Oct 9, 2010

Warlord Facebook

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...
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A regular heard problem; “I’m participating in several networks and have put my profile on Hyves (or some other local social network), Facebook, Linkedin, my Ning group and  I’m using Twitter, got all my photos on Flickr (friends only)…..” etcetera! Isn’t possible to have one place where all my (social) streams are aggregated? Isn’t possible that status updates are transferred automatically to all my ‘other me’s’? And can this be done without actually having to program? At this point the real DNA of the social media comes to the surface.

For instance, Twitter is ‘designed’ to be used on other social networks! Why? Because Twitter isn’t a social network, it’s a one-to-many communication tool. Twitter wants to share, because its existence depends on sharing and being aggregated. “The ‘eight-hundred pound gorilla Google Buzz was to late at the party and didn’t shake things up, because Twitter was already stealing the show and continues to entertain the audience”. The real social networks are fighting battles, with each other, with Google – but who’s going to win the war? In my opinion, the one who addresses the questions mentioned before and has the leverage of the network effect on a global scale. I think, Facebook will win this war if it wins the battle of comprehensibility. There’s a lot of complaining about the complexity (and transparency) of Facebook! And yes you have to take care of your privacy, Facebook isn’t going to do that for you (although there has been some improvement). Founder Mark Zuckerberg is a man with a mission; the world will be a better place when there’s no anonymity (if people are known by name and face, they will behave themselves properly). That’s why Facebook is pushing privacy matters to the edge (f.e. the beacon affair which started in 2007 and ‘settled’ (terminated) in 2009). Beacon was designed to aggregate social data streams on the news feed on your Facebook page (addressing the questions above), but they didn’t ask for permission of the user (and that is a major sin).

And there’s another issue regarding ‘openness’ and ‘data portability’; Facebook is a closed system! Facebook has it’s own markup/programming language and it’s API is designed to pull data in (not exchanging data). Facebook has announced to enhance its photo sharing service which is a direct threat to Flickr. Ning doesn’t feel comfortable with Facebooks’ new ‘groups’ enhancements. And Facebook will continue to challenge other social media platforms. Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies“.

Apple shows with iTunes how successful a closed system can be. People love closed systems – as long as it works and as long as they don’t have to think! And can a system of 500+ million users be seen as a closed system?

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