The subhead says it all: in this particular target market, the older + educated crowd, who has time to hang out on a social networking site? Time is limited, and my not-so-astute observation is that family time starts to take precedence the older you get — even if that family is not so much biological (friends, peers, etc.). Gather does a nice job of organizing crowds around ideas and letting it’s users kick a lot of ass on their site (they can even get paid — pennies, but paid). But it’s not really a quick information resource, is it? Unless it’s helping people do their jobs, during the day Gather will appeal to only the most hardcore users who are too straightlaced for MySpace. Everyone else will browse around, give the site kudos and not stop back anytime soon. And at night, well, hopefully most people have real-world families and friends to go back to.
I do see a need for a social networking site that ties familes together, as families increasingly spread across country and globe and want an easy way to keep contact with each other. I think that’s a gold mine in the making — the interactive family tree. That could actually bring some real world value to this social networking thing, to strengthen existing real world relationships (similar to Facebook’s original concept) rather than create awkward Web-only new ones.