Virtual Reality: Making it in an over-populated world

It is a simple and basic element but very decisive when it comes to the survival of a website (and any other business): Does it answer a need?

In this weekly column, I will focus on the Internet world - whether content or technology - as I live it and encounter it as part of my work. To start off with, I would like to start with a brief introduction on what makes specific websites stand out in the face of endless options in the World Wide Web. When typing the word 'Jewish' in various search engines, the results are in the millions: Google: 88,100,000 Yahoo: 293,000,000 WebLive: 113,000,000 It would be interesting to know which ones are more relevant and which one are less, which have many visitors, which of them succeed in turning a profit and which of them suffer from virtual stagnation and monotony. When delving deeper into some sites, it becomes clear that the laws that apply to the business world and the realm of consumption outside the Internet field, fully apply to websites as well. It is a simple and basic element but very decisive when it comes to the survival of a website (and any other business): Does it answer a need? It was Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist who conceptualized and catalogued man's 5 basic needs called the 'hierarchy of human needs': physiological needs (food, breathing, sleep), safety needs (security of employment, resources, family, health), needs of love and belonging (friendship, sex, family), esteem needs (confidence, achievement) and self-actualization needs (creativity, spontaneity). Maslow asserts that mankind is driven by these needs and that once a need is fulfilled, the next need in the hierarchy yearns to be met. Therefore, it is clear for example on the most basic level why people dine in restaurants. Once that is understood, other factors with regards to the success of the restaurant must be considered - location, quality, prices are prime examples. Now, let's try to apply this to the Internet world: let's consider for example a relatively current field which has been making top headlines for a while now - the world of social networks which has taken off in the past years. There are few people who don't know what facebook or myspace is. We must first try to understand the motive, or what motivates users to take part in these activities, rather. One of the more obvious needs that social networks meet is the need for belonging which is a social need that includes the desire to belong and be part of a group. To love and be loved. This stage is connected to consolidating personal identity. This need was met in various ways and social networks are simply a product of technological evolution which meet this need in an advanced and multi dimensional way. If you think about it, the biggest social network, which preceded facebook by a long shot, was the telephone. People connected and communicated through the telephone. Instant messaging in the form of ICQ and MSN messenger for example took this communication a step further and facebook and other social networks continue to meet this same need, using a more advanced technology. And what makes one social network succeed and one not? If I knew the answer, I'm not sure I would be writing it here. To conclude, I'd like to list a few links to social networks that connect the Jewish World. The writer is the CEO of