Putting value into Social Networking, pay up Facebook

Great post on China Vortext regarding the Facebook Beacon service:

China Vortex: Facebook’s Beacon and Valuing Social Networks

Let me put it this way, I don’t think that there is a way to value social networks, even though this is what advertisers would very much like to see happen. And the reason that social networks cannot be valued in a top-down/corporate/advertising way is because they are entirely subjective and dynamic according to each individual at any given moment in time.

That is why it doesn’t matter if Facebook owns all my data; if I no longer go there, it’s dead, out-of-date data. My data is only valuable as long as I’m active there.

Paul goes on to relay a system that he believes (and I agree) would add value for businesses, while creating a more opt-in-get-paid system for users. Will Facebook and its ilk ever get on board? Or will they try to milk their free user base for as long as they can.

Personally, I think Facebook is going to go down harder and faster than a MySpace made of lead – but that’s another post.

5 thoughts on Putting value into Social Networking, pay up Facebook

  1. I think facebook has a bright future. Maybe not as bright as we expected, but bright nonetheless.

    Facebook managed to hook in friends of mine that I’ve never seen go near a computer. The only site that I’ve ever seen do that before is hotmail.

    So, while most of the 2.0 savvy users may be on the downslide with facebook, I think it still has enough people hooked in that it will continue to do well.

    Just as hotmail is still doing well right now.
    Maybe not the hottest of mail, but still pretty good.

  2. I guess I can’t really disagree with that – as the same can be said about friends of mine as well – I mean, my mom is on Facebook!

    MySpace pulled a lot of people in too though, but it crumpled under its own success. It allowed people to change the design of their profiles until you were basically looking at GeoCities all over again – and who randomly browses GeoCities pages?

    Similar things are happening on Facebook with all the spamtastic app/group/event/etc. requests the average user gets a day. Now Facebook is pushing the limits as to what is “acceptable” for them to be doing with our Facebook accounts and the information that is connected to that… I dunno… leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, all of it.

  3. Well, it seems they did apologize for it. Pretty emphatically too.

    I would guess it was a f*ck-up that was not known by Zuckerberg and whoever else is at the top. Because some PR people were outright denying the fact that Beacon would track your info even after you logged out.

    No one would knowing make that kind of public denial when Beacon so blatantly contradicts it. It doesn’t make sense.

    Yeah, they messed up.
    But at least they apologized.

  4. That apology was a non-apology apology if I ever saw one.

    Basically, for it to work with me, they would have to:

    — Tell me that they would stop all user-tracking when I’m not on Facebook
    — Engage with their own user-base about how to build an equitable system for creating ad revenue in which the user base would share

    Anything which falls short of that is just BS as far as I’m concerned.

    Sure, FB can continue to grow as long as they offer all kinds of dumb web candy to the unthinking masses. But the early adopters who drive growth will move somewhere else…

  5. Facebook, although a neat tool, seems to have become too “cliche.”

    As a college student, I loved Facebook when it was ONLY college students. Now it has become a myspace competitor. I understand the reason for the change to bring in more users but it really killed the point of it. Originally designed to bring friends back together who went off to college has now become highschool heaven.

    And what is with all the widgets and apps on Facebook now. It is slowly letting it turn into “frankenstein copy of myspace.”

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