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Lufthansa's Social Networking Effort

For those who missed it, Lufthansa is attempting to reach the college kids of the world by launching a social networking site. Unfortunately, I think this is probably a misguided effort that won't yield the results they'd like to see.

The site is called GenFly Lounge, and I'll let them explain it in their own words:

GenFlyLounge is the new social networking site for Generation Fly and allows you to connect with like-minded travelers.

Get the inside information from other travelers you can trust and who share your interests and travel preferences. Explore destinations before your go there. Review, add and rate tips. Join now for free!

Unfortunately for Lufthansa, I think Evan Sparks has hit this nail right on the head. It's not going to get much traction.

As Evan notes, there are far too many social networks out there, and people don't want another one. Think about it. How many do you have? I know I participate in LinkedIn for business and Facebook for fun. I also have a FlyerTalk login and one for Airliners.net for some of my airline dork talk. But the reality is that I probably only look at Facebook and Airliners.net on a regular basis. I go to FlyerTalk every so often, and I check out LinkedIn only when I get a request to link with someone. Do I really need another one? Heck, do I really even need the ones I have now?

I know that this is targeted at the college generation, but that's even harder. They've had their chosen social networks for some time, and they aren't going to keep adding more. Of course, it's entirely possible that a site could come along and replace an existing one (like Facebook has done to MySpace and MySpace did to Friendster), but GenFly Lounge isn't going to do that. This is purely supplemental by design, and it's going to be a tough sell.

What Lufthansa should be doing is trying to create applications within existing networks that students might find useful. If they can create a Lufthansa application that's worthwhile in Facebook, then it will get much more traction.

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