Claudine Beaumont writing in Technobabble says that the social network sites are facing a backlash. But it is such early days that the picture is going to keep changing, and changing fast, all driven by Silicon Valley. Second Life is struggling as it is such a complex platform that everyone has to load special software. Time for the academic community to develop new ideas in Silicon Valley and then launch them in a couple of years. Can Friends Reunited, now in corporate hands, keep up with the leaders or is it time for a management buy out?