Steve Ballmer still doesn't understand social networking

A few years ago I wrote to Microsoft’s leadership and asked them why they weren’t involved in the new Web 2.0 space. I got an answer back that was about 2,000 words long and included the words “business value” 13 times. Translation: Microsoft’s leadership thought that Web 2.0 and social software like Flickr didn’t have business value and was too much of a potential fad to invest in.

Glad to see that Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, is consistent. Notes that Geocities lost most of its value after being acquired by Yahoo and says “it had most of what Facebook has.” Let’s come back to that point in a second.

The thing is that Ballmer has bought into the advertising hype too. I remember when Microsoft’s President, Kevin Johnson, came to our group when I worked at Microsoft and explained that the advertising industry is 10x the size of the software industry and that he was going to steer Microsoft more into an advertising-driven business rather than just one that made its revenues from selling software. Translation: Microsoft was going to compete more with Google, Yahoo, and other companies going after the advertising pie.

Don’t miss this quote. It’s demonstrates everything that is wrong with Microsoft’s approach:

“There can’t be any more deep technology in Facebook than what dozens of people could write in a couple of years. That’s for sure,” Ballmer said.

When I worked at Microsoft I heard this over and over and over again from various engineers and program managers who STILL haven’t competed effectively with WordPress, Flickr, Skype, YouTube, or any of the other things over the years I’ve heard this “we can build that in a few weeks” kind of arrogant attitude attached to.

But, remember eBay? Remember how dozens of competitors tried to get into the eBay space? (and still are?)

Why aren’t they succeeding? Because eBay is NOT about the technology. It’s about the community and unless you have something that’ll convince the buyers and sellers all to switch all at one moment you’ll never be able to take eBay’s market away. Translation: it’s too late and eBay has huge defensibility around its business because people won’t move away from it even if you demonstrate 5x better technology.

Same with Facebook. I’m not moving away from it. Why? I have 5,000 reasons why (and another 500 already who want to be included in my Facebook network). Unless you can convince them all to move I’m not moving. This is why LinkedIn isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, even though I like Facebook’s approach a lot better. It’s also why MySpace isn’t going anywhere. My son says his friends are all on MySpace. My brother’s bar is on MySpace. They aren’t moving no matter how hard I evangelize Facebook.

Which gets us back to Ballmer’s quotes.

First, let’s share this one: “I think these things [social networks] are going to have some legs, and yet there’s a faddishness, a faddish nature about anything that basically appeals to younger people,” Mr Ballmer told Times Online yesterday.

I’m 42. Hardly young. And Facebook is appealing a lot to people in my social network and age group lately (and so is Twitter and other social tools like Pownce, LinkedIn, and sites that use social groups like Yelp, Flickr, Upcoming.org). I guess Ballmer missed that. This is what happens when Microsoft executives don’t get outside of their ivory towers very often. Steve, you really need to go to any tech industry conference and hang out in the hallways. Don’t come to San Francisco, you won’t believe anything you hear here anyway. But go to, say, LeWeb3 in Paris and hear what they say about social networks. You’ll probably hear Bebo. Facebook. And a few others. From even the old folks. Last night I was at a National Geographic event and lots of people were talking about Facebook.

Here’s another quote:

Mr Ballmer also noted that sites such as Geocities, an online community that was bought for $3 billion by Yahoo! in 1999, at the height of the dot-com boom, “had most of what Facebook has.”

Oh, boy. No way, no how.

First of all, I never joined Geocities. It never had utility for me. It was a place to build free Web sites. I found it had all the disadvantages to me that MySpace has and NONE of the advantages of Facebook. It was NOT a social network that exerted the kind of social pressure on me to join the way that Facebook did. I tried to ignore Facebook for years. Same with MySpace. But people I kept meeting kept begging me to join. Kevin Rose, when we had dinner, told me I was blowing it by not being on Facebook. That NEVER happened with Geocities.

Also, Facebook is now a business card collection. A rolodex. That has real utility that’ll keep me using it long after it joins the “old fad bin.”

Oh, and anytime people say “this thing is a fad?” I think of blogging. Lots of people told me that when I started it too. It wasn’t. Neither is Facebook.

But all this makes me think that Ballmer is trying to send signals to Zuckerberg (Facebook’s CEO) that the price is too high and that this is just a negotiating ploy. Nice one! But it doesn’t give me confidence that Microsoft is going to figure out Web 2.0 or social networking strategies anytime soon.

It also makes me realize that Ballmer has no clue about the future of advertising. If he did he’d be talking about how Facebook’s ability to concentrate people into buckets in a new way should be copied and studied. That’s where Facebook’s real advertising value is and Microsoft hasn’t demonstrated ANY ability to see that yet. Of course, Facebook itself hasn’t shipped its advertising platform that’ll demonstrate its vision there either, but I hear it’s coming.

Will Microsoft get a clue before Facebook gets an entrenched advertising platform going?

Ballmer proved with Google and with these quotes today: no.

Comments

  1. Robert,
    Spot on. Damn, it’s frustrating being a MSFT shareholder, seeing them 4th in advertising, and trying to buy or re-build things again and again and not succeeding.
    Let’s take one simple example – calendar sharing. It’s “Built In” to Office 2007/Outlook 2007. But damned if I can figure out how to actually find the calendar it’s sharing on Live/hotmail/something, and worse, tell someone how to subscribe to my free/busy data, even from another OUTLOOK!
    Meanwhile, Google Calendar just works like that. Arrrgh.
    Yes, I know microsoft has some SN features in Live and Spaces, but, as you said, my network is elsewhere.

  2. You hit the nail on the head with that one! And it’s not just Web 2.0: before it there was the Internet itself (Bill Gates had to rewrite his book on that one), the browser, and many other products that Microsoft ultimately acquired after a while, because they didn’t jump on the bandwagon early enough.

    We live in interesting times, indeed. If you look at just the last 2-3 weeks and what news came out of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo – there is an interesting synchronicity going on here: Office, Social Networking, Search, Office, Social Networking, Search, … – is it just me, or is there a pattern here?

    And it all revolves around platforms for advertising dollars :)

    http://www.xmlaficionado.com/2007/10/google-microsoft-and-yahoo-interesting.html

  3. You hit the nail on the head with that one! And it’s not just Web 2.0: before it there was the Internet itself (Bill Gates had to rewrite his book on that one), the browser, and many other products that Microsoft ultimately acquired after a while, because they didn’t jump on the bandwagon early enough.

    We live in interesting times, indeed. If you look at just the last 2-3 weeks and what news came out of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo – there is an interesting synchronicity going on here: Office, Social Networking, Search, Office, Social Networking, Search, … – is it just me, or is there a pattern here?

    And it all revolves around platforms for advertising dollars :)

    http://www.xmlaficionado.com/2007/10/google-microsoft-and-yahoo-interesting.html

  4. Robert,
    Spot on. Damn, it’s frustrating being a MSFT shareholder, seeing them 4th in advertising, and trying to buy or re-build things again and again and not succeeding.
    Let’s take one simple example – calendar sharing. It’s “Built In” to Office 2007/Outlook 2007. But damned if I can figure out how to actually find the calendar it’s sharing on Live/hotmail/something, and worse, tell someone how to subscribe to my free/busy data, even from another OUTLOOK!
    Meanwhile, Google Calendar just works like that. Arrrgh.
    Yes, I know microsoft has some SN features in Live and Spaces, but, as you said, my network is elsewhere.

  5. Regarding GeoCities… as someone who was a Community Leader and as someone who started out by building sites on GeoCities (in 1996), I can definitely say it was a fragmented social network. GeoCities was much more than just a service to build websites. The chatrooms were a HUGE draw. The different neighborhoods were a huge draw. It definitely didn’t have a lot of what Facebook now has, because the technology wasn’t there… but it was a very primitive social network.

  6. Regarding GeoCities… as someone who was a Community Leader and as someone who started out by building sites on GeoCities (in 1996), I can definitely say it was a fragmented social network. GeoCities was much more than just a service to build websites. The chatrooms were a HUGE draw. The different neighborhoods were a huge draw. It definitely didn’t have a lot of what Facebook now has, because the technology wasn’t there… but it was a very primitive social network.

  7. Sharepoint 2007 is proof positive that Microsoft doesn’t get the community thing, even from a business community perspective. It’s basic nature is directly contrary to the type of framework that supports a community.

    Ultimately I have to say this is a great post. Nice one once again.

  8. Yes Robert, it’s not about the technology. And it’s also not about what you want users to do with it.

    Twitter addicts tolerate more bugs and downtime than anyone cares to admit, but the loyalty is ferocious. Why? Because you migrated there, during the Mean Kids fiasco, and we followed you. Now we’re hooked on the community.

    The messages are personal trivia, cool links, or technical remarks, but aside from the content, the community seems like a summer camp, in the style of “Goodnight Johnboy” intimacy.

    Making the technical product is irrelevant. Showing a human face and voice, entering into the rushing river of brevities, and riding it to the bitter end, that’s what counts in Twitter.

    It’s the vision, the idea, and the implementation of tools that meet unfulfilled needs.

    It’s not “who’s smartest?”

    Rather, it’s “who’s more in touch with people?”

  9. Sharepoint 2007 is proof positive that Microsoft doesn’t get the community thing, even from a business community perspective. It’s basic nature is directly contrary to the type of framework that supports a community.

    Ultimately I have to say this is a great post. Nice one once again.

  10. Yes Robert, it’s not about the technology. And it’s also not about what you want users to do with it.

    Twitter addicts tolerate more bugs and downtime than anyone cares to admit, but the loyalty is ferocious. Why? Because you migrated there, during the Mean Kids fiasco, and we followed you. Now we’re hooked on the community.

    The messages are personal trivia, cool links, or technical remarks, but aside from the content, the community seems like a summer camp, in the style of “Goodnight Johnboy” intimacy.

    Making the technical product is irrelevant. Showing a human face and voice, entering into the rushing river of brevities, and riding it to the bitter end, that’s what counts in Twitter.

    It’s the vision, the idea, and the implementation of tools that meet unfulfilled needs.

    It’s not “who’s smartest?”

    Rather, it’s “who’s more in touch with people?”

  11. Wonder when Ballmer’s goanna go off the top. Wonder how Microsoft’s goanna be when I and Patrick are your age…

    And, btw, I analysed Digg and found that your blog is the most dugg wordpress.com blog. I tweeted it, and did it @scobleizer. And, very probably, you missed it. Too much volume, Scoble, too much volume :)

    I said it before, and I’m saying it again: Just waiting for December to come so I can analyse your blog, Linkblog and Twitter together…

  12. Wonder when Ballmer’s goanna go off the top. Wonder how Microsoft’s goanna be when I and Patrick are your age…

    And, btw, I analysed Digg and found that your blog is the most dugg wordpress.com blog. I tweeted it, and did it @scobleizer. And, very probably, you missed it. Too much volume, Scoble, too much volume :)

    I said it before, and I’m saying it again: Just waiting for December to come so I can analyse your blog, Linkblog and Twitter together…

  13. Microsoft’s ideology is: We provide a service, You provide a service, Then we go our seperate ways. No input, beyond a techsupport@, no sharing or building. It’s been over three-decades since Gates penned “An open letter to hobbyists” and still Microsoft is completely uncomfortable with the idea of community. That’s what this all comes down to: Communities are scary and there members could have better ideas then us (notice, though, how Facebook solved this problem instead of suing).
    BTW, as for not leaving services: Twitter’s been going down nearly ever hour lately and none of us are going anywhere!

  14. Microsoft’s ideology is: We provide a service, You provide a service, Then we go our seperate ways. No input, beyond a techsupport@, no sharing or building. It’s been over three-decades since Gates penned “An open letter to hobbyists” and still Microsoft is completely uncomfortable with the idea of community. That’s what this all comes down to: Communities are scary and there members could have better ideas then us (notice, though, how Facebook solved this problem instead of suing).
    BTW, as for not leaving services: Twitter’s been going down nearly ever hour lately and none of us are going anywhere!

  15. Steve: PodCasting has continued to expand in numbers of listeners. The PodCasting Expo, last week, was bigger than ever.

    If that’s what happens “post fad” I want more of it!

  16. Steve: PodCasting has continued to expand in numbers of listeners. The PodCasting Expo, last week, was bigger than ever.

    If that’s what happens “post fad” I want more of it!

  17. I wonder by what rate podcasting has really been increasing. There’s now 100mm+ iPods using iTunes software, which allows quick/easy access to grab a podcast onto your iPod.

    Someone (TC or R/WW) should write a piece. I’d look at the Comscore/Alexa of the top podcast websites as well; along with launch date of podcasts being available via iTunes easily. How many podcasters exist now? How many listeners?

    I’ll be first to admit I’m not into podcasting, so I could be speaking from my own silo. But I’d bet that podcasting listenership hasn’t increased all that much, if any, in the past year.

  18. I wonder by what rate podcasting has really been increasing. There’s now 100mm+ iPods using iTunes software, which allows quick/easy access to grab a podcast onto your iPod.

    Someone (TC or R/WW) should write a piece. I’d look at the Comscore/Alexa of the top podcast websites as well; along with launch date of podcasts being available via iTunes easily. How many podcasters exist now? How many listeners?

    I’ll be first to admit I’m not into podcasting, so I could be speaking from my own silo. But I’d bet that podcasting listenership hasn’t increased all that much, if any, in the past year.

  19. Steve: I talked with someone who owns 1,000 shows last night (works with Leo Laporte too) and he says his numbers are up. I’ll try to find more data, though. Definitely the hype has moved from Podcasting onto video (of course my own show plays just fine on iPods and iPhones, so I guess you could say I’m a video podcaster).

  20. Steve: I talked with someone who owns 1,000 shows last night (works with Leo Laporte too) and he says his numbers are up. I’ll try to find more data, though. Definitely the hype has moved from Podcasting onto video (of course my own show plays just fine on iPods and iPhones, so I guess you could say I’m a video podcaster).

  21. “If we’re trying to find a good recent fad — can we say it’s podcasting?”

    This is nonsense. Podcasting allows me to listen to my favorite NPR shows and “Eyes of the World” (Grateful Dead) and “Friday Night Fish Fry” (blues) as I work during the day. How is this a “fad” or not useful? Yes, we have local radio, but how can I select the exact content I want, when I want it?

    BTW: did the Zune ever get Podcasting? Not meant to be a “smarmy” question– just curious.

  22. “If we’re trying to find a good recent fad — can we say it’s podcasting?”

    This is nonsense. Podcasting allows me to listen to my favorite NPR shows and “Eyes of the World” (Grateful Dead) and “Friday Night Fish Fry” (blues) as I work during the day. How is this a “fad” or not useful? Yes, we have local radio, but how can I select the exact content I want, when I want it?

    BTW: did the Zune ever get Podcasting? Not meant to be a “smarmy” question– just curious.

  23. Look what a huge success “Squirting” has been. Don’t we see people squirting music from their Zunes everywhere ;-) That’s Microsoft’s idea of social networking.

    On the other hand, MySpace is the best way for a band to get exposure and spread their music. Almost every band has a MySpace music page. There’s very little high tech about it – the community is what makes a difference.

  24. Look what a huge success “Squirting” has been. Don’t we see people squirting music from their Zunes everywhere ;-) That’s Microsoft’s idea of social networking.

    On the other hand, MySpace is the best way for a band to get exposure and spread their music. Almost every band has a MySpace music page. There’s very little high tech about it – the community is what makes a difference.

  25. Good call, but the launch if something like FriendFeed demostrates how vunerable any particular social network.

    Should we not be looking to the social network of social networks!!

  26. Good call, but the launch if something like FriendFeed demostrates how vunerable any particular social network.

    Should we not be looking to the social network of social networks!!

  27. Thanks for a reasoned perspective on the inability of some business people, notably Microsoft in this case, to understand the full implications of the social networking evolution.

    The next big thing on the Internet will disintermediate marketing processes that have traditionally built their value on the ability to target media, products and messaging based on demographic consumer characteristics.

    Although this will not necessarily be enabled by some revolutionary, yet to be invented technology, it may be. The current social networking paradigms and mechanisms haven’t yet evolved to the point where editing, conversation, trust and targeting are completely embedded, in a zero-overhead fashion, into our use of the Internet, but platforms and technologies will hit this explosive seam soon enough.

  28. Thanks for a reasoned perspective on the inability of some business people, notably Microsoft in this case, to understand the full implications of the social networking evolution.

    The next big thing on the Internet will disintermediate marketing processes that have traditionally built their value on the ability to target media, products and messaging based on demographic consumer characteristics.

    Although this will not necessarily be enabled by some revolutionary, yet to be invented technology, it may be. The current social networking paradigms and mechanisms haven’t yet evolved to the point where editing, conversation, trust and targeting are completely embedded, in a zero-overhead fashion, into our use of the Internet, but platforms and technologies will hit this explosive seam soon enough.

  29. Two years ago everybody was talking about MySpace, last year it was SecondLife, now it’s FaceBook and next year…….?

  30. Two years ago everybody was talking about MySpace, last year it was SecondLife, now it’s FaceBook and next year…….?

  31. Robert, good post. (and, BTW, proof that there’s still some legs to blogging.)

    It’s shocking that Ballmer would primarily evaluate a property on the basis of the code and how many developer hours it would take to replicate it. You’re probably right that it’s a negotiating ploy. As you said: the value of Facebook is that my friends are on it. (Oh, yeah… and it’s a platform and there’s an advertising model coming.) But for now… it’s the friends thing.

    Here”s the nugget of truth in what Ballmer said: everyone is vulnerable to a breakthrough that offers something radically more useful to the customer–also vlulnerable to internal rot and decay.) Office, too, may be a “fad.”

  32. Robert, good post. (and, BTW, proof that there’s still some legs to blogging.)

    It’s shocking that Ballmer would primarily evaluate a property on the basis of the code and how many developer hours it would take to replicate it. You’re probably right that it’s a negotiating ploy. As you said: the value of Facebook is that my friends are on it. (Oh, yeah… and it’s a platform and there’s an advertising model coming.) But for now… it’s the friends thing.

    Here”s the nugget of truth in what Ballmer said: everyone is vulnerable to a breakthrough that offers something radically more useful to the customer–also vlulnerable to internal rot and decay.) Office, too, may be a “fad.”

  33. Sorry Robert, But I’m 42 and don’t really care about Face book or my space, and they are a faddish sort of thing, kids are fickle and their tastes change sometimes overnight.
    Twitter is the same thing, I really don’t care to know what where or what someone is doing from moment to moment, some of these things are creative and may have some legs over time, but I’m not in the school of get on board just because everybody seems to be doing it.

    Microsofts problem is that they wait to long to get in to some of these markets and then they contemplate overpaying for something like face book.

    I hope they don’t do it

  34. Sorry Robert, But I’m 42 and don’t really care about Face book or my space, and they are a faddish sort of thing, kids are fickle and their tastes change sometimes overnight.
    Twitter is the same thing, I really don’t care to know what where or what someone is doing from moment to moment, some of these things are creative and may have some legs over time, but I’m not in the school of get on board just because everybody seems to be doing it.

    Microsofts problem is that they wait to long to get in to some of these markets and then they contemplate overpaying for something like face book.

    I hope they don’t do it

  35. If Microsoft could churn out a serious WordPress competitor in 2 weeks time and they haven’t already done it then they’re fools. And I’m not talking about a wanna be version of WordPress, I’m talking the whole Enchilada with all of the out of the box stuff that’s baked into WordPress.

    I seriously doubt that they could accomplish this in all honesty, they’d be totally buried in “let’s integrate with SharePoint… and Word… and whatever else we can come up with”.

    When was the last time Microsoft got anything of that magnitude done in 2 weeks?

  36. If Microsoft could churn out a serious WordPress competitor in 2 weeks time and they haven’t already done it then they’re fools. And I’m not talking about a wanna be version of WordPress, I’m talking the whole Enchilada with all of the out of the box stuff that’s baked into WordPress.

    I seriously doubt that they could accomplish this in all honesty, they’d be totally buried in “let’s integrate with SharePoint… and Word… and whatever else we can come up with”.

    When was the last time Microsoft got anything of that magnitude done in 2 weeks?

  37. Robert,

    I think you missed Ballmer’s point on the faddish potential of Facebook. I think he meant that Facebook itself could be a fad — not that social networks are. (Or at least that’s what I hope he meant.) And I think this is a very serious concern. I don’t even have to raise the spectre of MySpace and Friendster to make this point — I can just point to all of my friends who joined Facebook in the last 6 months and now say “There’s nothing to do here.”

    I’m not saying who’s right or who’s wrong — I don’t know what will happen with Facebook. All I know is that this isn’t a simple bet, and I’d be worried that Facebook could be a fad too.

    (I admit, your general historical points about Microsoft seem accurate.)

  38. Robert,

    I think you missed Ballmer’s point on the faddish potential of Facebook. I think he meant that Facebook itself could be a fad — not that social networks are. (Or at least that’s what I hope he meant.) And I think this is a very serious concern. I don’t even have to raise the spectre of MySpace and Friendster to make this point — I can just point to all of my friends who joined Facebook in the last 6 months and now say “There’s nothing to do here.”

    I’m not saying who’s right or who’s wrong — I don’t know what will happen with Facebook. All I know is that this isn’t a simple bet, and I’d be worried that Facebook could be a fad too.

    (I admit, your general historical points about Microsoft seem accurate.)

  39. Rex: Facebook is a new type of business card. Does anyone say “there’s nothing to do with a business card?” Translation: if these things have utility (they do) then it doesn’t matter if they are getting hyped up or not. Does nearly everyone have a business card? Yes. Do you “do” anything with them? No. Facebook is the new business card.

  40. Rex: Facebook is a new type of business card. Does anyone say “there’s nothing to do with a business card?” Translation: if these things have utility (they do) then it doesn’t matter if they are getting hyped up or not. Does nearly everyone have a business card? Yes. Do you “do” anything with them? No. Facebook is the new business card.

  41. They said rock & roll was a fad. I still love it. My kids still buy it. So – what if it is a fad? All that matters is how long it stays around.

    I am a Sr. VP of a very old Internet company. I just attended a social marketing conference a few days ago (which was at the University of Washington in Seattle); I guess we should have invited Steve so he could see where this is all going. Anyways, I keep my FaceBook account up to date as do most of my collegues and wife’s collegues, many who are over 42 and professionals (myself included). It just so happens we get social networking – Ballmer does not. Maybe he just does not want any “friends”.

    Or maybe he does and realizes how much of a stir he will create by this post. As they say, “crafty like a fox”. I have already used his comments in my own blog so maybe he does get it :)

  42. They said rock & roll was a fad. I still love it. My kids still buy it. So – what if it is a fad? All that matters is how long it stays around.

    I am a Sr. VP of a very old Internet company. I just attended a social marketing conference a few days ago (which was at the University of Washington in Seattle); I guess we should have invited Steve so he could see where this is all going. Anyways, I keep my FaceBook account up to date as do most of my collegues and wife’s collegues, many who are over 42 and professionals (myself included). It just so happens we get social networking – Ballmer does not. Maybe he just does not want any “friends”.

    Or maybe he does and realizes how much of a stir he will create by this post. As they say, “crafty like a fox”. I have already used his comments in my own blog so maybe he does get it :)

  43. bah! ..

    Facebook is for me simple: “Confirm or Ignore”… i get friends requests, that’s all i do.. Using it is entirely different story and “attraction economy” inside facebook imho is over-rated much like Second Life..

    Great concept, little execution.

  44. bah! ..

    Facebook is for me simple: “Confirm or Ignore”… i get friends requests, that’s all i do.. Using it is entirely different story and “attraction economy” inside facebook imho is over-rated much like Second Life..

    Great concept, little execution.

  45. Do you remember that story in the New York Times a few years ago about how people were giving out their usernames rather than their phone numbers in bars? Do you remember what site those usernames were from? That’s right, Friendster.

    That’s the business card of four years ago. It’s really not all that different than Facebook’s business card of today. Or, for that matter, MetaFilter’s business card — a low user id — eight years ago.

    “If these things have utility (they do) then it doesn’t matter if they are getting hyped up or not.”

    No, what matters is if they are getting *used* or not. If Facebook is only a business card box, then I’ll be using it once a month.

    Again, I don’t know if Facebook is different than the history that brought us MeFi –> Friendster –> MySpace. If you force me to bet, I’d bet it is different. But then if you told me I had to bet $500 million, well….

  46. Do you remember that story in the New York Times a few years ago about how people were giving out their usernames rather than their phone numbers in bars? Do you remember what site those usernames were from? That’s right, Friendster.

    That’s the business card of four years ago. It’s really not all that different than Facebook’s business card of today. Or, for that matter, MetaFilter’s business card — a low user id — eight years ago.

    “If these things have utility (they do) then it doesn’t matter if they are getting hyped up or not.”

    No, what matters is if they are getting *used* or not. If Facebook is only a business card box, then I’ll be using it once a month.

    Again, I don’t know if Facebook is different than the history that brought us MeFi –> Friendster –> MySpace. If you force me to bet, I’d bet it is different. But then if you told me I had to bet $500 million, well….

  47. Rex: I never even joined Friendster. Enough said about that. It was lame compared to Facebook.

    But, we’ll see. Someone will look stupid in a few years. Maybe it might be me.

  48. Rex: I never even joined Friendster. Enough said about that. It was lame compared to Facebook.

    But, we’ll see. Someone will look stupid in a few years. Maybe it might be me.

  49. what’s the point of this other to bash MS? You said you’re not moving off Facebook. So even if MS did come out with a solution you wouldn’t move and I’m guessing your readers feel the same. Are you wanting a solution from MS? If not, why do you csre what Ballmer thinks?

  50. what’s the point of this other to bash MS? You said you’re not moving off Facebook. So even if MS did come out with a solution you wouldn’t move and I’m guessing your readers feel the same. Are you wanting a solution from MS? If not, why do you csre what Ballmer thinks?

  51. “I never even joined Friendster. Enough said about that. It was lame compared to Facebook.”

    Robert, I agree with the stuff you’re saying but you’ve got such an arrogant attitude saying that just because you haven’t tried something it’s lame.

    If you grew up using these online services, you’ll know technology comes around. That’s like a filesharing noob saying that Napster is lame compared to Bittorrent. How could one even fathom the idea of Bittorrent at the time? Likewise, when Altavista was king, no one could envision what Google would bring to the table.

    Sometimes big ideas just arrive and stick around. Maybe Facebook is one of those big ideas, maybe not. Regardless, these ideas evolve and it’s simply naive to dismiss predecessors as ‘lame’.

    Interestingly, with all this social networking craze, email is still the no-frills dependable foundation for the rest world.

  52. “I never even joined Friendster. Enough said about that. It was lame compared to Facebook.”

    Robert, I agree with the stuff you’re saying but you’ve got such an arrogant attitude saying that just because you haven’t tried something it’s lame.

    If you grew up using these online services, you’ll know technology comes around. That’s like a filesharing noob saying that Napster is lame compared to Bittorrent. How could one even fathom the idea of Bittorrent at the time? Likewise, when Altavista was king, no one could envision what Google would bring to the table.

    Sometimes big ideas just arrive and stick around. Maybe Facebook is one of those big ideas, maybe not. Regardless, these ideas evolve and it’s simply naive to dismiss predecessors as ‘lame’.

    Interestingly, with all this social networking craze, email is still the no-frills dependable foundation for the rest world.

  53. I think Microsoft should get/stay out of the social network biz. not every company can or should be in every business. Others can make big money on this, but that doens’t mean that Microsoft should get into it any more than Panasonic, Kraft, or Honda.

    To the above person that said podcasting is a “fad”, you are very wrong. Podcasting is here to stay. But I do doubt the survivability of companies that are completely based on podcasting. For example, I don’t expect PodTech to be around at this time next year, two years at the latest.

  54. I shouldn’t have said I never tried it. I did. With a friend’s account. I never joined it. I never had the social pressure to join that Facebook brought to bear.

  55. I shouldn’t have said I never tried it. I did. With a friend’s account. I never joined it. I never had the social pressure to join that Facebook brought to bear.

  56. I think Microsoft should get/stay out of the social network biz. not every company can or should be in every business. Others can make big money on this, but that doens’t mean that Microsoft should get into it any more than Panasonic, Kraft, or Honda.

    To the above person that said podcasting is a “fad”, you are very wrong. Podcasting is here to stay. But I do doubt the survivability of companies that are completely based on podcasting. For example, I don’t expect PodTech to be around at this time next year, two years at the latest.

  57. Brit: PodTech is not completely based on podcasting. Our revenues (and we do have revenues) come from events, sponsorship, consulting, production, etc.

    Microsoft won’t follow your advice because they see potential revenues in advertising. Advertising is gonna force them into social networking stuff cause I think that’s where a LOT of the revenues in this business will be.

  58. Brit: PodTech is not completely based on podcasting. Our revenues (and we do have revenues) come from events, sponsorship, consulting, production, etc.

    Microsoft won’t follow your advice because they see potential revenues in advertising. Advertising is gonna force them into social networking stuff cause I think that’s where a LOT of the revenues in this business will be.

  59. Oh, and PodTech has millions in revenues every year. So, why would we disappear in less than a year? Companies with that kind of revenue stream don’t disappear unless something happens to wipe out their revenues and I don’t see any event right now that would cause that short of a huge economic disruption the size of which we last saw in 2000. PodTech, at this point, would even survive me leaving.

  60. Oh, and PodTech has millions in revenues every year. So, why would we disappear in less than a year? Companies with that kind of revenue stream don’t disappear unless something happens to wipe out their revenues and I don’t see any event right now that would cause that short of a huge economic disruption the size of which we last saw in 2000. PodTech, at this point, would even survive me leaving.

  61. There’s an alternative viewpoint…that Mr. Ballmer’s comments are simply catering to his installed base.

    Microsoft is beloved of CIO’s because it’s “safe” tech. After having Oracle abruptly shove poorly implemented webtech down their throats, it is immensely comforting to have Microsoft represent the “old guard”. There’s a comfort in knowing that MS will *eventually* promote a tech, not when it’s new and hot-but when it’s old, mature and safe.

    My company is involved yellow pages – every time you open a yellow book you likely see our work. We work with hundreds of companies and dozens of publishers (Verizon, SBC, RH Donelley, etc.). From anecdotal evidence, to the vast majority of these people, Myspace is what their kids are on. That’s not intended as a slam, by the way, just my experience.

    When Ballmer calls Facebook a fad people like me breathe a sigh of relief. It’s irrelevant if Facebook actually IS a fad, but it means that I won’t come in to work tomorrow and find that the next version of Office is Google Spreadsheets writ large. I won’t have to drag my entire company through a decade of technology in a day, and replace 3/4 of my staff. I suspect the same feeling holds true for our vendors, and our clients.

    I see Mr. Ballmer’s statement as an affirmation of stability. In the personal computing space, he may be way off base, but for business computing his is the type of idiocy that will help my career.

  62. There’s an alternative viewpoint…that Mr. Ballmer’s comments are simply catering to his installed base.

    Microsoft is beloved of CIO’s because it’s “safe” tech. After having Oracle abruptly shove poorly implemented webtech down their throats, it is immensely comforting to have Microsoft represent the “old guard”. There’s a comfort in knowing that MS will *eventually* promote a tech, not when it’s new and hot-but when it’s old, mature and safe.

    My company is involved yellow pages – every time you open a yellow book you likely see our work. We work with hundreds of companies and dozens of publishers (Verizon, SBC, RH Donelley, etc.). From anecdotal evidence, to the vast majority of these people, Myspace is what their kids are on. That’s not intended as a slam, by the way, just my experience.

    When Ballmer calls Facebook a fad people like me breathe a sigh of relief. It’s irrelevant if Facebook actually IS a fad, but it means that I won’t come in to work tomorrow and find that the next version of Office is Google Spreadsheets writ large. I won’t have to drag my entire company through a decade of technology in a day, and replace 3/4 of my staff. I suspect the same feeling holds true for our vendors, and our clients.

    I see Mr. Ballmer’s statement as an affirmation of stability. In the personal computing space, he may be way off base, but for business computing his is the type of idiocy that will help my career.

  63. I’m the least “early adopter” person you’ll meet, but jumped right into blogging at age 45 and just drank the Twitter Kool-Aid last month at 46.

    Ballmer is missing the boat, big-time. I know it must pain you as a former Softie. :(

  64. I’m the least “early adopter” person you’ll meet, but jumped right into blogging at age 45 and just drank the Twitter Kool-Aid last month at 46.

    Ballmer is missing the boat, big-time. I know it must pain you as a former Softie. :(

  65. Robert,

    just yesterday, you said the death of blogging has been heralded, and today you say you don’t think blogging is a fad? If people are leaving it to do the next thing (“tweeting”), then that _is_ a fad, by definition.

    pk.

  66. Robert,

    just yesterday, you said the death of blogging has been heralded, and today you say you don’t think blogging is a fad? If people are leaving it to do the next thing (“tweeting”), then that _is_ a fad, by definition.

    pk.

  67. Facebook represents a new paradigm in advertising, albeit a small one. This is the only reason Microsoft is even having this conversation. What they are afraid of is the advertising monster which shall be named Gphone.

    GPS + Social Network Tie in + Keyword Search all wrapped up in a brushed aluminum package less than the size of a pack of Marlboro Lights is scaring the bejeezus out of Mr. Balmer.

    Think about what pulled the internet out of the first slump. It was Google and this word auction crazy business. Now take that power, ease of use, care of customer, and then think about how much money gets spent in the car, compared to how much gets spent on your computer. In less you are 1 in 10,000 or more, the answer is much more money gets spent in the car.

    When you enable advertising to the other 95 percent of all countries GNP, now we are talking paradigms. Now think about Office. What is your corporation going to do? Give Microsoft 5million dollars a year to use it’s phones and office suite? Or take the free advertising supported one that works much better from Google? Google will get the complaints nailed out, Microsoft better hurry or it’s going to be ugly.

  68. Facebook represents a new paradigm in advertising, albeit a small one. This is the only reason Microsoft is even having this conversation. What they are afraid of is the advertising monster which shall be named Gphone.

    GPS + Social Network Tie in + Keyword Search all wrapped up in a brushed aluminum package less than the size of a pack of Marlboro Lights is scaring the bejeezus out of Mr. Balmer.

    Think about what pulled the internet out of the first slump. It was Google and this word auction crazy business. Now take that power, ease of use, care of customer, and then think about how much money gets spent in the car, compared to how much gets spent on your computer. In less you are 1 in 10,000 or more, the answer is much more money gets spent in the car.

    When you enable advertising to the other 95 percent of all countries GNP, now we are talking paradigms. Now think about Office. What is your corporation going to do? Give Microsoft 5million dollars a year to use it’s phones and office suite? Or take the free advertising supported one that works much better from Google? Google will get the complaints nailed out, Microsoft better hurry or it’s going to be ugly.

  69. “This is what happens when Microsoft executives don’t get outside of their ivory towers very often. Steve, you really need to go to any tech industry conference and hang out in the hallways.”

    I’d add to that … whatever happened to good old research .. and listening. Even a small dipstick immersion or deep dive into the social networking space and its communities would reveal that while morphing all the while, they are here to stay! “The desk is a dangerous place to view the world” – John LeCarre

  70. “This is what happens when Microsoft executives don’t get outside of their ivory towers very often. Steve, you really need to go to any tech industry conference and hang out in the hallways.”

    I’d add to that … whatever happened to good old research .. and listening. Even a small dipstick immersion or deep dive into the social networking space and its communities would reveal that while morphing all the while, they are here to stay! “The desk is a dangerous place to view the world” – John LeCarre

  71. I think, if anything, Ballmer has signaled to Zuckerberg that he and the company he leads are as clueless as IBM was in the early days of MS-DOS. That partnership worked out very well for MS.

  72. I think, if anything, Ballmer has signaled to Zuckerberg that he and the company he leads are as clueless as IBM was in the early days of MS-DOS. That partnership worked out very well for MS.

  73. [...] Check out this link — Steve Balmer doesn’t understand social networking. Last 5 posts in Social NetworkingHOLY CRAP – I can Now Search for a Friend on Myspace!! – September 4th, 2007Brad Fitzpatrick’s Thoughts on the Social Graph – August 18th, 2007Classmates.com IPO for $125 Million? – August 13th, 2007The Missing Piece of Facebook – August 4th, 2007Online Community Organizer is the #1 Job of the Future – July 19th, 2007 [...]

  74. Robert, you and I and David Meerman Scott know that it doesn’t matter if some old geezers “don’t care about Twitter or Facebook”.

    What matters is these tool communities are becoming mainstream at an alarming and astonishing rate: the critical mass you predicted in Naked Conversations has arrived.

    It’s irrelevant if many business are still stupid about blogs, podcasts, live event streaming, VoIP, Twitter, YouTube.

    What matters is customers are enjoying these, and they’re largely supplanting the MSM and corporate PR “messaging”.

    Ballmer is dismissive, to explain away the fact that Microsoft has not responded adequately to the social media trend that began in 1992 and is gaining that critical mass that is making it totally mainstream.

    Microsoft hates missing a mainstream technology. Ballmer is sour grapesing it, and poo-pooing specific services.

    Popularity of services waxes and wanes, but is that a reason to not jump in with a version like almost everyone else is?

    Microsoft is backing Yippykaya. Does Ballmer consider that socnet a silly “fad”? What happened to Microsoft Spaces blogging thingamajig?

    Microsoft is caught with it’s pants down, asleep at the switch. That’s all. And Ballmer is putting a positive spin on it.

  75. Robert, you and I and David Meerman Scott know that it doesn’t matter if some old geezers “don’t care about Twitter or Facebook”.

    What matters is these tool communities are becoming mainstream at an alarming and astonishing rate: the critical mass you predicted in Naked Conversations has arrived.

    It’s irrelevant if many business are still stupid about blogs, podcasts, live event streaming, VoIP, Twitter, YouTube.

    What matters is customers are enjoying these, and they’re largely supplanting the MSM and corporate PR “messaging”.

    Ballmer is dismissive, to explain away the fact that Microsoft has not responded adequately to the social media trend that began in 1992 and is gaining that critical mass that is making it totally mainstream.

    Microsoft hates missing a mainstream technology. Ballmer is sour grapesing it, and poo-pooing specific services.

    Popularity of services waxes and wanes, but is that a reason to not jump in with a version like almost everyone else is?

    Microsoft is backing Yippykaya. Does Ballmer consider that socnet a silly “fad”? What happened to Microsoft Spaces blogging thingamajig?

    Microsoft is caught with it’s pants down, asleep at the switch. That’s all. And Ballmer is putting a positive spin on it.

  76. Very good read. And aren’t all the Facebook= Friendster comparisons moot, since Friendster’s downfall in the US was technological? Facebook is hiring the best engineers away from every company. If they can keep growing their tech base, I don’t see why they’d have similar problems in the long run.

  77. Very good read. And aren’t all the Facebook= Friendster comparisons moot, since Friendster’s downfall in the US was technological? Facebook is hiring the best engineers away from every company. If they can keep growing their tech base, I don’t see why they’d have similar problems in the long run.

  78. Robert, I agree with many of the points you make about Microsoft, and the way many people at the company think. However, I don’t think you can ignore the fact that, to many people, $15B seems a laughably high valuation for Facebook as it stands right now.

    Don’t believe me? Ask some of your VC friends. Ask them if *they* would invest in Facebook at that kind of price. I guarantee you that none would. So, why do you want Microsoft to value Facebook at $15B? Now clearly, Microsoft doesn’t need the same kind of returns that a VC needs, but the question over valuation remains.

    You deride some Microsoft people’s the use of the term “business value”… I’m not sure why. From the way I read what you’ve written, you actually mean that you saw business value in areas that Microsoft did not. So, in concrete terms, what do you think the value is, to Microsoft, of taking a 5% equity stake in Facebook? In other words, what $ price should Microsoft value Facebook at?

  79. Robert, I agree with many of the points you make about Microsoft, and the way many people at the company think. However, I don’t think you can ignore the fact that, to many people, $15B seems a laughably high valuation for Facebook as it stands right now.

    Don’t believe me? Ask some of your VC friends. Ask them if *they* would invest in Facebook at that kind of price. I guarantee you that none would. So, why do you want Microsoft to value Facebook at $15B? Now clearly, Microsoft doesn’t need the same kind of returns that a VC needs, but the question over valuation remains.

    You deride some Microsoft people’s the use of the term “business value”… I’m not sure why. From the way I read what you’ve written, you actually mean that you saw business value in areas that Microsoft did not. So, in concrete terms, what do you think the value is, to Microsoft, of taking a 5% equity stake in Facebook? In other words, what $ price should Microsoft value Facebook at?

  80. The concept of Social networking is not a fad, but social network instances are. Why?

    usenet -> bbs -> email -> compuserv/prodigy forums -> geocities -> friendster -> myspace -> facebook/linkedin -> mash/ning/???

    Because history, technological evolution and the inherent fickleness of trendsetters tells me why. Balmer isn’t totally out of his gourd, he may just be unintentionally right.

  81. The concept of Social networking is not a fad, but social network instances are. Why?

    usenet -> bbs -> email -> compuserv/prodigy forums -> geocities -> friendster -> myspace -> facebook/linkedin -> mash/ning/???

    Because history, technological evolution and the inherent fickleness of trendsetters tells me why. Balmer isn’t totally out of his gourd, he may just be unintentionally right.

  82. A great post hitting directly the bull’s eye. The comments from Steve looks more of a frustrated blabbering as he finds Microsoft way behind others in the advertising-driven business :)

  83. A great post hitting directly the bull’s eye. The comments from Steve looks more of a frustrated blabbering as he finds Microsoft way behind others in the advertising-driven business :)

  84. I agree that the exit barrier of facebook is very high. But this happened in ICQ. Why can’t another start-up provide fantastic features that people join both, and gradually fade out facebook?

  85. I agree that the exit barrier of facebook is very high. But this happened in ICQ. Why can’t another start-up provide fantastic features that people join both, and gradually fade out facebook?

  86. Robert, I had a monster comment to this article that was pretty relevant and totally legit (or wasn’t it?). It seems to have disappeared??

  87. Robert, I had a monster comment to this article that was pretty relevant and totally legit (or wasn’t it?). It seems to have disappeared??

  88. [Scobleizer] Steve Ballmer still doesn’t understand social networking…

    via Scobleizer
    A case of hitting yonder nail on’th head with perfect aplomb, methinks. I’ve personally, despite being in the ‘right’ age bracket, resisted the social networking revolution until recently. I saw little value in it…

  89. Good comments, Robert. I believe that most people over 25 have trouble relating to the Social computing generation. You, other 40-somethings like you, are an anomaly – there’s no arguing that. However, not understanding this space will be a huge handicap in business – and those who understand that will be better poised to compete.

    I don’t think you’re being quite fair to Ballmer, however… especially since you seem to agree with him on most points.

    Ballmer’s claim that social networking sites aren’t technically complex is true – we all know this. I’m not sure why you complain about this. IMO, he was underscoring that you cannot “buy” community… again, something I think you agree with.

    In addition, you mock him for not hyping the value of Facebook… but what do you expect him to do? Talk up Facebook until any investment is completely inviable? You need to think about this from a business standpoint as well as a Social computing standpoint.

    Ballmer will incur ire no matter what he says on the topic – if he says that Microsoft is investing they’ll say that you can’t “buy” community… if he doesn’t talk about investment they’ll say that Microsoft isn’t focusing here. In addition, he needs to walk a fine line not putting business at risk… something most in the social computing world understand as little as those in the business computing world understand about social networking.

    If you want to hold some people to task on Web 2.0 and Social Networking – focus on Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie. Getting the platforms, technology, and strategy in place for this is their job.

    Gotta give SteveB credit for hiring them.

    -Dan

  90. Good comments, Robert. I believe that most people over 25 have trouble relating to the Social computing generation. You, other 40-somethings like you, are an anomaly – there’s no arguing that. However, not understanding this space will be a huge handicap in business – and those who understand that will be better poised to compete.

    I don’t think you’re being quite fair to Ballmer, however… especially since you seem to agree with him on most points.

    Ballmer’s claim that social networking sites aren’t technically complex is true – we all know this. I’m not sure why you complain about this. IMO, he was underscoring that you cannot “buy” community… again, something I think you agree with.

    In addition, you mock him for not hyping the value of Facebook… but what do you expect him to do? Talk up Facebook until any investment is completely inviable? You need to think about this from a business standpoint as well as a Social computing standpoint.

    Ballmer will incur ire no matter what he says on the topic – if he says that Microsoft is investing they’ll say that you can’t “buy” community… if he doesn’t talk about investment they’ll say that Microsoft isn’t focusing here. In addition, he needs to walk a fine line not putting business at risk… something most in the social computing world understand as little as those in the business computing world understand about social networking.

    If you want to hold some people to task on Web 2.0 and Social Networking – focus on Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie. Getting the platforms, technology, and strategy in place for this is their job.

    Gotta give SteveB credit for hiring them.

    -Dan

  91. You are bang on target!!! Not only has Ballmer demonstrated his ineptness at understanding the huge value of Facebook’s advertising and media potential but he’s also blind folding himself to Facebook’s capability/potential role in a social search ecosystem!!!!

  92. You are bang on target!!! Not only has Ballmer demonstrated his ineptness at understanding the huge value of Facebook’s advertising and media potential but he’s also blind folding himself to Facebook’s capability/potential role in a social search ecosystem!!!!

  93. I don’t like being in the minority, but as a concerned citizen I cannot fathom the prices being passed around for facebook.

    If there is no business model now (business model = making money), theres not going to be one in the future. Skype proved that, build it and they will come, but they might not pay.

    Facebook is not a fad for many reasons – mostly the network effect as you have said. Valuations of a business HAVE to be on future earnings potential. Problem is, by releasing the “platform” facebook have essentially conceded they don’t know how to make money.

    When will people learn – when you aren’t making money, as cool as it is, its a HOBBY.

  94. I don’t like being in the minority, but as a concerned citizen I cannot fathom the prices being passed around for facebook.

    If there is no business model now (business model = making money), theres not going to be one in the future. Skype proved that, build it and they will come, but they might not pay.

    Facebook is not a fad for many reasons – mostly the network effect as you have said. Valuations of a business HAVE to be on future earnings potential. Problem is, by releasing the “platform” facebook have essentially conceded they don’t know how to make money.

    When will people learn – when you aren’t making money, as cool as it is, its a HOBBY.

  95. [...] FUD: Potential Facebook Investor Steve Ballmer of Microsoft Quivers Steve suggests that new tools adopted by youths are potentially a “Fad”. If this is what he thinks, then he should continue to consider investing in Facebook as the largest adoption rates are being done by white collar workers over 30. The rich profile and segmented advertising opportunities Microsoft can leverage are very valuable. For what it’s worth, he’s right about the youth, they should and will always be elusive, that’s the whole point. Former Microsoft employee Robert Scoble suggests Ballmer doesn’t get it. [...]

  96. Microsoft has as much a clue about relating to today’s consumer and providing valuable products and services as much as does Phillip Morris, which has consistently tried and failed at horizontally widening its product offerings. Moral of the story: cigarette companies and Microsoft were great at defending their monopoly position, but terrible at creating substantial customer value.

  97. Microsoft has as much a clue about relating to today’s consumer and providing valuable products and services as much as does Phillip Morris, which has consistently tried and failed at horizontally widening its product offerings. Moral of the story: cigarette companies and Microsoft were great at defending their monopoly position, but terrible at creating substantial customer value.

  98. The unspoken assumption is that MSFT needs to be in EVERY business. Robert, perhaps, reveals his years of incubation within the Death Star. Of course, MSFT doesn’t “need” to “get” “the social”. Last I checked, they were still making a ton of money per quarter, in spite of Vista. And Office is selling, despite free alternatives of equal quality and cheaper, superior alternatives.

  99. The unspoken assumption is that MSFT needs to be in EVERY business. Robert, perhaps, reveals his years of incubation within the Death Star. Of course, MSFT doesn’t “need” to “get” “the social”. Last I checked, they were still making a ton of money per quarter, in spite of Vista. And Office is selling, despite free alternatives of equal quality and cheaper, superior alternatives.

  100. Saying Facebook is a fad is the same as saying iPods and MP3s are a fad. Neither will be permanent, they will shift and change. But the social impacts that they leave on our culture are indisputable. Steve Ballmer just doesn’t get it.

  101. Saying Facebook is a fad is the same as saying iPods and MP3s are a fad. Neither will be permanent, they will shift and change. But the social impacts that they leave on our culture are indisputable. Steve Ballmer just doesn’t get it.

  102. I think Steve Ballmer is right and I have to disagree with you on this. The hype about social networking is huge because of its large user base. Unfortunately, that doesn’t alone generate revenue (ask eBay about it). These social networking sites today are overly priced and Microsoft will end up losing money if they purchase any of them. You can sing all the praise about Facebook but I can guarantee you that its definitely not worth 10 billion dollars or even close to that.

  103. I think Steve Ballmer is right and I have to disagree with you on this. The hype about social networking is huge because of its large user base. Unfortunately, that doesn’t alone generate revenue (ask eBay about it). These social networking sites today are overly priced and Microsoft will end up losing money if they purchase any of them. You can sing all the praise about Facebook but I can guarantee you that its definitely not worth 10 billion dollars or even close to that.

  104. [...] Steve Ballmer still doesn’t understand social networking « Scobleizer Mr Ballmer also noted that sites such as Geocities, an online community that was bought for $3 billion by Yahoo! in 1999, at the height of the dot-com boom, “had most of what Facebook has.” (tags: facebook microsoft socialnetworking socialnetworks web2.0 community business social-networking social_networking socialsoftware technology) digg_url=’http://xiled.rss-central.net/blog/2007/10/03/links-for-2007-10-04/’; digg_skin = ‘compact’; digg_bgcolor = ‘#FFFFFF’; digg_title = ‘links for 2007-10-04′; digg_bodytext = ”; digg_topic = ”; Powered by Gregarious (41) Share This [...]

  105. [...] Steve Ballmer still doesn’t understand social networking « Scobleizer (tags: facebook microsoft architecture of participation ecosystems) This entry was written by iand and posted on 04 October 2007 at 6:20 am and filed under linkblog. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « links for 2007-10-01 [...]

  106. My bad, that comment was on another entry…

    Today I was browsing my cousin’s wife’s profile on Facebook and I saw a post by her father on her wall (he’s obviously also “hardly young”). Translated directly from Dutch, this is what he wrote:

    “I am trying out Facebook because ‘Scobleizer” basically says you are an idiot if you aren’t on it”

    Thought you might enjoy!

  107. My bad, that comment was on another entry…

    Today I was browsing my cousin’s wife’s profile on Facebook and I saw a post by her father on her wall (he’s obviously also “hardly young”). Translated directly from Dutch, this is what he wrote:

    “I am trying out Facebook because ‘Scobleizer” basically says you are an idiot if you aren’t on it”

    Thought you might enjoy!

  108. [...] he had helped himelf to yours. In contrast, Steve Ballmer is your embarrassing uncle (like in his recent attempt to downplay Microsoft’s interest in Facebook by calling it a fad. Yes, Steve, it may be a fad but no-one believes your poker face and it’s [...]

  109. “When I worked at Microsoft I heard this over and over and over again from various engineers and program managers who STILL haven’t competed effectively with WordPress, Flickr, Skype, YouTube, or any of the other things over the years I’ve heard this “we can build that in a few weeks” kind of arrogant attitude attached to.”

    Even us engineers understand that sometimes the fact that you can build something doesn’t mean you should.

    Which of those are making money?

  110. “When I worked at Microsoft I heard this over and over and over again from various engineers and program managers who STILL haven’t competed effectively with WordPress, Flickr, Skype, YouTube, or any of the other things over the years I’ve heard this “we can build that in a few weeks” kind of arrogant attitude attached to.”

    Even us engineers understand that sometimes the fact that you can build something doesn’t mean you should.

    Which of those are making money?

  111. It gets more confusing day by day. I don’t know what a blog is, so I search for answers. Once I figure out the purpose of blogging, will I be blogging because everyone else is doing it? I don’t need to keep up with the Joneses’ to be savvy about technology. If we really want to do social networking, shut off your computer, and go out and visit a nursing home, children’s cancer centers, join a club, visit an old friend, but visit people “in person”, not on the internet. This social networking you are talking about is not even close to being social. It is just black text on a white background, and the new buzz word, I think they are called bloggers, are all coming up with a clever line, but is it coming from the blogger’s heart or his brain with no roots. These are fads, and will fade. Keep in mind, there are more frauds, scams, spams, identity thefts, hacking, porn, you name it, since the internet was introduced. A lot of people have fun with it, a lot of people learn from it, and a lot of children and grownups have been hurt by it. As John Selden, Table-Talk preached, “Rhetoric without logic is like a tree with leaves and blossoms, but no roots.

  112. It gets more confusing day by day. I don’t know what a blog is, so I search for answers. Once I figure out the purpose of blogging, will I be blogging because everyone else is doing it? I don’t need to keep up with the Joneses’ to be savvy about technology. If we really want to do social networking, shut off your computer, and go out and visit a nursing home, children’s cancer centers, join a club, visit an old friend, but visit people “in person”, not on the internet. This social networking you are talking about is not even close to being social. It is just black text on a white background, and the new buzz word, I think they are called bloggers, are all coming up with a clever line, but is it coming from the blogger’s heart or his brain with no roots. These are fads, and will fade. Keep in mind, there are more frauds, scams, spams, identity thefts, hacking, porn, you name it, since the internet was introduced. A lot of people have fun with it, a lot of people learn from it, and a lot of children and grownups have been hurt by it. As John Selden, Table-Talk preached, “Rhetoric without logic is like a tree with leaves and blossoms, but no roots.

  113. “2 years later… go see the doctorrrrr”From a usage perspective the above is ALL correct.. From a business perspective (and Steve IS a business man) this is crap. We now all know that YouTube is bleeding .5 billon anually and that even Facebook is loosing millions every month.The fundament of Web 2.0 is an open, free environment that relies on advertising. Trouble is that the last years have shown that the market value of social networks IS perishable (as everything is), meaning that investors need to invest continuously in creating and marketing new online brands to keep the longtail going. The cost of this investment cannot (to date) be earned back.It may seem that big brands such as YouTube and Facebook are the winners with millons egaged users, but in fact they are in the 'autumn' of their life cycle… In the end: the bigger the brand, the bigger the stakes and the bigger the growth expectations. But also, the broader the audience, the lesser the the social context, the lesser the user is known, the lesser advertisers are willing to spend per dialogue,…

  114. “2 years later… go see the doctorrrrr”

    From a usage perspective the above is ALL correct.. From a business perspective (and Steve IS a business man) this is crap. We now all know that YouTube is bleeding .5 billon anually and that even Facebook is loosing millions every month.

    The fundament of Web 2.0 is an open, free environment that relies on advertising. Trouble is that the last years have shown that the market value of social networks IS perishable (as everything is), meaning that investors need to invest continuously in creating and marketing new online brands to keep the longtail going. The cost of this investment cannot (to date) be earned back.

    It may seem that big brands such as YouTube and Facebook are the winners with millons egaged users, but in fact they are in the 'autumn' of their life cycle… In the end: the bigger the brand, the bigger the stakes and the bigger the growth expectations. But also, the broader the audience, the lesser the the social context, the lesser the user is known, the lesser advertisers are willing to spend per dialogue,…