A short time later, I learned about LinkedIn and signed up, but was pretty disappointed, as it didn't have all the bells and whistles that Ryze offered. At that time, you couldn't even post a headshot on your profile, nor were there any groups. Of course, that's all changed now, and they seem to be adding more features all the time. Furthermore, LinkedIn just keeps growing; as of 2008, they had 33 million members, and is now at 53 million.
In the meantime, Ryze has only half a million members, and the features are pretty much the same as they were when I joined in 2003. I'm not sure when I stopped using it myself, but I can tell from the information on my profile that I haven't updated it in over two years. I was looking around while writing this post, and it looks like most of the other people I knew there have abandoned it as well. I imagine that, like me, they're now spending their online time on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or one of the hundreds of new social networks that seem to be popping up all the time.
I'm not sure whether I'm more amazed that Ryze continues to exist at all, or that the owners of the site have made no effort to keep pace with what's happening in their industry. What was once an innovative, happening site has become a virtual ghost town. Maybe it was just ahead of its time...
About the Author: Janet Barclay, co-owner of Organized Assistant, provides Internet Marketing assistance and website services to career coaches, professional organizers and other small business clients. You can find her in various places on the world wide web, including Twitter and her blog, From the Desk of Janet Barclay.