Back into the walled garden

So, this morning, what has changed from yesterday? Well, for one, every single company involved in the Open Social initiative is sending me press releases. Marc Canter, founder of Broadband Mechanics, is coming over later to talk. I’ll put him on Kyte or Seesmic or something and do another Twitter storm. He should be here between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Anyway, Don Dodge made the point that all of us in the blogosphere are saying that Facebook is dead. Now, last night I read thousands of posts and put some of the best ones onto my link blog. I only saw one guy say that Facebook is dead. So, I don’t know where Don Dodge gets his facts. But, that never stopped bloggers, right? Facts, schmacts, as long as they make a good story we’ll pay attention to them.

I tell ya, the more I understand “the new blogging world” the more I want to create a fake identity and just make stuff up about people. :-)

But, instead, I’m going to crawl back into my little walled garden.

Why am I going back to Facebook? Don Dodge is right that until the Open Social world provides some real end-user “goodness” that we’ll just stay inside the walled garden of Facebook. Here’s why I am staying inside Facebook for now.

1. It’s faster. I played on Plaxo last night and it’s slow to add new users. Frustratingly slow.
2. It’s prettier. I like Facebook’s UI better than MySpace or Plaxo or Ning or any of the others who signed onto the Open Social platform.
3. It’s here today. Yes, some Open Social things are shipping tonight (Plaxo, for instance, deserves credit for getting theirs done ASAP). Notice that when Facebook did its F8 event it had tons of apps SHIPPING at the time of the announcement. How many containers are shipping Open Social apps today? MySpace is a couple of months away, the execs told me yesterday.
4. FeedHeads. It’s the best Facebook app out there. Ironically it uses Google’s Reader. But Google didn’t fly Mario (the developer of that app) into the announcement and I haven’t seen him port his app yet. Now, remember, there are thousands of “Mario’s.” Until they all port their apps to Open Social I ain’t moving. Scrabulous is one of the best Facebook apps. Are they moving? Until they all move there’s no way I can leave Facebook.
5. My 5,000 friends. Yeah, I’m mad that I can’t have more friends, but look at the lockin of my friends’ network. I’m not moving ANYWHERE until all my friends ALSO MOVE. That’s going to be daunting.
6. In the next two months Facebook will announce SocialAds and revenue sharing for those ads. From what I’m hearing what they are announcing is pretty exciting too. If Facebook is PAYING ME to stay on Facebook do you think I’m going to move to Google?
7. Video messages. I’m doing a video conversation right now with Teresa up in Seattle. Until other systems do that I ain’t leaving.
8. Events. The event calendar inside Facebook rocks and is already the biggest event site on the Internet. Bigger, even, than Upcoming.org (which is actually a better event calendar than Facebook).
9. Videos. The way I can discover videos inside Facebook is addictive and compelling. I haven’t seen any Open Social member show me anything that blows that away.
10. The defacto rolodex. Facebook presents people’s information to me in a way that reminds me a lot of my business card collection. But with benefits. So far it’s FAR more advanced than anything else out there (although Plaxo is really close and I love how Plaxo integrates my contacts into Outlook and other places).

So, what are your reasons for staying in the walled garden?

57 thoughts on “Back into the walled garden

  1. So what’s so ‘Open’ about it? Had Microsoft done this, would be blood in streets, not sure why the Google Juice Blogger love grants them a free pass. Why is Google defining it? If it’s truly open shouldn’t it be a true community format? More a kick-star Orkut and buzzword-down Facebook than anything real. Plus a “open spec” that works with all ‘social sites’ will be quite narrow in it’s development, leading to generic cutesy applications. Vic, King of Longhorn Vaporware and Blogger Fake Buzz, is already in the perfectly-right and ideal position.

  2. So what’s so ‘Open’ about it? Had Microsoft done this, would be blood in streets, not sure why the Google Juice Blogger love grants them a free pass. Why is Google defining it? If it’s truly open shouldn’t it be a true community format? More a kick-star Orkut and buzzword-down Facebook than anything real. Plus a “open spec” that works with all ‘social sites’ will be quite narrow in it’s development, leading to generic cutesy applications. Vic, King of Longhorn Vaporware and Blogger Fake Buzz, is already in the perfectly-right and ideal position.

  3. The main reason Facebook won’t die anytime soon

    My mother has joined!

    To get her to join another socnet is about as likely as getting my grandmother to switch to gmail and stop forwarding urban legends. Not going to happen.

    Facebook already has the late adopters joining up. So when my mom joins orkut, ning or plaxo then facebook will die.

  4. The main reason Facebook won’t die anytime soon

    My mother has joined!

    To get her to join another socnet is about as likely as getting my grandmother to switch to gmail and stop forwarding urban legends. Not going to happen.

    Facebook already has the late adopters joining up. So when my mom joins orkut, ning or plaxo then facebook will die.

  5. you are doing it the other way round.. let us wait for 1 or 2 months.. then we will know which is better.. Only thing History has taught us is that we cannot predict the future.. :)

  6. you are doing it the other way round.. let us wait for 1 or 2 months.. then we will know which is better.. Only thing History has taught us is that we cannot predict the future.. :)

  7. I’m staying in the safe confines of Flickr’s Walled Hanging Gardens of Babylon* Still thee Shining Light of the Web2.0 Universe* Granted Facebook has a few chuckles but it boils down to how much Time do ya wanna waste + importantly hanging out where yer Friendz are* This MallRat won’t be Jumping ship unless Avril Lavigne really wants me to play Bumper Cars with her over at MySpace*

    ;))

    I checked out both yer BlogRolls + i was disappointed i wasn’t on there but then iJustine + Tara Hunt of Horse Pig Cow – 2 Internet Hotties weren’t A-Listed either so that cheered me up a lil bit*

    Congrats on yer New Baby!!

    Cheers! Billy ;))

    Peace*

  8. I’m staying in the safe confines of Flickr’s Walled Hanging Gardens of Babylon* Still thee Shining Light of the Web2.0 Universe* Granted Facebook has a few chuckles but it boils down to how much Time do ya wanna waste + importantly hanging out where yer Friendz are* This MallRat won’t be Jumping ship unless Avril Lavigne really wants me to play Bumper Cars with her over at MySpace*

    ;))

    I checked out both yer BlogRolls + i was disappointed i wasn’t on there but then iJustine + Tara Hunt of Horse Pig Cow – 2 Internet Hotties weren’t A-Listed either so that cheered me up a lil bit*

    Congrats on yer New Baby!!

    Cheers! Billy ;))

    Peace*

  9. One of the laughable things about “Web 2.0″ is the heads of these little podunk startups referring to themselves as “CEO”. What a joke. If a company is not public, the term is NOT CEO. More appropriately, it should be Founder, President, Owner, etc. But we all know that these terms don’t impress as much as CEO.

    Imagine being in San Francisco and out clubbing with your bros. You see this hot babe who looks like she might want to dance. You’re a handsome guy. You spent a week’s pay on your suit. After all, you’re a CEO. Wearing something off the rack is just not appropriate for someone of your station. Oh, almost forgot to mention, your 7-Series BMW was carefully tended to upon your arrival by a crack team of illegal immigrant valet commandos who make next to nothing.

    Back to the party. You came stag and hooked up with other industry luminary wannabes. This one girl is just a hottie. Dress looks great. Makeup immaculate. She probably spent the better part of her week’s pay dolling herself up. Payless shoes, but hey, they look like Minolo Blahniks, and she’s hoping you won’t notice. Wally World actually stocks some OK-looking clothes, so she rips the tag off her $19 George cocktail dress. Am ersatz Gucci clutch bought on a street corner from some illegal for $30 completes her look.

    You cruise on over. You’ve watched enough James Bond movies and actually think you’ve got the panache. After all, she’s alone, and what girl can withstand the charms of a man who’s “arrived”, a CEO no less (of all 10 employees).

    This beautiful girl doesn’t need to know your rent consumes 50% of your income, your car another 25%. The remainder goes to keeping up appearances. Steak and choice wines in public, Top Ramen and cold pizza in private. But hey, you’re CEO of a Web 2.0 company that claims to be the panacea of Internetwebbie communications.

    The girl is in for discontent, but at this early stage, is clueless. Her idea of the Internet is MSN Messenger and IE6 with 9 toolbars. She’s got enough spyware on her computer to start her own company.

    She admires your bravado. She’s rebuffed the advances of all others, but hey, you know you’ve got it. What with your $200 cologne, your hand-made Italian shoes, and your freshly-pressed Yves St. Laurent suit, you’re a beacon of success. No one says no to a CEO, after all.

    You hook up, dance, and have a few $30 cocktails. She’s impressed when you tell the overworked, underpaid waitress, er, hostess, to put all this on your tab.

    You and she hit it off. She’s an office manager for a downtown law firm. She inquires as to your position.

    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh! CEO, she says.

    You break out your $400 lambskin executive wallet and extract a business card.

    Put on the brakes… Wait. Business card is too light a word. At $200 for 500 cards, these parchment paper pieces of art are just that: wallet-sized masterpieces of braggadoccio.

    You pass the card to this mere drone of a girl knowing she’s yours.

    Fast forward a couple of years.

    Her parents approve of you. Who wouldn’t? Degree from Stanford. BMW. CEO. You actually bathe and use deodorant, unless her previous beaus.

    Your new wife has no clue your company is dying. The VCs are waiting for some kind of profit, some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. Not coming. You’ve had all personal mail transferred to your office so your wife won’t see the debt collection notices.

    You’re on Prozac or some other mind-altering pharmaceutical because coping with a company that is about to crater is difficult. Your employees have seen it coming and are jumping ship for a real company. You know, that other Web 2.0 firm that just got bought by Google.

    Six months later you’re declaring bankruptcy, your car gets repossessed, and your wife learns of your problems – now her problems. You end up either working for one of your former competitors or horrors, working retail. Life and times of a Web 2.0 CEO. Life expectancy: maybe a couple of years if lucky.

  10. One of the laughable things about “Web 2.0″ is the heads of these little podunk startups referring to themselves as “CEO”. What a joke. If a company is not public, the term is NOT CEO. More appropriately, it should be Founder, President, Owner, etc. But we all know that these terms don’t impress as much as CEO.

    Imagine being in San Francisco and out clubbing with your bros. You see this hot babe who looks like she might want to dance. You’re a handsome guy. You spent a week’s pay on your suit. After all, you’re a CEO. Wearing something off the rack is just not appropriate for someone of your station. Oh, almost forgot to mention, your 7-Series BMW was carefully tended to upon your arrival by a crack team of illegal immigrant valet commandos who make next to nothing.

    Back to the party. You came stag and hooked up with other industry luminary wannabes. This one girl is just a hottie. Dress looks great. Makeup immaculate. She probably spent the better part of her week’s pay dolling herself up. Payless shoes, but hey, they look like Minolo Blahniks, and she’s hoping you won’t notice. Wally World actually stocks some OK-looking clothes, so she rips the tag off her $19 George cocktail dress. Am ersatz Gucci clutch bought on a street corner from some illegal for $30 completes her look.

    You cruise on over. You’ve watched enough James Bond movies and actually think you’ve got the panache. After all, she’s alone, and what girl can withstand the charms of a man who’s “arrived”, a CEO no less (of all 10 employees).

    This beautiful girl doesn’t need to know your rent consumes 50% of your income, your car another 25%. The remainder goes to keeping up appearances. Steak and choice wines in public, Top Ramen and cold pizza in private. But hey, you’re CEO of a Web 2.0 company that claims to be the panacea of Internetwebbie communications.

    The girl is in for discontent, but at this early stage, is clueless. Her idea of the Internet is MSN Messenger and IE6 with 9 toolbars. She’s got enough spyware on her computer to start her own company.

    She admires your bravado. She’s rebuffed the advances of all others, but hey, you know you’ve got it. What with your $200 cologne, your hand-made Italian shoes, and your freshly-pressed Yves St. Laurent suit, you’re a beacon of success. No one says no to a CEO, after all.

    You hook up, dance, and have a few $30 cocktails. She’s impressed when you tell the overworked, underpaid waitress, er, hostess, to put all this on your tab.

    You and she hit it off. She’s an office manager for a downtown law firm. She inquires as to your position.

    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh! CEO, she says.

    You break out your $400 lambskin executive wallet and extract a business card.

    Put on the brakes… Wait. Business card is too light a word. At $200 for 500 cards, these parchment paper pieces of art are just that: wallet-sized masterpieces of braggadoccio.

    You pass the card to this mere drone of a girl knowing she’s yours.

    Fast forward a couple of years.

    Her parents approve of you. Who wouldn’t? Degree from Stanford. BMW. CEO. You actually bathe and use deodorant, unless her previous beaus.

    Your new wife has no clue your company is dying. The VCs are waiting for some kind of profit, some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. Not coming. You’ve had all personal mail transferred to your office so your wife won’t see the debt collection notices.

    You’re on Prozac or some other mind-altering pharmaceutical because coping with a company that is about to crater is difficult. Your employees have seen it coming and are jumping ship for a real company. You know, that other Web 2.0 firm that just got bought by Google.

    Six months later you’re declaring bankruptcy, your car gets repossessed, and your wife learns of your problems – now her problems. You end up either working for one of your former competitors or horrors, working retail. Life and times of a Web 2.0 CEO. Life expectancy: maybe a couple of years if lucky.

  11. I’m new to Facebook too, and I’m just a regular small business user. I prefer it to the MySpace interface, for use as a combined business/social tool.

  12. I’m new to Facebook too, and I’m just a regular small business user. I prefer it to the MySpace interface, for use as a combined business/social tool.

  13. I am relatively new to Facebook, but I still struggle to find my way around it which can be quite frustrating. Sure, more visits to the site would help ;-)

  14. Damn… I was expecting wordpress to parse that URL. Anyway, you all know where techcrunch is by now ;)

  15. Robert,

    You were mere weeks ago belaboring your opinion of just how much of a panacea Facebook was.

    Now, again, mere weeks later, you are, while not abandoning Facebook, impugning the whole idea of their very existence since they are now not in the cool kids club with the evil monolith Google and its ilk.

    Part of the problem of the Internet and this whole BS Web 2.0 nomenclature thing is that there are too many players. There is too much change, too quickly. Too many players who ideas mostly all suck. Only a few Web 2.0 companies actually have compelling offerings. 99% of them are dogcrap.

    This meteoric rise of quite a few of these little firms is troubling because most of them will not survive their 5th birthday. Most of them are not even making money.

    I suspect another bubble within a few years, a veritable backlash against.

    In ’99/00, anyone with an idea was given seed money. Almost no one showed any hope and for various reasons, the bubble burst.

    Now, seven years later, we’re seeing something similar. Everyone trying to be the panacea of Web 2.0. Only the strong survive. I agree with many blogs out there. This open social has about as much chance of succeeding as I do of winning the lottery.

  16. Robert,

    You were mere weeks ago belaboring your opinion of just how much of a panacea Facebook was.

    Now, again, mere weeks later, you are, while not abandoning Facebook, impugning the whole idea of their very existence since they are now not in the cool kids club with the evil monolith Google and its ilk.

    Part of the problem of the Internet and this whole BS Web 2.0 nomenclature thing is that there are too many players. There is too much change, too quickly. Too many players who ideas mostly all suck. Only a few Web 2.0 companies actually have compelling offerings. 99% of them are dogcrap.

    This meteoric rise of quite a few of these little firms is troubling because most of them will not survive their 5th birthday. Most of them are not even making money.

    I suspect another bubble within a few years, a veritable backlash against.

    In ’99/00, anyone with an idea was given seed money. Almost no one showed any hope and for various reasons, the bubble burst.

    Now, seven years later, we’re seeing something similar. Everyone trying to be the panacea of Web 2.0. Only the strong survive. I agree with many blogs out there. This open social has about as much chance of succeeding as I do of winning the lottery.

  17. I like Twitter better than everything, because it requires the least maintenance. It scrolls by all day on Twitterific whether I am watching or not, and Twittermail sends me the stuff I really have to see. Facebook is a second best, because so many people are already on it, and it’s a quick way to connect. It does, however, require maintenance — which means I have to go there.

    Plaxo sucks. I can’t group add connections, and I am constantly spammed by salesmen from Florida who want to connect with me. I really don’t want 5000 Plaxo friends with whom I have to keep up, but I have to ignore or block every one of them to keep my inbox clear.

  18. I like Twitter better than everything, because it requires the least maintenance. It scrolls by all day on Twitterific whether I am watching or not, and Twittermail sends me the stuff I really have to see. Facebook is a second best, because so many people are already on it, and it’s a quick way to connect. It does, however, require maintenance — which means I have to go there.

    Plaxo sucks. I can’t group add connections, and I am constantly spammed by salesmen from Florida who want to connect with me. I really don’t want 5000 Plaxo friends with whom I have to keep up, but I have to ignore or block every one of them to keep my inbox clear.

  19. The reason I am not leaving facebook is that it is NOT a walled garden. Facebook is open and 100,000s of developers are taking advantage of that openness. The second mis-representation that is floating around is that facebook is proprietary because it uses html, javascript and CSS but also FBML. This is just pure FUD! FBML addresses the problem of having content from multiple sources play together nicely (from a security, performance and user interface perspective). This is a very hard problem (and the area where the next wave of innovation are appearing from the development platform perspective). So yes it puts a little bit of constraints on developer but it is all goodness for the user.

  20. The reason I am not leaving facebook is that it is NOT a walled garden. Facebook is open and 100,000s of developers are taking advantage of that openness. The second mis-representation that is floating around is that facebook is proprietary because it uses html, javascript and CSS but also FBML. This is just pure FUD! FBML addresses the problem of having content from multiple sources play together nicely (from a security, performance and user interface perspective). This is a very hard problem (and the area where the next wave of innovation are appearing from the development platform perspective). So yes it puts a little bit of constraints on developer but it is all goodness for the user.

  21. What’s this ‘Outlook’ thing you mentioned? A rolodex without a social network? Wow. How’d they miss the boat, anyway? Oh, you have to PAY for it — I see now.

  22. What’s this ‘Outlook’ thing you mentioned? A rolodex without a social network? Wow. How’d they miss the boat, anyway? Oh, you have to PAY for it — I see now.

  23. I agree with everything you said. Unless “Open Social” can fix the UI and import all of my contacts into the host service, I’m not moving from Facebook.

    Besides that, Facebook has just about every application you would need – all “Open Social” is going to do is allow those same application developers to extend their applications to the other networks.

    Now, I wouldn’t say moving from one network to another is particularly “daunting” (I’ve already made that mistake). In 2004, I assumed that MySpace would be the ONLY social network I would need because all of my friends were there, and probably wouldn’t move. Oh how wrong I was.

  24. I agree with everything you said. Unless “Open Social” can fix the UI and import all of my contacts into the host service, I’m not moving from Facebook.

    Besides that, Facebook has just about every application you would need – all “Open Social” is going to do is allow those same application developers to extend their applications to the other networks.

    Now, I wouldn’t say moving from one network to another is particularly “daunting” (I’ve already made that mistake). In 2004, I assumed that MySpace would be the ONLY social network I would need because all of my friends were there, and probably wouldn’t move. Oh how wrong I was.

  25. I love Facebook’s interface, it’s so user friendly and engaging. It makes me happy, just like Twittering does.

  26. I love Facebook’s interface, it’s so user friendly and engaging. It makes me happy, just like Twittering does.

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