Friday, May 25, 2007

Facebook's viral plan

Facebook's plan to hook up the world - May. 24, 2007

"Imagine that when you shopped online for a digital camera, you could see whether anyone you knew already owned it and ask them what they thought. Imagine that when you searched for a concert ticket you could learn if friends were headed to the same show. Or that you knew which sites - or what news stories - people you trust found useful and which they disliked. Or maybe you could find out where all your friends and relatives are, right now (at least those who want to be found)." Or maybe rumours become fact in the flash of a pixel...

24 million members - growing at 150,000 a day - a ready made audience that connects, prods and advises each other is now available to any application developer. Facebook is aiming to be the social networking platform offering multiple applications and interlinked referrals...I don't know - it just seems the idea of loosely connected is getting tightly connected, and mass is going to impact upon social capital, and localization is going to crash against internationalism, and dominant cultures will prevail...and those in the loop will continue to benefit and a new class (or a continuation of) of disaffected and disenfranchised will appear.

And the idea of everybody in the world (the goal) being connected into the same platform (wait a minute isn't that Microsoft?) seems to bring up some sort of Gibson generated cyber nightmare waiting to happen. Am I missing the desire to connect? To paraphrase Gibson -Maybe the future is already here. It's just not widely distributed yet - to every human being - to me?

2 comments:

Lisa G. said...

That is assuming that the referral system is valued.

What strikes me about your post is the "tightly connected" comment. I am not sure that these communities are tightly connected. I can't tell you the number of friends that have added people on FaceBook because they feel bad rejecting an invitation. They aren't communicating, trusting or even respecting one another. In many cases, it is a loose link... not an effective relationship aided by a channel of communication.

Realistically, consumers are still going to have relational preferences that they rely on for information... whether through face-to-face, email, phone or altnerate method of communication.

michael hotrum said...

facebook has already incurred the wrath of its users - again -

The social networking site, Facebook, is adding new privacy options as the result of complaints about two new features—“news feed” and “mini-feed.” These features were used to publish changes in friends’ spaces such as adding new friends or the breakup of a relationship. Hundreds of thousands of Facebook's users strongly objected to these controversial features because they violated their privacy.

In response to the outcry, Facebook has added a privacy option that allows users to choose some information that can remain private. Eventually, the company plans to expand this personal choice function to allow usesr to prevent any of their personal information from being displayed without their consent.

The negative backlash prompted the company to change its policy and features. According to Facebook spokesperson, Melanie Deitch, “The backlash taught the company that, in the future, it should seek more input from users, clearly explain new features, and make sure users are aware of their privacy options.”