What would get me (and others) to shut up about Facebook?

If you haven’t been over to TechMeme (still my favorite tech news site) in the past two weeks you might have missed that I’m not the only one talking about Facebook.

Since I’m now the official “newest shiny object reporter” I was asking myself “what’s the next shiny object that will get me to switch my attention away from Facebook?”

Could it come from LinkedIn? Nah, they aren’t even playing the same game anymore. Their management team doesn’t understand developers, doesn’t have the cool culture or cool app platform that Facebook has, and it’s doubtful they’ll regain the high ground in the identity space. Plaxo? Nah, not a cool brand name and their shot is to sit down with Mark Zuckerberg and become the “Switzerland” for your Facebook data. Actually that’d be pretty brilliant for both Facebook and Plaxo to do, the new Plaxo really is a nice way to get your contact data from one app (Outlook) to the next (I’d like to move my contacts into Facebook and back out to Outlook again). Don’t ignore Plaxo, though, lots of people have been praising it lately for its moves into OpenID.

Is it Microsoft? Doubtful. Most of us still don’t really like the idea of Bill Gates storing all of our contact data and, anyway, even the coolest thing at Microsoft (Xbox) is having quality troubles, so not likely. Could Ray Ozzie pull a rabbit out of his hat? Maybe, but doubtful. There’s too much inertia at Microsoft that would keep them from building the kind of platform that would get me to shut up about Facebook.

Yahoo? Maybe, especially if Jerry stays focused on it. But they already have 250 million users on their email. That’s going to prove just as difficult a thing to deal with for Yahoo as it is for Microsoft. In other words, they’ll probably do something to make their users happy, but not disruptive enough to get me to shut up about Facebook.

So, what in the industry are we all forgetting about? Who has a platform that, if reengineered could all of a sudden pop up and make us all shut up about Facebook?

If you live in Brazil you know what it is. The thing I’m thinking about has a monopoly share of the social networking market in Brazil.

“Scoble, stop teasing me, what is it?”

Orkut.

Now, hear me out. I know Orkut is ugly. It doesn’t look like a Facebook killer. I agree. I signed in again this week just to see if anything is happening there. It’s not yet. But all the basics are there.

So, what kind of wine was I drinking to come up with this long rant? Some good Washington stuff (Reininger). But don’t hold that against me. Heheh.

Anyway, why could Orkut come back and get us all to shut up about Facebook? Do you remember who owns Orkut? Yeah, those evil kids over at Google.

Now, why is that important? Well, for one, most of the early adopters I know are on Gmail. I’m on it too, even though I keep my crusty old Hotmail account. Google has the best mobile app on my mobile phone too. Maps, if you’re on the iPhone, but if you’re on Nokia the Mobile Google app suite is really great. Lots of you, I know, are on iGoogle, which looks a little bit like Facebook’s profile page. Lots of you are using other things from Google. Picasa, for instance. Or customized Google searches. Or Google Reader. All of which would really benefit from having a Google Identity System.

So, could Google redesign Orkut, make it nice looking and functional (one of Facebook’s greatest attributes) which would appeal to people like me who are looking for the next shiny thing to use functional identity system and application delivery platform that gets everyone excited.

I don’t see anyone else who could get us all to shut up about Facebook. Do you?

Comments

  1. Well not sure about orkut.. but whoever it is will have to write a seemless export mechanism (ie; import all facebook friends and data… and then also – import the rest of Facebook’s goings on :)

  2. Well not sure about orkut.. but whoever it is will have to write a seemless export mechanism (ie; import all facebook friends and data… and then also – import the rest of Facebook’s goings on :)

  3. Thank you Robert, you just made my point that Facebokk is just a big temporary rathole, timesink as you’ll all be moving on in a few months and you’ll be posting videos only to XYZ and blackmailing all your old abandoned friends to come over and watch.
    As hot as Facebook is right now, it probably doesn’t really have any permanent traction. It’s just the flavor of the day.

  4. Thank you Robert, you just made my point that Facebokk is just a big temporary rathole, timesink as you’ll all be moving on in a few months and you’ll be posting videos only to XYZ and blackmailing all your old abandoned friends to come over and watch.
    As hot as Facebook is right now, it probably doesn’t really have any permanent traction. It’s just the flavor of the day.

  5. I agree with you scobie.

    Google has the platform and the means. Do they have the will? Let’s see what they must do:

    1. They need to rename it. “Orkut” sucks big donkey balls.
    2. They need to put all their services in there.
    3. They need to open up the APIs

    Photos, mail, news, groups, events, etc.

    All under one beautifully crafted social experience.

    Sign me up.

    Btw, just signed up for facebook and couldn’t see anything interesting to do. No hype for me.

  6. I agree with you scobie.

    Google has the platform and the means. Do they have the will? Let’s see what they must do:

    1. They need to rename it. “Orkut” sucks big donkey balls.
    2. They need to put all their services in there.
    3. They need to open up the APIs

    Photos, mail, news, groups, events, etc.

    All under one beautifully crafted social experience.

    Sign me up.

    Btw, just signed up for facebook and couldn’t see anything interesting to do. No hype for me.

  7. PXLated: everything is temporary if you take a long enough viewpoint.

    Ken: myspace isn’t even in the running for a professional social networking tool. Not even close.

    Even high school kids tell me they are moving off of MySpace.

  8. I’ll be honest: I don’t see Orkut taking over the social space anytime really soon. They’ve been part of the Google family for a while now and nothing much has changed. Yes, all the pieces are there, but Google just doesn’t seem that interested in it.

    I think we’re going to see a major play from MySpace very soon. Friends who work there are constantly telling me they are working on “something big”. I don’t know if that’s hyperbole or not but it is a great teaser.

    Yes, in order to do a major move in the social space, MySpace has some *huge* problems to solve. Their infrastructure sucks, the way they work isn’t consistent, and the site is just plain buggy. But there is potential there. I predict that there is, at some point, going to be a showdown between MySpace and Facebook.

    Whoever does the play and whoever wins, there is going to be some very cool stuff in the social space pretty soon.

    Personally, I can’t wait!

  9. PXLated: everything is temporary if you take a long enough viewpoint.

    Ken: myspace isn’t even in the running for a professional social networking tool. Not even close.

    Even high school kids tell me they are moving off of MySpace.

  10. I’ll be honest: I don’t see Orkut taking over the social space anytime really soon. They’ve been part of the Google family for a while now and nothing much has changed. Yes, all the pieces are there, but Google just doesn’t seem that interested in it.

    I think we’re going to see a major play from MySpace very soon. Friends who work there are constantly telling me they are working on “something big”. I don’t know if that’s hyperbole or not but it is a great teaser.

    Yes, in order to do a major move in the social space, MySpace has some *huge* problems to solve. Their infrastructure sucks, the way they work isn’t consistent, and the site is just plain buggy. But there is potential there. I predict that there is, at some point, going to be a showdown between MySpace and Facebook.

    Whoever does the play and whoever wins, there is going to be some very cool stuff in the social space pretty soon.

    Personally, I can’t wait!

  11. Robert – Facebook have a problem in discovery which Google should be able to solve. I have not done much as whenever i do a search i get 8 million pages to work through.

    However, Jeramiah pointed me at a group and from the “related groups” i have NOW started to enjoy the site.

    They need to work on their discovery. So did Orkut. You ended up with a few groups with *everyone* on it – the long tail existed, but it was too hard to find, so you ended up with many parallel long tail communities, each consisting of two people.

  12. Robert – Facebook have a problem in discovery which Google should be able to solve. I have not done much as whenever i do a search i get 8 million pages to work through.

    However, Jeramiah pointed me at a group and from the “related groups” i have NOW started to enjoy the site.

    They need to work on their discovery. So did Orkut. You ended up with a few groups with *everyone* on it – the long tail existed, but it was too hard to find, so you ended up with many parallel long tail communities, each consisting of two people.

  13. “In other words, they’ll probably do something to make their users happy, but not disruptive enough to get me to shut up about Facebook.”

    Looks like Jerry Yang just figured out his mission statement for Yahoo — get Scoble to shut up about Facebook.

  14. “In other words, they’ll probably do something to make their users happy, but not disruptive enough to get me to shut up about Facebook.”

    Looks like Jerry Yang just figured out his mission statement for Yahoo — get Scoble to shut up about Facebook.

  15. “myspace isn’t even in the running for a professional social networking tool. Not even close.”

    Robert, I agree with that, but it sounds a little inconsistent with some of your previous comments. First it’s just the place to be and anyone who disagrees gets insulted. Any mention of Myspace tends to get a non specific dismissal (and not without reason, it’s an ugly site) until here with this qualifier.

    On Techcrunch, you talk about the 6000 siemens employees and apps for Siemens employees coming soon: “It’s not Siemens in control (and the same thing is happening at almost EVERY corporation, every one I talk to says they have tons of employees on Facebook — all organically there and there’s absolutely nothing that these companies can do about it). So, what do you do when your employees all join something and you can’t do anything about it? You join in.”.

    I’ve read Cluetrain, I get it. Except, maybe I don’t. You really think Siemens is just going to give in and let Facebook control their data/employee interactions? I mean, I get it, they’re already there. But are they there in a complete professional capacity to do work, or a more like/work balance one? I suspect they’re there to network, which has both social and work components, and also for more purely social pursuits. I ask sincerely: am I wrong? Are they actually on facebook to do the business of their business?

    The work/social division is one that it seems Silicon Valley wants to collapse, but not every company wants to. Nor should they. Do you want your bank’s employees dealing with your mortgage through facebook apps?

  16. “myspace isn’t even in the running for a professional social networking tool. Not even close.”

    Robert, I agree with that, but it sounds a little inconsistent with some of your previous comments. First it’s just the place to be and anyone who disagrees gets insulted. Any mention of Myspace tends to get a non specific dismissal (and not without reason, it’s an ugly site) until here with this qualifier.

    On Techcrunch, you talk about the 6000 siemens employees and apps for Siemens employees coming soon: “It’s not Siemens in control (and the same thing is happening at almost EVERY corporation, every one I talk to says they have tons of employees on Facebook — all organically there and there’s absolutely nothing that these companies can do about it). So, what do you do when your employees all join something and you can’t do anything about it? You join in.”.

    I’ve read Cluetrain, I get it. Except, maybe I don’t. You really think Siemens is just going to give in and let Facebook control their data/employee interactions? I mean, I get it, they’re already there. But are they there in a complete professional capacity to do work, or a more like/work balance one? I suspect they’re there to network, which has both social and work components, and also for more purely social pursuits. I ask sincerely: am I wrong? Are they actually on facebook to do the business of their business?

    The work/social division is one that it seems Silicon Valley wants to collapse, but not every company wants to. Nor should they. Do you want your bank’s employees dealing with your mortgage through facebook apps?

  17. “Even high school kids tell me they are moving off of MySpace.”

    Hehe Scoble hangs with high school kids. But in all seriousness, I’m with you on the whole “Facebook is amazing who will usurp them?” thing. Except maybe there’s something that’s going to come out of left field and perhaps surprise us all?

  18. “Even high school kids tell me they are moving off of MySpace.”

    Hehe Scoble hangs with high school kids. But in all seriousness, I’m with you on the whole “Facebook is amazing who will usurp them?” thing. Except maybe there’s something that’s going to come out of left field and perhaps surprise us all?

  19. Rafael: that’s very doubtful. Remember Facebook has been coming for three years now. I remember Jeff Sandquist telling me about his daughter using it in college and saying it was the hottest thing back when I worked at Microsoft two years ago at least.

  20. Rafael: that’s very doubtful. Remember Facebook has been coming for three years now. I remember Jeff Sandquist telling me about his daughter using it in college and saying it was the hottest thing back when I worked at Microsoft two years ago at least.

  21. James: taking the conversation into the ridiculous is a fun thing to do. I know, I do it sometimes too, but come on, we’re not talking about a doctor putting up personal health data on Facebook or a bank employee putting your mortgage info up there. That doesn’t mean that Facebook wouldn’t be useful to both of them. If I were in the mortgage business I’d put all my friends who I need in that business into my Facebook page. They’d remember me more often and send me more business back.

  22. James: taking the conversation into the ridiculous is a fun thing to do. I know, I do it sometimes too, but come on, we’re not talking about a doctor putting up personal health data on Facebook or a bank employee putting your mortgage info up there. That doesn’t mean that Facebook wouldn’t be useful to both of them. If I were in the mortgage business I’d put all my friends who I need in that business into my Facebook page. They’d remember me more often and send me more business back.

  23. http://google.blognewschannel.com/archives/2007/07/19/google-stock-slammed-in-after-hours-trading/

    “GOOG fell from a closing price of $548.59 to around $502.47, an 8% drop that wiped out $13 billion in shareholder value.”

    How can you possibly lose 13 Billion in a day?
    You could feed Africa for 2 years with that. They should be ashamed of themselves for losing investor confidence like that.

    At any rate, I think Scoble is right, but he’s missing one fact.
    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=orkut.com
    Scroll down to this part
    “Orkut.com users come from these countries:”

    Orkut is for people from Brazil and that fact has been widely disseminated over years of time.

    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=myspace.com
    MySpace is for Americans. So is our SN site.

    Online communities are all about the people, not the software. You want to find people who are “like you”.

  24. http://google.blognewschannel.com/archives/2007/07/19/google-stock-slammed-in-after-hours-trading/

    “GOOG fell from a closing price of $548.59 to around $502.47, an 8% drop that wiped out $13 billion in shareholder value.”

    How can you possibly lose 13 Billion in a day?
    You could feed Africa for 2 years with that. They should be ashamed of themselves for losing investor confidence like that.

    At any rate, I think Scoble is right, but he’s missing one fact.
    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=orkut.com
    Scroll down to this part
    “Orkut.com users come from these countries:”

    Orkut is for people from Brazil and that fact has been widely disseminated over years of time.

    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=myspace.com
    MySpace is for Americans. So is our SN site.

    Online communities are all about the people, not the software. You want to find people who are “like you”.

  25. Robert,

    You’re forgetting the cardinal rule of business (or perhaps just YCombinator): “make something people want.”

    Yes, Google has all the early adopters on GMail, but does it have the bulk of people who drive traffic to sites like Facebook and MySpace? No.

    The average consumer won’t care if Google makes another social network, they are content with Facebook and MySpace.

    They will care if Google makes something that redefines the social network, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Google’s got other things to worry about right now.

  26. Robert,

    You’re forgetting the cardinal rule of business (or perhaps just YCombinator): “make something people want.”

    Yes, Google has all the early adopters on GMail, but does it have the bulk of people who drive traffic to sites like Facebook and MySpace? No.

    The average consumer won’t care if Google makes another social network, they are content with Facebook and MySpace.

    They will care if Google makes something that redefines the social network, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Google’s got other things to worry about right now.

  27. And to round off the constructive criticism with a suggestion for improvement: you could always start talking about Ooma, the latest shiny object to hit the tech world.

  28. And to round off the constructive criticism with a suggestion for improvement: you could always start talking about Ooma, the latest shiny object to hit the tech world.

  29. Orkut looks interesting. I like the levels of friends, something I think Facebook needs (ie. family, friends, business and other or something like that).

    However, Googles Orkut doesn’t even let you search your Gmail for contacts. I think that what makes Facebook so easily is that you can find all your friends who are on it quickly, adn from there you can get friends of friends to grow your network easily – or to grow it really large, you could just blog that you accept anyone who invites you ;)

  30. Orkut looks interesting. I like the levels of friends, something I think Facebook needs (ie. family, friends, business and other or something like that).

    However, Googles Orkut doesn’t even let you search your Gmail for contacts. I think that what makes Facebook so easily is that you can find all your friends who are on it quickly, adn from there you can get friends of friends to grow your network easily – or to grow it really large, you could just blog that you accept anyone who invites you ;)

  31. Orkut !! I am not sure if Google is every going to pay much attention to this app.
    Google as I have seen pays the least attention to orkut, there is no official blog on Orkut.

    We rarely see updates (last one was GTalk integration/Video sharing I believe).

    Sometimes I wonder if the lawsuit on Orkut itself is holding back Google on doing anything on this social networking site !

  32. Orkut !! I am not sure if Google is every going to pay much attention to this app.
    Google as I have seen pays the least attention to orkut, there is no official blog on Orkut.

    We rarely see updates (last one was GTalk integration/Video sharing I believe).

    Sometimes I wonder if the lawsuit on Orkut itself is holding back Google on doing anything on this social networking site !

  33. Chris Brogan just moved his Grasshoppers group off of Facebook and made a custom social network on Ning. I had previously done the same.

    There’s value in not having quantity. My social network is for a cyberpunk fiction writing project and has 31 members. It will not have 1000.

    Beyond that, is there a difference between using it and talking about it? Everyone knows about it, so what more can we say about it? Use it. USE it.

    I found this out with my iPhone (yeah, haven’t posted THAT one yet). I use it in such a reflexive way and often times, no one notices.

    The greatest power is using, existing, ‘being one with’ the technology. “GREAT DRESS!” “oh, this old thing? /shrug”

    What’s your value-add in talking about Facebook? It’s all over techmeme. And everywhere else.

    Anyway, that’s all from my peanut galler. And not bad, I went from nutty-fruity-crunchy ‘be one with’ hippie to value propositions in one comment. /smirk.

  34. Chris Brogan just moved his Grasshoppers group off of Facebook and made a custom social network on Ning. I had previously done the same.

    There’s value in not having quantity. My social network is for a cyberpunk fiction writing project and has 31 members. It will not have 1000.

    Beyond that, is there a difference between using it and talking about it? Everyone knows about it, so what more can we say about it? Use it. USE it.

    I found this out with my iPhone (yeah, haven’t posted THAT one yet). I use it in such a reflexive way and often times, no one notices.

    The greatest power is using, existing, ‘being one with’ the technology. “GREAT DRESS!” “oh, this old thing? /shrug”

    What’s your value-add in talking about Facebook? It’s all over techmeme. And everywhere else.

    Anyway, that’s all from my peanut galler. And not bad, I went from nutty-fruity-crunchy ‘be one with’ hippie to value propositions in one comment. /smirk.

  35. Just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that it’s not just Brazil, but also India where Orkut is the most popular.

  36. Just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that it’s not just Brazil, but also India where Orkut is the most popular.

  37. I’m a bit tired of the Facebook thing myself. It’s just another service on the net among hundreds of others.

    If you like it and it works for you, enjoy it. I don’t like any of the social sites. I have a small family, a life, and I enjoy things, but I fail to see what Facebook or any other site is going to do for me. How will it improve my life beyond what it is already.

    My friends and I communicate via email. It works just find. While I dislike the asynchronous aspect of email, my friends and I both work for employers where IM is frowned upon at work, so asynchronous it is.

    What I’m holding out for is a Web services or services whereby I can see my friends in real time, talk with them without cost beyond my ISP, send them files in real time, share bookmarks instantly. I want all this on one site. Granted, I’ll have to have a webcam onboard or external, but that’s a minor detail.

  38. I’m a bit tired of the Facebook thing myself. It’s just another service on the net among hundreds of others.

    If you like it and it works for you, enjoy it. I don’t like any of the social sites. I have a small family, a life, and I enjoy things, but I fail to see what Facebook or any other site is going to do for me. How will it improve my life beyond what it is already.

    My friends and I communicate via email. It works just find. While I dislike the asynchronous aspect of email, my friends and I both work for employers where IM is frowned upon at work, so asynchronous it is.

    What I’m holding out for is a Web services or services whereby I can see my friends in real time, talk with them without cost beyond my ISP, send them files in real time, share bookmarks instantly. I want all this on one site. Granted, I’ll have to have a webcam onboard or external, but that’s a minor detail.

  39. “and, anyway, even the coolest thing at Microsoft (Xbox) is having quality troubles, so not likely.”

    How is that even remotely related to MS possibly building a social networking app? You do understand the difference between software and hardware, right?

  40. “and, anyway, even the coolest thing at Microsoft (Xbox) is having quality troubles, so not likely.”

    How is that even remotely related to MS possibly building a social networking app? You do understand the difference between software and hardware, right?

  41. > “PXLated: everything is temporary if you take a long enough viewpoint.” <
    Yes, but you know what I mean, longer than 3, 6 or 9 months. I know that’s considered long to a certain crowd.

  42. > “PXLated: everything is temporary if you take a long enough viewpoint.” <
    Yes, but you know what I mean, longer than 3, 6 or 9 months. I know that’s considered long to a certain crowd.

  43. “and, anyway, even the coolest thing at Microsoft (Xbox) is having quality troubles, so not likely.”

    Xbox and PS3 have contact management, crappy email, instant messaging and more. PS3 is about to come out of beta with @home which should be THE Social networking platform for all gamers ever with finality.

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/07/playstation-home-revealed/
    “PlayStation Home will be a free download, and will eventually include a virtual cinema for watching movie downloads”

    MS’s Xbox is legacy * 1000 as far as social network gaming platforms is concerned when @home RTM is in the PS store.

  44. “and, anyway, even the coolest thing at Microsoft (Xbox) is having quality troubles, so not likely.”

    Xbox and PS3 have contact management, crappy email, instant messaging and more. PS3 is about to come out of beta with @home which should be THE Social networking platform for all gamers ever with finality.

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/07/playstation-home-revealed/
    “PlayStation Home will be a free download, and will eventually include a virtual cinema for watching movie downloads”

    MS’s Xbox is legacy * 1000 as far as social network gaming platforms is concerned when @home RTM is in the PS store.

  45. So what is your Orkut ID Robert?

    I deleted mine months ago too, although I generally like most things Google.

    Problem is that when they buy existing code that has been around a while it takes them a while to integrate it well.

    Orkut was very slow and buggy for a long time after the purchase. I’m having another look. Looks for one thing like they have managed to get the performance up in spite of the bazillion users in Brazil.

    Most of this social networking stuff bores me. On the other hand if I were looking to connect up with old college folks etc, I’d much rather use Orkut than Myspace. Come to think of it, I’d rather stick my hand in a blender than use Myspace.

    My hope though is that all these things are forced by user demand to interact with one another. I should be able to be seen by Myspace users or Facebook users by only having an Orkut ID, and visa versa.

    Of course we are still waiting for the Instant messengers to interoperate aren’t we? I won’t hold my breath.

  46. So what is your Orkut ID Robert?

    I deleted mine months ago too, although I generally like most things Google.

    Problem is that when they buy existing code that has been around a while it takes them a while to integrate it well.

    Orkut was very slow and buggy for a long time after the purchase. I’m having another look. Looks for one thing like they have managed to get the performance up in spite of the bazillion users in Brazil.

    Most of this social networking stuff bores me. On the other hand if I were looking to connect up with old college folks etc, I’d much rather use Orkut than Myspace. Come to think of it, I’d rather stick my hand in a blender than use Myspace.

    My hope though is that all these things are forced by user demand to interact with one another. I should be able to be seen by Myspace users or Facebook users by only having an Orkut ID, and visa versa.

    Of course we are still waiting for the Instant messengers to interoperate aren’t we? I won’t hold my breath.

  47. @34 Fair point, but I still don’t see how the XBOX360 hardware problems are in any way related to Microsoft’s potential ability to deliver a social networking solution.

  48. @34 Fair point, but I still don’t see how the XBOX360 hardware problems are in any way related to Microsoft’s potential ability to deliver a social networking solution.

  49. This Chris guy @34 really bores me a lot Robert. Are you getting paid to have his comments here? He reminds me of Don Quixote.

    Also, since you touched on Orkut, I want to add it is the biggest social networking site in India. Its like Yahoo or Hotmail right now, even more popular.

    We don’t know (or love) Facebook very much though FB is really “shiny” and more sophisticated. Rather FB is simple and private.

    Everyone I know has an Orkut account. I know its ugly but its so easy to use. FB is beautiful but geeky for Indian tastes. Trust me. Orkut is a masala movie, very popular, though not refined. FB is an art movie, refined, but not as popular.

    Privacy? Social networking sites have been made to mainly strut your stuff. :-) That’s what makes them viral.

    I told my friends about FB, they are not buying it. Orkut is enough they say.

  50. This Chris guy @34 really bores me a lot Robert. Are you getting paid to have his comments here? He reminds me of Don Quixote.

    Also, since you touched on Orkut, I want to add it is the biggest social networking site in India. Its like Yahoo or Hotmail right now, even more popular.

    We don’t know (or love) Facebook very much though FB is really “shiny” and more sophisticated. Rather FB is simple and private.

    Everyone I know has an Orkut account. I know its ugly but its so easy to use. FB is beautiful but geeky for Indian tastes. Trust me. Orkut is a masala movie, very popular, though not refined. FB is an art movie, refined, but not as popular.

    Privacy? Social networking sites have been made to mainly strut your stuff. :-) That’s what makes them viral.

    I told my friends about FB, they are not buying it. Orkut is enough they say.

  51. Umesh: i generally don’t block any comments. Chris pisses me off lots too, but I leave him here cause I believe in freedom of speech, for better or worse.

  52. Umesh: i generally don’t block any comments. Chris pisses me off lots too, but I leave him here cause I believe in freedom of speech, for better or worse.

  53. Good post here – I think it’ll be a long time to get a shift from Facebook. It’s got the massive momentum of 18-25 year olds who use it in a way that anyone outside of age group really doesn’t understand unless they’ve done a lot of hands-on observation.

    Further, the tech/biz community is adopting it, and while there’s a lot of hype around things like Twitter, Facebook is a much bigger time investment for people, making them much less likely to change.

    We launched apprate.com specifically because we think the opportunity for Facebook-related platform plays will be huge. Of course, I also own fbapprate.com, but I liked hedging my bet with the more generic name. :)

  54. Good post here – I think it’ll be a long time to get a shift from Facebook. It’s got the massive momentum of 18-25 year olds who use it in a way that anyone outside of age group really doesn’t understand unless they’ve done a lot of hands-on observation.

    Further, the tech/biz community is adopting it, and while there’s a lot of hype around things like Twitter, Facebook is a much bigger time investment for people, making them much less likely to change.

    We launched apprate.com specifically because we think the opportunity for Facebook-related platform plays will be huge. Of course, I also own fbapprate.com, but I liked hedging my bet with the more generic name. :)

  55. I signed up for Orkut years ago when that hideous thing came out and I haven’t touched it since.

    What I love about Facebook is it’s become the dialogue of my friends’ and even business colleagues’ lives. It takes the Twitter/Jaiku/Pownce world and combines it into the little actions you can actively take on a social network. So whether I manually type in “I’m having a ham sandwich” or I post a picture, both appear as a single line microblogged action.

    I have a summary of why I think Facebook has become so successful here: http://www.sparkminute.com/?p=213

  56. I signed up for Orkut years ago when that hideous thing came out and I haven’t touched it since.

    What I love about Facebook is it’s become the dialogue of my friends’ and even business colleagues’ lives. It takes the Twitter/Jaiku/Pownce world and combines it into the little actions you can actively take on a social network. So whether I manually type in “I’m having a ham sandwich” or I post a picture, both appear as a single line microblogged action.

    I have a summary of why I think Facebook has become so successful here: http://www.sparkminute.com/?p=213

  57. It’s wrong to say Orkut came out after FB. Orkut in India had hit the roof in 2005 itself, at a time when Facebook was completely unheard of.

    I’m not trolling for Orkut, just correcting Robert there. When he talks about Orkut as the next shiny thing that he’d like to rave/rant about..I feel like saying “hey wait a minute…Orkut’s even older” Pownce is the new shiny thing…but I think these things are a waste of time…too geeky…

  58. It’s wrong to say Orkut came out after FB. Orkut in India had hit the roof in 2005 itself, at a time when Facebook was completely unheard of.

    I’m not trolling for Orkut, just correcting Robert there. When he talks about Orkut as the next shiny thing that he’d like to rave/rant about..I feel like saying “hey wait a minute…Orkut’s even older” Pownce is the new shiny thing…but I think these things are a waste of time…too geeky…

  59. Funny what you say about Linkedin since it’s the only networking site I’m part of due to being pinged by so many people that I used to work with in various companies. And a lot of people are in the same boat as me, our time is too precious and we’re not self-absorbed enough to get involved with myspace, and have busy enough social lives that we have zero interest in facebook. Yet getting us hooked in professionally has seemed to have worked.
    Where do you think Linkedin misses the boat?

  60. Funny what you say about Linkedin since it’s the only networking site I’m part of due to being pinged by so many people that I used to work with in various companies. And a lot of people are in the same boat as me, our time is too precious and we’re not self-absorbed enough to get involved with myspace, and have busy enough social lives that we have zero interest in facebook. Yet getting us hooked in professionally has seemed to have worked.
    Where do you think Linkedin misses the boat?

  61. Chris: I was on LinkedIn too and dropped it because there’s an expectation there that you’ll do stuff for people. I know they made a choice to tell everyone you wouldn’t do anything for others, but that just seemed rude and not fitting in with the usage model there.

    More and more people I trust, like Jeff Pulver who runs some of the biggest conferences in the industry, are telling me they are getting off of LinkedIn. http://pulverblog.pulver.com/archives/007226.html

    Facebook’s application platform is why you’ll need to move someday.

  62. Chris: I was on LinkedIn too and dropped it because there’s an expectation there that you’ll do stuff for people. I know they made a choice to tell everyone you wouldn’t do anything for others, but that just seemed rude and not fitting in with the usage model there.

    More and more people I trust, like Jeff Pulver who runs some of the biggest conferences in the industry, are telling me they are getting off of LinkedIn. http://pulverblog.pulver.com/archives/007226.html

    Facebook’s application platform is why you’ll need to move someday.

  63. Actually, what would be so brilliant about a play by Google to upgrade Orkut would be that they wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of trying to convince their users to migrate to it. Take all of their GMail users, import their address book and saved addresses, and BAM — instant social network. Then you integrate Groups, Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets, and you could see a much more complete platform come up overnight.

  64. Actually, what would be so brilliant about a play by Google to upgrade Orkut would be that they wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of trying to convince their users to migrate to it. Take all of their GMail users, import their address book and saved addresses, and BAM — instant social network. Then you integrate Groups, Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets, and you could see a much more complete platform come up overnight.

  65. Plaxo incorporates calendar sharing into its site and I like that about it. You’re using Upcoming in your Facebook page and Upcoming is problematic. For instance, individual Upcoming users don’t have iCal feeds (I checked with Upcoming), therefore you can’t subscribe to those feeds in Facebook unless you use the “subscribe to all my friends’ feeds” option in Upcoming. There may be advantages in this approach — for instance, if two or more of my friends are attending Gnomedex, it only shows up in the feed once — but many folks will want more granular control over viewing their friends’ calendars inside Facebook. Google Calendar does this right, in my opinion. I think Plaxo does too, though I haven’t checked it in detail.

  66. Plaxo incorporates calendar sharing into its site and I like that about it. You’re using Upcoming in your Facebook page and Upcoming is problematic. For instance, individual Upcoming users don’t have iCal feeds (I checked with Upcoming), therefore you can’t subscribe to those feeds in Facebook unless you use the “subscribe to all my friends’ feeds” option in Upcoming. There may be advantages in this approach — for instance, if two or more of my friends are attending Gnomedex, it only shows up in the feed once — but many folks will want more granular control over viewing their friends’ calendars inside Facebook. Google Calendar does this right, in my opinion. I think Plaxo does too, though I haven’t checked it in detail.

  67. First impressions of Facebook were not good, in fact, I found the UI to be non-intuitive. However, after fooling around today – adding some friends, adding some applications, experimenting, etc., I have to say that the “application” aspect is quite powerful. It’s possible that Facebook is the flavor of the month, but the successors will have to provide something similar to allow developers to create applications IMO.

    I do have to say that I don’t like the “walled garden” aspect. I like the interoperability standards of email, IM & RSS, so something that would allow people to integrate those types of things with a widget/badge type of app on their own sites would be preferable to me.

    In other words, having to jump from Friendster to LinkedIn to MySpace to Facebook and re-add people, etc. seems the wrong way to go.

  68. First impressions of Facebook were not good, in fact, I found the UI to be non-intuitive. However, after fooling around today – adding some friends, adding some applications, experimenting, etc., I have to say that the “application” aspect is quite powerful. It’s possible that Facebook is the flavor of the month, but the successors will have to provide something similar to allow developers to create applications IMO.

    I do have to say that I don’t like the “walled garden” aspect. I like the interoperability standards of email, IM & RSS, so something that would allow people to integrate those types of things with a widget/badge type of app on their own sites would be preferable to me.

    In other words, having to jump from Friendster to LinkedIn to MySpace to Facebook and re-add people, etc. seems the wrong way to go.

  69. Hate to break the news to you, but Microsoft already stores all your contact data, and that of over 300 million people as well (messenger and hotmail address books). In fact, it has been doing so for many more years than the new shiny objects.

  70. Hate to break the news to you, but Microsoft already stores all your contact data, and that of over 300 million people as well (messenger and hotmail address books). In fact, it has been doing so for many more years than the new shiny objects.

  71. [...] startup started by Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, two former Firefox geeks.” Mind you, getting Scoble to shut up about the joys and wonders of Facebook makes one wonder if he is being offered pre-IPO stock… [...]

  72. Meh, I don’t see it Robert. Orkut is, as you suggest, pretty barren. Nothing new has gone on there for years. Not that I hold Facebook in ultimate regard or anything like that, but unless Google scrapped Orkut and started over completely, I just don’t see it competing.

    William
    http://www.sugarattack.com

  73. Meh, I don’t see it Robert. Orkut is, as you suggest, pretty barren. Nothing new has gone on there for years. Not that I hold Facebook in ultimate regard or anything like that, but unless Google scrapped Orkut and started over completely, I just don’t see it competing.

    William
    http://www.sugarattack.com

  74. There may be advantages in this approach — for instance, if two or more of my friends are attending Gnomedex, it only shows up in the feed once — but many folks will want more granular control over viewing their friends’ calendars inside Facebook. Google Calendar does this right, in my opinion.

  75. There may be advantages in this approach — for instance, if two or more of my friends are attending Gnomedex, it only shows up in the feed once — but many folks will want more granular control over viewing their friends’ calendars inside Facebook. Google Calendar does this right, in my opinion.