Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Facebook, Privacy and the Alternatives

A crazy amount of digital ink has been spent lately taking Facebook to task, and demonizing Mark Zuckerberg, calling for a boycott of the site in response to the privacy changes.  (Random side note Engadget hasn't said a peep about this it seems, either that or they pulled the content.)

The boycotting and leaving Facebook is an interesting cunundrum given that Facebook actually provides some value to many of its users.  That value may just be satisfying their voyeur needs into the lives of their "friends", but it is a way to maintain some level of contact with those that are far away from us.  Every now and then you learn things that you might have not known, or encounter very odd situations with divorces or fighting couples.  Is any of this useful, valuable, or worthwhile?  I don't know that it isn't.

I thought that this was an interesting alternative design to counter Facebook's Monolithic scale, the idea is to give you a higher degree of control over what you share.  I think that they certianly choose the best possible time to launch, but given the time it will take them to get off the ground it likely will have fallen off of people radar by then.  People have short attention spans and the news doesn't know what a follow up report is, so I don't expect to ever hear about this "Alternative" again.

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