Should Dogster Inc. Be Worried About MyDogSpace & MyCatSpace?

Posted Aug 4, 2007

When Tim Berners Lee and Robert Cailliau invented the world wide web 17 years ago, I don’t think that they would have expected anyone to use their technology for competition in who has a cooler social network for their dogs and cats.  Yet two competing social networks for dogs and cats do exist and I’m questioning who will be the reigning champion.

MyDogSpace and MyCatSpace are owned by NextPulse Ventures, who also owns a plethora of other companies that involve animals in the names.  This includes DateMyPet.com, DomainMonkey.com, and MyFatKat.com.  NextPulse’s motto seems to be “We take ‘crazy’ ideas and turn them into reality.”  And I would agree that these were crazy ideas, but similar ideas actually exist, so there’s more than one crazy out there.  That other crazy is Ted Rheingold, founder of Dogster and Catster and his pets are more than just house broken.

Dogster has about 310,000 users and Catster has about 129,000 users.  Dogster launched in January 2004 and Catster launched in August 2004.  Dogster had received funding from the likes of Michael Parekh and Michael Arrington.  And last month, Dogster was listed as one of the top three companies in Advertising Age’s “Rethink Your Web Strategy Or Fail’ article[1].”

However, MyDogSpace and MyCatSpace are benefitting from the name MySpace.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a ignorant user would believe that both MyDogSpace and MyCatSpace were actually a subsidiary of MySpace.  I also believe that by simply having an easy-to-remember domain name, MySpace traffic skyrocketed.  This is a benefit that MyDogSpace and MyCatSpace have right now.  The disadvantage with this situation though is the legalities of having similar names can be disastrous (Similar Case: Alexaholic vs. Alexa).

For now Dogster has nothing to fear… for now.  MyDogSpace doesn’t have as many resources as Dogster, but in a play on a phrase by Mark Twain, “It’s not the size of the MyDogSpace in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the MyDogSpace.â?

[1] Dogster Inc. Company Blog: AdAge Names Dogster a Top-Three Site
[2] Yahoo! Tech – Gina Hughes: Social Networks for Pets (and Their Owners)