Why Facebook has never listened and why it definitely won't start now

My former boss, Jim Fawcette, used to say that if you asked a group of Porsche owners what they wanted they’d tell you things like “smoother ride, more trunk space, more leg room, etc.” He’d then say “well, they just designed a Volvo.”

His words were meant to get us out of letting the customers run our business mode we often found ourselves falling into.

Today, over on Techmeme, I see that the latest uproar is over Facebook’s new design and how Mark Zuckerberg is telling people that he won’t listen to customers. Or something like that.

Before we get deeper into this, remember that Facebook has always pissed off its users. First, you’ve gotta realize that in Facebook’s life it will go through at least seven phases. We are moving from phase four to phase five right now. In each phase change people have gotten pissed off.

Here’s the phases of Facebook:

Phase 1. Harvard only.
Phase 2. Harvard+Colleges only.
Phase 3. Harvard+Colleges+Geeks only.
Phase 4. All those above+All People (in the social graph).
Phase 5. All those above+People and businesses in the social graph.
Phase 6. All those above+People, businesses, and well-known objects in the social graph.
Phase 7. All people, businesses, objects in the social graph.

Phase 5 is known as when Facebook is really going to find its business model. This is why Mark Zuckerberg is absolutely correct to say he can’t listen to people who wants Facebook to get stuck in Phase Four. It was a nice phase, yes, when Facebook only had people in the social graph, but those days are over.

Don’t get distracted by the current design that looks sort of like Twitter. Twitter showed that businesses can co-exist on the social graph along with people. Zuckerberg is smart. He saw that Twitter was going to make a crapload of money (that’s why he tried to buy Twitter) and instead of being depressed by being turned down by @ev he decided to phase shift Facebook.

Zuckerberg is a real leader because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He’s going to do what he thinks is best for his business. I wish Silicon Valley had more like him.

Anyway, all those who are saying the new design sucks should NOT be listened to. Yeah, I know a lot of people are going to get mad at me for saying that. After all, how can a blogger say to not listen to the masses? Easy: I’ve seen the advice the masses are giving and most of it isn’t very good for Facebook’s business interests.

When Zuckerberg announced these changes a couple of weeks ago I told him he was brilliant and that his moves this month would be remembered for decades. Decades.

Here’s why:

Let’s say you’re walking down University Ave. in Palo Alto, California in a couple of years (or, really, any street in the world) and you’re hungry.

You pull out your iPhone or Palm Pre or Android or Blackberry or Windows Mobile doohickey and click open the Facebook application. Then you type “sushi near me.”

It answers back “within walking distance are two sushi restaurants that more than 20 of your friends have liked.”

Wait a second. “Friends have liked?”

Sounds like friendfeed. But, because Facebook has the users (it is growing the size of Twitter every 15 days or so because Facebook has about 180 million users while Twitter only has about 10 million. Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day. Twitter is growing by far fewer users per day (although its percentage growth is faster).

But don’t worry about the friendfeed copying. Zuckerberg is so close to a gold mine that his metal detectors must be going crazy. All he has to do is figure out how to keep those pesky users from leaving the service.

Oh, wait, they aren’t leaving! How do I know that?

Because my wife Maryam is totally addicted to Facebook. She hasn’t left. She hasn’t slowed down. She just told me she didn’t like the new design and made some noises that she was only going to use the iPhone version (not true in my observations). So, if Zuckerberg didn’t lose Maryam and her friends, he’s safe. He SHOULD NOT LISTEN to those who are saying the new design sucks. It will keep him from getting to the promised land where we mix businesses and people.

Here’s what really is hanging out there for Facebook if Zuckerberg doesn’t listen: billions. Maybe even trillions.

Look at what we just announced to the world:

Maryam has an announcement!

Yes, we’re having another baby. But look at what did NOT happen on Twitter: not a single diaper company contacted us yet. Not a single maternity clothing company. Not a single car company (yes, we’re going to buy a new one soon). Not a single camera company (already bought a new one for this occassion). Not a single insurance company (I need more). Not a single bank (I need to start saving for another college student). Not a single stroller company (need a new one that can hold two). Not a single vitamin company (Maryam is going through her prenatal vitamins at a good clip). Not a single shoe company (Maryam needs new shoes for pregnancy, and Milan is growing fast too).

That will NOT last.

Imagine we’re on Facebook in a year. Now all of a sudden I can search for all these things and see which items and companies have gotten the most “likes.” Now do you get why Facebook is copying friendfeed?

Zuckerberg is not listening to you because you don’t get how Facebook is going to make billions.

Zuckerberg is right. He shouldn’t start listening to his users now.

Comments

  1. I have to admit that I agree 100% with this. Facebook is a great service, but no-one is forcing people who hate its new phase to stick on. I am not a big fan of the phase, myself, but that’s life. If someone thinks FB should try a different direction, then they should make their own brand and let it compete against FB.

  2. I have to admit that I agree 100% with this. Facebook is a great service, but no-one is forcing people who hate its new phase to stick on. I am not a big fan of the phase, myself, but that’s life. If someone thinks FB should try a different direction, then they should make their own brand and let it compete against FB.

  3. Congratulations! Better nap more now when you can!

    The only thing I don’t like about the new FB look is that I can no longer readily find the list of my groups — that list of groups off to the side is like the news of what my friends did in groups, not my groups to check.

    I don’t mind that it’s like Twitter with attached files. That’s all. Seems like a pragmatic move.

    I don’t doubt that you’re right about Zuckerberg doing the right thing for his business, but…I don’t want to live in a world dictated by what my friends liked. I’m interested in groups especially if I make or join them — look at what I just said about the FB design being counterintuitive then — but I don’t want groups to take over everything. That’s collectivism.

    I want a trusted restaurant reviewer in the Zagat, not what 20 dopes said on my FB about sushi. Have you ever read what people write on hotel and restaurant review pages? or ratemyprof or ratemydoc? They rant and rave and fill up a page with anonymous, unaccountable reviews. Having them be my known friends doing this, given that the average friends list (like yours?) is really more about “strangers proximate to some friends” doesn’t rescue that situation.

    I don’t want 20 people accompanying me every step of the way telling me they “like” or “don’t like” something. I may have to leave the planet, as hive mind is taking over.

    The hope is that some interesting individual influencers (er, like yourself) will override all the silly sushi likers with some sort of knowledgeable information.

  4. Congratulations! Better nap more now when you can!

    The only thing I don’t like about the new FB look is that I can no longer readily find the list of my groups — that list of groups off to the side is like the news of what my friends did in groups, not my groups to check.

    I don’t mind that it’s like Twitter with attached files. That’s all. Seems like a pragmatic move.

    I don’t doubt that you’re right about Zuckerberg doing the right thing for his business, but…I don’t want to live in a world dictated by what my friends liked. I’m interested in groups especially if I make or join them — look at what I just said about the FB design being counterintuitive then — but I don’t want groups to take over everything. That’s collectivism.

    I want a trusted restaurant reviewer in the Zagat, not what 20 dopes said on my FB about sushi. Have you ever read what people write on hotel and restaurant review pages? or ratemyprof or ratemydoc? They rant and rave and fill up a page with anonymous, unaccountable reviews. Having them be my known friends doing this, given that the average friends list (like yours?) is really more about “strangers proximate to some friends” doesn’t rescue that situation.

    I don’t want 20 people accompanying me every step of the way telling me they “like” or “don’t like” something. I may have to leave the planet, as hive mind is taking over.

    The hope is that some interesting individual influencers (er, like yourself) will override all the silly sushi likers with some sort of knowledgeable information.

  5. Leo: you are particularly clueless if you think what I just laid out for you is spam. Advertising is NOT spam. A LOT of people actually LIKE seeing advertising. Look at how many people sign up for catalogs. Or how many people watch the Superbowl just for the ads.

  6. Leo: you are particularly clueless if you think what I just laid out for you is spam. Advertising is NOT spam. A LOT of people actually LIKE seeing advertising. Look at how many people sign up for catalogs. Or how many people watch the Superbowl just for the ads.

  7. Prokofy: the crowd does get it wrong. This is NOT about the crowd. What if you could limit sushi choices to your friends? Or, even better, those friends of yours who you actually trust for sushi information? For instance, I know that if Mark Canter recommends a restaurant I MUST try it. (He is a foodie and knows the best places to eat in lots of cities around the world).

  8. Prokofy: the crowd does get it wrong. This is NOT about the crowd. What if you could limit sushi choices to your friends? Or, even better, those friends of yours who you actually trust for sushi information? For instance, I know that if Mark Canter recommends a restaurant I MUST try it. (He is a foodie and knows the best places to eat in lots of cities around the world).

  9. Amen, Robert! IMO this is why the US isn’t a full democracy, nor should it be. Companies should learn the same. It’s important to listen to your customers, but in the end you’re in charge and you have to make the decisions.

    BTW, I advise for a company that makes books about what to do with your children in the areas you live in. (TodaysMama) As I’ve mentioned earlier we’re launching something new (on TodaysMama.com) here soon that I think both you, and especially Maryam will like, but also, I’ll be putting their CEO in touch with you to get you hooked up with one of their books.

  10. Amen, Robert! IMO this is why the US isn’t a full democracy, nor should it be. Companies should learn the same. It’s important to listen to your customers, but in the end you’re in charge and you have to make the decisions.

    BTW, I advise for a company that makes books about what to do with your children in the areas you live in. (TodaysMama) As I’ve mentioned earlier we’re launching something new (on TodaysMama.com) here soon that I think both you, and especially Maryam will like, but also, I’ll be putting their CEO in touch with you to get you hooked up with one of their books.

  11. Leo: it’s not spam, it’s targeted advertising that will be of interest to you.

    Oh, and Prokofy Neva – to see your groups, just type ‘Groups’ into the search box (or the name of the group itself that you’re after), or pick it from your Applications menu (bottom left). And by the way, most people don’t misuse Facebook like Scoble (by allowing people he’s never met/known to be his ‘friends).

  12. Leo: it’s not spam, it’s targeted advertising that will be of interest to you.

    Oh, and Prokofy Neva – to see your groups, just type ‘Groups’ into the search box (or the name of the group itself that you’re after), or pick it from your Applications menu (bottom left). And by the way, most people don’t misuse Facebook like Scoble (by allowing people he’s never met/known to be his ‘friends).

  13. Socially, Facebook seems a lot less engaging than twitter. And, with the live feed at the forefront, all that profile info is going to get stale, and it will just be Twitter + stale profile information + businesses can’t make full accounts

  14. Socially, Facebook seems a lot less engaging than twitter. And, with the live feed at the forefront, all that profile info is going to get stale, and it will just be Twitter + stale profile information + businesses can’t make full accounts

  15. “””””””
    Yes, we’re having another baby. But look at what did NOT happen on Twitter: not a single diaper company contacted us yet. Not a single maternity clothing company. Not a single car company (yes, we’re going to buy a new one soon). Not a single camera company (already bought a new one for this occassion). Not a single insurance company (I need more). Not a single bank (I need to start saving for another college student). Not a single stroller company (need a new one that can hold two). Not a single vitamin company (Maryam is going through her prenatal vitamins at a good clip). Not a single shoe company (Maryam needs new shoes for pregnancy, and Milan is growing fast too).

    That will NOT last.
    “”””””

    The moment that happens I will personally kill facebook… good lord, talk about the age of there being no difference between manipulative and non-manipulative relationships…

  16. “””””””
    Yes, we’re having another baby. But look at what did NOT happen on Twitter: not a single diaper company contacted us yet. Not a single maternity clothing company. Not a single car company (yes, we’re going to buy a new one soon). Not a single camera company (already bought a new one for this occassion). Not a single insurance company (I need more). Not a single bank (I need to start saving for another college student). Not a single stroller company (need a new one that can hold two). Not a single vitamin company (Maryam is going through her prenatal vitamins at a good clip). Not a single shoe company (Maryam needs new shoes for pregnancy, and Milan is growing fast too).

    That will NOT last.
    “”””””

    The moment that happens I will personally kill facebook… good lord, talk about the age of there being no difference between manipulative and non-manipulative relationships…

  17. Only problem is that people don’t typically enjoy being marketed to. How eager would you be to announce in machine-optimized words that you’re now a member of a marketable demographic, if you knew that that announcement would generate a bunch of web2.0 spam?

    We accept certain things like AdSense in our Gmail because we’re getting an awesome service for free and there aren’t many better options out there. But better options will eventually surface, and they will be evaluated in terms of user experience versus annoyance.

    We love things like Google Maps and Yelp because for the first time ever we’re able to find information much faster than with traditional means. And useful information to aid us in our search is always welcome. But “sponsored links” are by definition not useful– they appear because someone paid for them to appear, not necessarily because they’re the most relevant information available. And so advertisements become noise to be filtered out.

    Furthermore, restructuring a website in a way that subordinates the core value (seeing what your friends are up to) in order to market to users more effectively (also known as bugging them to spend money on things) just sours the service-user relationship and begins the cycle again in searching for a new service that doesn’t suck quite as much.

    Now in this case it’s the advertisement’s fault so much as the obvious lack of prioritizing user opinion over moneymaking. “Ha, so many people use my service, I can do anything I want!” said the tech barons of yesteryear.

    Seems like people listen to public opinion until they’re so rich they feel they don’t have to anymore. That paradise might last for years or decades, but eventually the product is such a flop that people jump en masse to something, anything, else.

  18. Only problem is that people don’t typically enjoy being marketed to. How eager would you be to announce in machine-optimized words that you’re now a member of a marketable demographic, if you knew that that announcement would generate a bunch of web2.0 spam?

    We accept certain things like AdSense in our Gmail because we’re getting an awesome service for free and there aren’t many better options out there. But better options will eventually surface, and they will be evaluated in terms of user experience versus annoyance.

    We love things like Google Maps and Yelp because for the first time ever we’re able to find information much faster than with traditional means. And useful information to aid us in our search is always welcome. But “sponsored links” are by definition not useful– they appear because someone paid for them to appear, not necessarily because they’re the most relevant information available. And so advertisements become noise to be filtered out.

    Furthermore, restructuring a website in a way that subordinates the core value (seeing what your friends are up to) in order to market to users more effectively (also known as bugging them to spend money on things) just sours the service-user relationship and begins the cycle again in searching for a new service that doesn’t suck quite as much.

    Now in this case it’s the advertisement’s fault so much as the obvious lack of prioritizing user opinion over moneymaking. “Ha, so many people use my service, I can do anything I want!” said the tech barons of yesteryear.

    Seems like people listen to public opinion until they’re so rich they feel they don’t have to anymore. That paradise might last for years or decades, but eventually the product is such a flop that people jump en masse to something, anything, else.

  19. I agree… facebook is so successful for a reason.
    I didn’t like the new design as much but now i do!
    Every phase that facebook has moved through I have not liked at first but then learned to love it more than the older version…
    He’s keeping up…
    I personally enjoy twitter more for communication… I think that twitter will eventually be bigger than twitter…

  20. I agree… facebook is so successful for a reason.
    I didn’t like the new design as much but now i do!
    Every phase that facebook has moved through I have not liked at first but then learned to love it more than the older version…
    He’s keeping up…
    I personally enjoy twitter more for communication… I think that twitter will eventually be bigger than twitter…

  21. That’s so funny, my wife hasn’t left Facebook either. She only complained for a couple of minutes about the changes. I never thought she’d ever use Facebook in the first place. Nothing surprises me about Facebook.

    I didn’t like the new design either, but I didn’t cancel my account – and really, what do I know anyway? Every move they’ve made has pissed people off, and as a result they keep growing and growing. I say keep pissing people off.

  22. That’s so funny, my wife hasn’t left Facebook either. She only complained for a couple of minutes about the changes. I never thought she’d ever use Facebook in the first place. Nothing surprises me about Facebook.

    I didn’t like the new design either, but I didn’t cancel my account – and really, what do I know anyway? Every move they’ve made has pissed people off, and as a result they keep growing and growing. I say keep pissing people off.

  23. Will: I disagree. I know a LOT of people who enjoy being marketed to. Here’s a hint: they love going to the mall.

    I love getting marketed to WHEN it’s appropriate. Right now I’m looking for a car. I am looking actively for marketing on cars.

  24. Will: I disagree. I know a LOT of people who enjoy being marketed to. Here’s a hint: they love going to the mall.

    I love getting marketed to WHEN it’s appropriate. Right now I’m looking for a car. I am looking actively for marketing on cars.

  25. Can somebody please explain to me how Facebook is going to make billions? The only biz model is advertising and if they start to do that heavily they will stunt their growth. So, what is left?

  26. You are soooo right. I see people around me complaining about the new homepage who are now using Facebook MORE than two weeks ago – constantly on there, liking and commenting on stuff. Nobody is going anywhere any time soon.

  27. You are soooo right. I see people around me complaining about the new homepage who are now using Facebook MORE than two weeks ago – constantly on there, liking and commenting on stuff. Nobody is going anywhere any time soon.

  28. Can somebody please explain to me how Facebook is going to make billions? The only biz model is advertising and if they start to do that heavily they will stunt their growth. So, what is left?

  29. @ those saying “it’s not spam:” that is in fact what people call targeted text-based advertisements. Sometimes it’s “useful spam” but people will always consider “no ads” to be better than “some ads.”

    In a perfect system, organic word-of-mouth would take the place of all advertisement so that these miraculous benefits are realized via people who aren’t actually being paid to write glowing opinions of expensive products.

  30. @ those saying “it’s not spam:” that is in fact what people call targeted text-based advertisements. Sometimes it’s “useful spam” but people will always consider “no ads” to be better than “some ads.”

    In a perfect system, organic word-of-mouth would take the place of all advertisement so that these miraculous benefits are realized via people who aren’t actually being paid to write glowing opinions of expensive products.

  31. If you don’t think that unwanted advertising is spam, then you don’t understand what spam is. Many people (not all) will NEVER buy anything from someone unless they make the initial inquiry. Cold calling to people’s homes in the early 2000′s sparked an outrage among consumers that let it it’s eventually legal demise (no-call list). Advertising is a good thing, and most people tolerate it because they see the value of it. Spam is advertising gone wrong. People love catalogs, but they hate them if they don’t ask for them. I have a serious problem with getting 10+ catalogs per day for things that I have not interest in. That is what Facebook is becoming. The problem with the Facebook design has little to do with the merging of data streams, and a lot to do with the total lack of control of that stream. I’m staring at an offensive pro-life “ad” on my home page now that I can’t even hide! I don’t care if others want it, I DON’T and should have the option to remove it. Options are the key. Without options, people will (and have) start to bail.

  32. I must say, this is quite true. I think Facebook has been able to introduce the changes in a classy way, making appreciable changes here and there to compensate the more commercial ones. I don’t mind them adding such new features designed to make money as you mentioned in your post; they actually seem really useful.

    In my mind, the fundamental problem with the recent redesign is that in shifting towards companies to find its business model, Facebook has lost other valuable features more directly related to the more social side of things. Example? You no longer have any feed to tell you about your friends’ new friends. It’s a huge disappointment on that side. Regardless of whether they’re going to make money, they need to remember what people came on Facebook for: connect with people they know. Removing ways to find people to connect with will not improve their business model, but rather slow their growth in terms of visits and users.

    Going for a Twitter-like activity feed was a good idea, but again it seems to have been implemented hastily without any substantial thought. The highlights part just doesn’t work – it’s both too long to make for an effective layout and too short to give any kind of useful information.

    I’ll be the first to admit there’s a fair deal of overreaction to the update, but the fact remains that it feels rushed and badly thought out. And for that reason, I think our opinion is worth being listened to despite the arguments you presented.

  33. I must say, this is quite true. I think Facebook has been able to introduce the changes in a classy way, making appreciable changes here and there to compensate the more commercial ones. I don’t mind them adding such new features designed to make money as you mentioned in your post; they actually seem really useful.

    In my mind, the fundamental problem with the recent redesign is that in shifting towards companies to find its business model, Facebook has lost other valuable features more directly related to the more social side of things. Example? You no longer have any feed to tell you about your friends’ new friends. It’s a huge disappointment on that side. Regardless of whether they’re going to make money, they need to remember what people came on Facebook for: connect with people they know. Removing ways to find people to connect with will not improve their business model, but rather slow their growth in terms of visits and users.

    Going for a Twitter-like activity feed was a good idea, but again it seems to have been implemented hastily without any substantial thought. The highlights part just doesn’t work – it’s both too long to make for an effective layout and too short to give any kind of useful information.

    I’ll be the first to admit there’s a fair deal of overreaction to the update, but the fact remains that it feels rushed and badly thought out. And for that reason, I think our opinion is worth being listened to despite the arguments you presented.

  34. If you don’t think that unwanted advertising is spam, then you don’t understand what spam is. Many people (not all) will NEVER buy anything from someone unless they make the initial inquiry. Cold calling to people’s homes in the early 2000′s sparked an outrage among consumers that let it it’s eventually legal demise (no-call list). Advertising is a good thing, and most people tolerate it because they see the value of it. Spam is advertising gone wrong. People love catalogs, but they hate them if they don’t ask for them. I have a serious problem with getting 10+ catalogs per day for things that I have not interest in. That is what Facebook is becoming. The problem with the Facebook design has little to do with the merging of data streams, and a lot to do with the total lack of control of that stream. I’m staring at an offensive pro-life “ad” on my home page now that I can’t even hide! I don’t care if others want it, I DON’T and should have the option to remove it. Options are the key. Without options, people will (and have) start to bail.

  35. Allen: the overall advertising market is $300 billion (and that was in 2004 numbers). So, if Facebook gets 10% of that (not unreasonable, given how many people are on Facebook) that adds up to billions.

  36. Allen: the overall advertising market is $300 billion (and that was in 2004 numbers). So, if Facebook gets 10% of that (not unreasonable, given how many people are on Facebook) that adds up to billions.

  37. Robert, I commend you on this post. It’s probably the best blog post I’ve read all year and it really demonstrates where Facebook is heading, and why people should stop complaining about their business model and their new site design. We have to remember that we’re dealing with very smart people at Facebook and big name investors and board members. I trust them!

  38. Robert, I commend you on this post. It’s probably the best blog post I’ve read all year and it really demonstrates where Facebook is heading, and why people should stop complaining about their business model and their new site design. We have to remember that we’re dealing with very smart people at Facebook and big name investors and board members. I trust them!

  39. Well said People like to complain about change it is not there company Z has to take it where his vision is going plus it is free to anybody and people bitch even when they are given something for free enjoy it. If you don’t like FB go away is all they have to do. Why would they it’s free.
    I like what you said and how you said it.

  40. Well said People like to complain about change it is not there company Z has to take it where his vision is going plus it is free to anybody and people bitch even when they are given something for free enjoy it. If you don’t like FB go away is all they have to do. Why would they it’s free.
    I like what you said and how you said it.

  41. Merenth: my whole post was about WANTED advertising. I’m in the market for a car right now. I WANT to see advertising from all the companies. You are exactly right that if I see a car ad a week after I buy a car that it’ll be unwanted and that’ll be bad. Zuckerberg told me he is building filters so you can filter in (wanted) and filter out (unwanted) messages. That’s the way to go.

  42. Merenth: my whole post was about WANTED advertising. I’m in the market for a car right now. I WANT to see advertising from all the companies. You are exactly right that if I see a car ad a week after I buy a car that it’ll be unwanted and that’ll be bad. Zuckerberg told me he is building filters so you can filter in (wanted) and filter out (unwanted) messages. That’s the way to go.

  43. The design is not what matters at this point. After all a design does not need to be *pretty* in order to be functional.

    My criticism of facebook is regarding the functionality. It is a good step forward but the information I want (and the reason why millions of people are on Facebook) is hidden among a thick layer of app non-sense thus making it difficult to learn the latest about my social graph.

    I don’t want third party apps *sneaking up on me* on my timeline. That makes FB not useful for me.

    Truth be told, people might not care about the design of FB in a couple of months. By then, they will become familiar with the look and will be able to navigate. One thing that I can’t see getting familiar with, is the unwanted spam in my timeline. The facebok apps spam is pervasive and given the fact that FB is not real time, they stay in the timeline for what seems a very long time.

    Bottom line, we’re better off with facebook than without.

  44. Although this appears to be a slam-dunk move by Zuckerman & his team, I think that’s it’s still way too early to judge that.

    Given the way the Internet has produced surprises (e.g. Friendster vs. Facebook, Yahoo vs. Google, MapQuest vs. Google Maps, YouTube vs. Hulu etc.), I’m quite confident that some other application will appear in the near future (next 1 or 2 years?) that will blow Facebook users away and move them toward it.

    The issue to focus on is not “how will Facebook get more advertisers to advertise accurately etc”, which is quite easy. What’s important is what
    other aspects of user’s lives which they value can be touched by an online network. Once you get their attention (“made them stick”), advertisers tend to flock to you.

    On that issue, Facebook has stagnated. There are many other ways it can enhance & extend the social relationships that exist on its site; e.g. create different levels of friends (relatives vs. acquaintances vs. colleagues etc) so that you can choose who shd see what stuff, and so on.

    Now, it’s stuck with sharing status updates, various random applications (which are interesting mainly for a while) and photos. These are easily imitable and not permanent advantages. Plus, Facebook Connect doesn’t seem to be too hot, from what I see.

  45. Although this appears to be a slam-dunk move by Zuckerman & his team, I think that’s it’s still way too early to judge that.

    Given the way the Internet has produced surprises (e.g. Friendster vs. Facebook, Yahoo vs. Google, MapQuest vs. Google Maps, YouTube vs. Hulu etc.), I’m quite confident that some other application will appear in the near future (next 1 or 2 years?) that will blow Facebook users away and move them toward it.

    The issue to focus on is not “how will Facebook get more advertisers to advertise accurately etc”, which is quite easy. What’s important is what
    other aspects of user’s lives which they value can be touched by an online network. Once you get their attention (“made them stick”), advertisers tend to flock to you.

    On that issue, Facebook has stagnated. There are many other ways it can enhance & extend the social relationships that exist on its site; e.g. create different levels of friends (relatives vs. acquaintances vs. colleagues etc) so that you can choose who shd see what stuff, and so on.

    Now, it’s stuck with sharing status updates, various random applications (which are interesting mainly for a while) and photos. These are easily imitable and not permanent advantages. Plus, Facebook Connect doesn’t seem to be too hot, from what I see.

  46. The design is not what matters at this point. After all a design does not need to be *pretty* in order to be functional.

    My criticism of facebook is regarding the functionality. It is a good step forward but the information I want (and the reason why millions of people are on Facebook) is hidden among a thick layer of app non-sense thus making it difficult to learn the latest about my social graph.

    I don’t want third party apps *sneaking up on me* on my timeline. That makes FB not useful for me.

    Truth be told, people might not care about the design of FB in a couple of months. By then, they will become familiar with the look and will be able to navigate. One thing that I can’t see getting familiar with, is the unwanted spam in my timeline. The facebok apps spam is pervasive and given the fact that FB is not real time, they stay in the timeline for what seems a very long time.

    Bottom line, we’re better off with facebook than without.

  47. @robert: thanks for approving my comment, I realize it’s a long rant.

    People may enjoy window shopping, but that doesn’t mean they want to get faux “recommendations” in their friend feed or a bunch of “Free Macbook Pro!” ads alongside their buddy’s social networking profile.

    I like to test drive the latest sports car now and then, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy the salesman in the passenger’s seat. My purchase decision will be based on the product’s merits itself, and not what someone is being paid to tell me.

    An “organic” recommendation is worth 50x more than a “sponsored listing.” When supposedly-organic sources are discovered to be “sponsored” (see videogame reviews, Cnet reviews, etc) it’s a scandal and the source’s credibility is tarnished. And so I see no value in the billions of ad business you propose Facebook will make, only degradation of its core (real) value: organic social networking.

  48. @robert: thanks for approving my comment, I realize it’s a long rant.

    People may enjoy window shopping, but that doesn’t mean they want to get faux “recommendations” in their friend feed or a bunch of “Free Macbook Pro!” ads alongside their buddy’s social networking profile.

    I like to test drive the latest sports car now and then, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy the salesman in the passenger’s seat. My purchase decision will be based on the product’s merits itself, and not what someone is being paid to tell me.

    An “organic” recommendation is worth 50x more than a “sponsored listing.” When supposedly-organic sources are discovered to be “sponsored” (see videogame reviews, Cnet reviews, etc) it’s a scandal and the source’s credibility is tarnished. And so I see no value in the billions of ad business you propose Facebook will make, only degradation of its core (real) value: organic social networking.

  49. One last thing before I get some real work done:

    Using your car example, Honda would be foolish to advertise to me, because they’re already at the top of my list due to personal experiences & recommendations. So those with most to gain from advertising to me are other car companies (typically seems like Kia.) But they would need to spend hundreds in advertising to convince me to consider them. Therefore I’ll see 100x more Kia ads than Honda ads, unless my view of the two companies is rare. And so, the ads I end up seeing will be considered spam.

  50. One last thing before I get some real work done:

    Using your car example, Honda would be foolish to advertise to me, because they’re already at the top of my list due to personal experiences & recommendations. So those with most to gain from advertising to me are other car companies (typically seems like Kia.) But they would need to spend hundreds in advertising to convince me to consider them. Therefore I’ll see 100x more Kia ads than Honda ads, unless my view of the two companies is rare. And so, the ads I end up seeing will be considered spam.

  51. Fortunately at least in Firefox with Greasemonkey scripts you can customize what you get on the Facebook homepage.

    The main problem I see in the new layout is that it includes way too many “I took a quiz and I found out that I’m X” entries, and other really annoying application messages (like gifts). I don’t care that you someone gave an Easter egg to 15 of their friends, and yet there it is, repeated fifteen times in my homepage feed.

    Thankfully through the wonders of CSS and regex and Greasemonkey javascript, these can be zapped out for me. See this script for example: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/44459

  52. Fortunately at least in Firefox with Greasemonkey scripts you can customize what you get on the Facebook homepage.

    The main problem I see in the new layout is that it includes way too many “I took a quiz and I found out that I’m X” entries, and other really annoying application messages (like gifts). I don’t care that you someone gave an Easter egg to 15 of their friends, and yet there it is, repeated fifteen times in my homepage feed.

    Thankfully through the wonders of CSS and regex and Greasemonkey javascript, these can be zapped out for me. See this script for example: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/44459

  53. Michael: soon, because I’ll be moving my blog over to a Rackspace/mosso cloud system and then I can do all sorts of fun things! Facebook and better comments are high on my list!

  54. Michael: soon, because I’ll be moving my blog over to a Rackspace/mosso cloud system and then I can do all sorts of fun things! Facebook and better comments are high on my list!

  55. Actually I don´t care much about the new Facebook design and I don´t worry much about advertising as long as it isn´t very intrusive.

    If an ad hovers around and if it is relevant to me I will notice it. And maybe click it.
    If it isn´t interesting or relevant I tend to phase it out. Kind of being blind to content that is not of my interest.

  56. Actually I don´t care much about the new Facebook design and I don´t worry much about advertising as long as it isn´t very intrusive.

    If an ad hovers around and if it is relevant to me I will notice it. And maybe click it.
    If it isn´t interesting or relevant I tend to phase it out. Kind of being blind to content that is not of my interest.

  57. Interesting take. I just wrote about this to taking the conventional wisdom position that virtually no company has remained successful without understanding and providing for customers needs. That is not to say that you do exactly what customers tell you, but everything you do must be focused on them. The alleged statements from Zuckerberg over on the Valleywag post smacked of the arrogance I’ve heard before from CEOs who’s companies eventually went belly-up.

    BTW, your wife may not have left and neither did my 14 year old, but with every change to the design, she has become more irritated with facebook.
    It might be more troublesome for adults to move the the next new thing (and there will be one, just ask MySpace), but perhaps younger teens would jump if the conditions were right.

  58. Interesting take. I just wrote about this to taking the conventional wisdom position that virtually no company has remained successful without understanding and providing for customers needs. That is not to say that you do exactly what customers tell you, but everything you do must be focused on them. The alleged statements from Zuckerberg over on the Valleywag post smacked of the arrogance I’ve heard before from CEOs who’s companies eventually went belly-up.

    BTW, your wife may not have left and neither did my 14 year old, but with every change to the design, she has become more irritated with facebook.
    It might be more troublesome for adults to move the the next new thing (and there will be one, just ask MySpace), but perhaps younger teens would jump if the conditions were right.

  59. I’d be curious to see a breakdown on what exactly it is that people don’t like about the new layout.

    For me, the layout isn’t the problem. What’s made Facebook so frustrating for me to use since the re-design is all the NOISE. Lots and lots of completely irrelevant noise. All I really want to do is look at status updates and pictures, but instead I have to look at what everyone is writing on other people’s walls, stupid poll results like “what country should I live in”, and people’s latest high scores in Bejeweled. In other words, I have to manually filter through a bunch of irrelevant junk to see what I want to see.

    They’ve created filters for photos, videos, links and other things, but they need to add much more filtering. Even just a “status updates” filter would make me plenty happy.

    I personally found myself visiting the main FB website WAY less this past week… which means they are losing pageviews for advertising. They’ve got to add in more filters and user controls if they want to keep pageviews up, and I don’t see any conflict between doing that and displaying RELEVANT advertising.

  60. I’d be curious to see a breakdown on what exactly it is that people don’t like about the new layout.

    For me, the layout isn’t the problem. What’s made Facebook so frustrating for me to use since the re-design is all the NOISE. Lots and lots of completely irrelevant noise. All I really want to do is look at status updates and pictures, but instead I have to look at what everyone is writing on other people’s walls, stupid poll results like “what country should I live in”, and people’s latest high scores in Bejeweled. In other words, I have to manually filter through a bunch of irrelevant junk to see what I want to see.

    They’ve created filters for photos, videos, links and other things, but they need to add much more filtering. Even just a “status updates” filter would make me plenty happy.

    I personally found myself visiting the main FB website WAY less this past week… which means they are losing pageviews for advertising. They’ve got to add in more filters and user controls if they want to keep pageviews up, and I don’t see any conflict between doing that and displaying RELEVANT advertising.

  61. Great post as usual Robert.

    The bottom line is people hate change. Both Facebook and Twitter are going to continue growing and as we discover more uses for them, both commercial and non commercial they are going to come up with more ways to have income streams.

    I use both and like both. Facebook changed its template and I adapted.

    There are more things in life to worry about like the economy.

    Now if I had been paying them from the beginning and they did a shift without telling me, then i would hav something to complain about.

    They are a free service.

  62. Great post as usual Robert.

    The bottom line is people hate change. Both Facebook and Twitter are going to continue growing and as we discover more uses for them, both commercial and non commercial they are going to come up with more ways to have income streams.

    I use both and like both. Facebook changed its template and I adapted.

    There are more things in life to worry about like the economy.

    Now if I had been paying them from the beginning and they did a shift without telling me, then i would hav something to complain about.

    They are a free service.

  63. [...] Robert Scoble nails it even harder: All those who are saying the new design sucks should NOT be listened to. Yeah, I know a lot of people are going to get mad at me for saying that. After all, how can a blogger say to not listen to the masses? Easy: I’ve seen the advice the masses are giving and most of it isn’t very good for Facebook’s business interests. … Zuckerberg is not listening to you because you don’t get how Facebook is going to make billions. Zuckerberg is right. He shouldn’t start listening to his users now. [Scobleizer] [...]

  64. I don’t really use Facebook anymore. It has extremely limited(if any) value to me, all that I ever see in my stream is retarded information about people, I knew years ago, getting drunk. Unfortunately, the area I moved to the average age is in the lower 40′s so it’s hard to actually find local people on the web.

    I used it often in ’06-’07 and I have to agree that the service is useful in keeping up with people from your past. I also have seen great increases in it’s functionality, but it’s still not truly as interactive and helpful as other services that I use. Friendfeed and Twitter have 1000x more potential at offering information that’s relevant to me than Facebook.

    The only way that you can get truly relevant data from people and services is interaction, and I feel Facebook hinders interaction. It promotes letting others know what you like, but doesn’t really imbue a strong sense of personal interaction.

    Maybe it’s just me and the issues I have with the group of people I have friended on the service; but I honestly don’t know what all the hype about Facebook is about recently. Far better services are out now and they just haven’t managed to catch the mainstream approval, yet.

  65. I don’t really use Facebook anymore. It has extremely limited(if any) value to me, all that I ever see in my stream is retarded information about people, I knew years ago, getting drunk. Unfortunately, the area I moved to the average age is in the lower 40′s so it’s hard to actually find local people on the web.

    I used it often in ’06-’07 and I have to agree that the service is useful in keeping up with people from your past. I also have seen great increases in it’s functionality, but it’s still not truly as interactive and helpful as other services that I use. Friendfeed and Twitter have 1000x more potential at offering information that’s relevant to me than Facebook.

    The only way that you can get truly relevant data from people and services is interaction, and I feel Facebook hinders interaction. It promotes letting others know what you like, but doesn’t really imbue a strong sense of personal interaction.

    Maybe it’s just me and the issues I have with the group of people I have friended on the service; but I honestly don’t know what all the hype about Facebook is about recently. Far better services are out now and they just haven’t managed to catch the mainstream approval, yet.

  66. I do agree that that Facebook can’t go back to what it was—it can’t get stuck in the same phase.

    But I don’t think that completely tuning out the users is the way to go. While most users who are complaining about the redesign have little more to say besides “omgz! it sux!!11!”, there are users who have made very valid points about usability, which is where most of the genuine problems lie with the latest redesign.

    I’ve seen recently pictures from the same album pop up one-by-one in the news feed several times instead of showing up as just the album, which clogs the feed. The new right-hand sidebar needs some refining to make the items that pop up more poignant, and I personally don’t think applications should be able to default to posting stories in the news feed.

    But aside from those (and a couple other) minor things, you are definitely right that Zuckerberg shouldn’t stray from his business model (unless people really DO start to leave, but that’s certainly not happening now).

  67. “The main problem I see in the new layout is that it includes way too many “I took a quiz and I found out that I’m X” entries, and other really annoying application messages (like gifts). I don’t care that you someone gave an Easter egg to 15 of their friends, and yet there it is, repeated fifteen times in my homepage feed.”

    Will (F), that is happening simply because your friends are choosing to publish their actions publicly to their friends, and so as their friend, you get told about them. If you have a problem with their activities, you need to tell your friends, or just hide them from your feed. Take responsibility for your homepage and your social graph!

  68. “The main problem I see in the new layout is that it includes way too many “I took a quiz and I found out that I’m X” entries, and other really annoying application messages (like gifts). I don’t care that you someone gave an Easter egg to 15 of their friends, and yet there it is, repeated fifteen times in my homepage feed.”

    Will (F), that is happening simply because your friends are choosing to publish their actions publicly to their friends, and so as their friend, you get told about them. If you have a problem with their activities, you need to tell your friends, or just hide them from your feed. Take responsibility for your homepage and your social graph!

  69. I do agree that that Facebook can’t go back to what it was—it can’t get stuck in the same phase.

    But I don’t think that completely tuning out the users is the way to go. While most users who are complaining about the redesign have little more to say besides “omgz! it sux!!11!”, there are users who have made very valid points about usability, which is where most of the genuine problems lie with the latest redesign.

    I’ve seen recently pictures from the same album pop up one-by-one in the news feed several times instead of showing up as just the album, which clogs the feed. The new right-hand sidebar needs some refining to make the items that pop up more poignant, and I personally don’t think applications should be able to default to posting stories in the news feed.

    But aside from those (and a couple other) minor things, you are definitely right that Zuckerberg shouldn’t stray from his business model (unless people really DO start to leave, but that’s certainly not happening now).

  70. This whole thing is becoming exciting again. It’s because of competition. Competition thrives in the tech arena because usually the barrier to entry is small and confined only to the imagination. We need to somehow lower the barrier to entry into all fields, because competition is where imagination becomes reality, and raises the standards of living for all of us. That’s why we need less regulation not more, because usually regulation is one of the largest barriers to entry in a lot of industries. Look at finance and banking. The only business plan there is consolidation, not innovation.

  71. This whole thing is becoming exciting again. It’s because of competition. Competition thrives in the tech arena because usually the barrier to entry is small and confined only to the imagination. We need to somehow lower the barrier to entry into all fields, because competition is where imagination becomes reality, and raises the standards of living for all of us. That’s why we need less regulation not more, because usually regulation is one of the largest barriers to entry in a lot of industries. Look at finance and banking. The only business plan there is consolidation, not innovation.

  72. Also another thing I forgot to mention is how brilliant Mark Zuckerberg is in keeping people on the service long enough to capitalize on them. If people wanted to stop going to the service normally the easiest way to do that after being an addict to something is to leave. It is so annoying and not even really possible to delete an account, only deactivate it, so that if you happen to enter log-in info, it reactivates. This means that if you want to leave you can’t. Brilliant move from him in managing to keep people on the service.

  73. Also another thing I forgot to mention is how brilliant Mark Zuckerberg is in keeping people on the service long enough to capitalize on them. If people wanted to stop going to the service normally the easiest way to do that after being an addict to something is to leave. It is so annoying and not even really possible to delete an account, only deactivate it, so that if you happen to enter log-in info, it reactivates. This means that if you want to leave you can’t. Brilliant move from him in managing to keep people on the service.

  74. Interesting, surprising departure from your usual enthusiasm for users. Pissing off current users is a high stakes gamble with Twitter now a real force in social networking. As Twitter or Twitter mashups add FB functionality the game will change.

    There is room for several social environments and I’m sure FB will survive but it seems to me Twitter is the application to watch right now – businesses almost immediately see the value of a Twitter presence where they are still struggling to gain profitable footholds in FB and typically appear to be losing money with FB ads.

  75. Interesting, surprising departure from your usual enthusiasm for users. Pissing off current users is a high stakes gamble with Twitter now a real force in social networking. As Twitter or Twitter mashups add FB functionality the game will change.

    There is room for several social environments and I’m sure FB will survive but it seems to me Twitter is the application to watch right now – businesses almost immediately see the value of a Twitter presence where they are still struggling to gain profitable footholds in FB and typically appear to be losing money with FB ads.

  76. I wish they would bring back the things that made it more efficient. If you could minimize instead of delete the noise like the one line feed they had before that would be great. They can keep what they have now just add what they had too. They eliminated some great services by going to this feed that they have now. The difference between this and Twitter is that you have more information coming at you at once.
    If you didn’t see images all the time then it wouldn’t be so bad. The images and all the noise is what is making people mad.

  77. I wish they would bring back the things that made it more efficient. If you could minimize instead of delete the noise like the one line feed they had before that would be great. They can keep what they have now just add what they had too. They eliminated some great services by going to this feed that they have now. The difference between this and Twitter is that you have more information coming at you at once.
    If you didn’t see images all the time then it wouldn’t be so bad. The images and all the noise is what is making people mad.

  78. A couple of tea companies and pet products companies on Twitter found me within hours if not minutes of my relevant tweets – come to think of it, so did a couple of travel companies after I recommended a friend’s B&B to another tweeter. Be ready for the deluge when you have your next kid.

  79. A couple of tea companies and pet products companies on Twitter found me within hours if not minutes of my relevant tweets – come to think of it, so did a couple of travel companies after I recommended a friend’s B&B to another tweeter. Be ready for the deluge when you have your next kid.

  80. Scoble, great post! I’m a Racker and am just getting acquainted with your work, but I have to say, you are spot on. I am the definition of “late majority/laggard” when it comes to everything (why take the risk and pay a premium when everyone else is willing to work out the bugs…i still don’t own an iPhone) and I recently “broke it off” with MySpace. What you’re describing is exactly why I left MySpace…they tried to be everything to everyone…the Walmart of social networking if you will. I know it’s a cliche, but you can’t please everyone all of the time, which ironically is why I’m so pleased with Twitter. A clean and simple interface (that I can connect to Facebook) and microblog away. So despite everyone’s complaints, I am actually quite pleased with Facebook right now (and the face that Zuckerberg does not want to please everyone)…let’s just hope Facebook.tv is not in the works.

  81. Scoble, great post! I’m a Racker and am just getting acquainted with your work, but I have to say, you are spot on. I am the definition of “late majority/laggard” when it comes to everything (why take the risk and pay a premium when everyone else is willing to work out the bugs…i still don’t own an iPhone) and I recently “broke it off” with MySpace. What you’re describing is exactly why I left MySpace…they tried to be everything to everyone…the Walmart of social networking if you will. I know it’s a cliche, but you can’t please everyone all of the time, which ironically is why I’m so pleased with Twitter. A clean and simple interface (that I can connect to Facebook) and microblog away. So despite everyone’s complaints, I am actually quite pleased with Facebook right now (and the face that Zuckerberg does not want to please everyone)…let’s just hope Facebook.tv is not in the works.

  82. Unless Facebook also copies not just the real-time updates of Twitter but also its ability to search and discover people and businesses in close to real-time (search.twitter.com), Facebook won’t be able to monetize anything.

    Why? The only model so far that has created billions of dollars is when people are actively searching for something they want, like they do on Google–and as they are increasingly doing on Twitter, via search.twitter.com–and you put relevant ads in front of them.

    If I’m looking for insurance or banking, I’m doing that on Google now, and perhaps Twitter in the future–not Facebook. Twitter is a lot closer to monetizing their social graph than Facebook–see Gary Vaynerchuck’s (@garyvee on Twitter) post at http://www.viddler.com/explore/garyvaynerchuk/videos/82/.

    There are going to have to be a lot more potentially unpopular changes to the functionality of Facebook before they’ll generate billions of dollars. The challenge for Facebook is how to make those changes without alienating their users.

    As Facebook becomes more open, and with products like Facebook Connect for the iPhone and desktop applications, it’s becoming easier to interact with your social graph without logging into Facebook. Advertisers won’t like that.

    And of course as more of Facebook is can be indexed by Google, they could have the last laugh here.

  83. Unless Facebook also copies not just the real-time updates of Twitter but also its ability to search and discover people and businesses in close to real-time (search.twitter.com), Facebook won’t be able to monetize anything.

    Why? The only model so far that has created billions of dollars is when people are actively searching for something they want, like they do on Google–and as they are increasingly doing on Twitter, via search.twitter.com–and you put relevant ads in front of them.

    If I’m looking for insurance or banking, I’m doing that on Google now, and perhaps Twitter in the future–not Facebook. Twitter is a lot closer to monetizing their social graph than Facebook–see Gary Vaynerchuck’s (@garyvee on Twitter) post at http://www.viddler.com/explore/garyvaynerchuk/videos/82/.

    There are going to have to be a lot more potentially unpopular changes to the functionality of Facebook before they’ll generate billions of dollars. The challenge for Facebook is how to make those changes without alienating their users.

    As Facebook becomes more open, and with products like Facebook Connect for the iPhone and desktop applications, it’s becoming easier to interact with your social graph without logging into Facebook. Advertisers won’t like that.

    And of course as more of Facebook is can be indexed by Google, they could have the last laugh here.

  84. Longer posts are back! #happy

    There are a lot of great point in this post and you might end up being right on most of them.

    One alternative to this push marketing is actually the ask model. LinkedIn uses asks, Yahoo Groups is all based on asking. What I mean is that instead of querying a system for older recommendations, I can simply ask my friends/communities in real-time, get responses and engage in conversations.

    So I am not sure Facebook is closer to the gold now then they were before. I think that Facebook is missing a huge opportunity around customization of pages, self expression and virtual goods. If I had to bet, I would say that that gold is probably closer and safer to extract.

    The next few years are going to be interesting.

    Please continue with the longer formats and install disqus.

    Congratulations on #3!

  85. Joseph, Twitter is still nowhere near being a ‘major force’ in social networking. As Robert points out: “Facebook has the users (it is growing the size of Twitter every 15 days or so because Facebook has about 180 million users while Twitter only has about 10 million. Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day. Twitter is growing by far fewer users per day (although its percentage growth is faster).”

    Whereas if you look at Twitter, it hasn’t added a single major feature since it launched in late 2006 (nearly 2.5 years ago!). You still have a what is basically an Internet version of SMS messaging, with clumsy @replying, photos and long URLs (‘links’ as Facebook calls them) having to be posted using third party services, frequent problems with scaling, and not a penny of a revenue stream as yet. And to even get close to what the new Facebook homepage allows you to do, you have to use non-official services like tweettree.com or dabr.co.uk.

    Jamie, just filter the ‘noise’ out if you don’t like it – is it really so hard to choose a filter from the left of the page?! Alternatively, if you’re not enjoying hearing about all your friends, perhaps it’s time to get ‘rid of the ones you don’t actually care about, or at least hide them from your feed? Again, this is simple to.

    Evan, the multiple appearances of similar items on your feed will just be down to bad timing. Facebook does try to merge items together when possible, but there has to be a line between when two similar events happened close enough together to be considered the same overall action, or when there’s a significant amount of time between them.

    Also, applications can’t post to a user’s personal feed (and thus the home pages of his/her friends) without the user actually actively doing something to spawn the news story. Users are asked if they want to post to their feed – you can’t knock Facebook or the applications should the user happen/want to click ‘OK’.

    Not sure what you meant about stories not being poignant enough in the right column?

  86. Joseph, Twitter is still nowhere near being a ‘major force’ in social networking. As Robert points out: “Facebook has the users (it is growing the size of Twitter every 15 days or so because Facebook has about 180 million users while Twitter only has about 10 million. Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day. Twitter is growing by far fewer users per day (although its percentage growth is faster).”

    Whereas if you look at Twitter, it hasn’t added a single major feature since it launched in late 2006 (nearly 2.5 years ago!). You still have a what is basically an Internet version of SMS messaging, with clumsy @replying, photos and long URLs (‘links’ as Facebook calls them) having to be posted using third party services, frequent problems with scaling, and not a penny of a revenue stream as yet. And to even get close to what the new Facebook homepage allows you to do, you have to use non-official services like tweettree.com or dabr.co.uk.

    Jamie, just filter the ‘noise’ out if you don’t like it – is it really so hard to choose a filter from the left of the page?! Alternatively, if you’re not enjoying hearing about all your friends, perhaps it’s time to get ‘rid of the ones you don’t actually care about, or at least hide them from your feed? Again, this is simple to.

    Evan, the multiple appearances of similar items on your feed will just be down to bad timing. Facebook does try to merge items together when possible, but there has to be a line between when two similar events happened close enough together to be considered the same overall action, or when there’s a significant amount of time between them.

    Also, applications can’t post to a user’s personal feed (and thus the home pages of his/her friends) without the user actually actively doing something to spawn the news story. Users are asked if they want to post to their feed – you can’t knock Facebook or the applications should the user happen/want to click ‘OK’.

    Not sure what you meant about stories not being poignant enough in the right column?

  87. Longer posts are back! #happy

    There are a lot of great point in this post and you might end up being right on most of them.

    One alternative to this push marketing is actually the ask model. LinkedIn uses asks, Yahoo Groups is all based on asking. What I mean is that instead of querying a system for older recommendations, I can simply ask my friends/communities in real-time, get responses and engage in conversations.

    So I am not sure Facebook is closer to the gold now then they were before. I think that Facebook is missing a huge opportunity around customization of pages, self expression and virtual goods. If I had to bet, I would say that that gold is probably closer and safer to extract.

    The next few years are going to be interesting.

    Please continue with the longer formats and install disqus.

    Congratulations on #3!

  88. This is one of your best posts ever. Thank you.

    a) Using FB to look for sushi could be a Google killer or certainly major competition.

    b) FB can monetize all sorts of ways; advertising that can be diced and diced almost any way demographically, aggregating research data for advertisers and companies, FB groups that sell stuff and they get a cut, and so on.

  89. This is one of your best posts ever. Thank you.

    a) Using FB to look for sushi could be a Google killer or certainly major competition.

    b) FB can monetize all sorts of ways; advertising that can be diced and diced almost any way demographically, aggregating research data for advertisers and companies, FB groups that sell stuff and they get a cut, and so on.

  90. This has got to be the worst excuse I have ever heard on behalf of a prat. Zuckerberg has come with a bad FB design and that design is being complained about very loudly. Zuckerberg sells nothing but advertising and the advertisers are not happy when the users are not happy. You have about as much business sense as a Wall Street roof jumper. One rule of design is ‘function before form’ and that’s because people will stop buying any product that doesn’t work and the advertisers in this business ‘don’t’ get paid if they don’t sell. Why do you think American cars don’t sell? Same reason, bad design compared to better design at a cheaper price that uses less gas. In this case FB won’t admit that the costs of maintaining their servers, so have come up with a shortcut, palmed it off as new design and think that business will continue to grow. Business doesn’t work like that, ask GM, ask Chrysler, ask Ford. What you have failed to recognise is the speed of application development by third parties for Twitter, not for Facebook. Twitter third party apps. are growing much quicker and doing lots of things FB can’t do. When FB promised ‘real time streaming’ and failed to deliver it got me annoyed, the fact is the streaming was better before, back to the server problem, right! I spent a week helping people on my friends list find stuff and make their system security safe again. So how much did Mark pay you for this diatribe? Not enough or you would have thought this through before putting digits to keyboard.

  91. This has got to be the worst excuse I have ever heard on behalf of a prat. Zuckerberg has come with a bad FB design and that design is being complained about very loudly. Zuckerberg sells nothing but advertising and the advertisers are not happy when the users are not happy. You have about as much business sense as a Wall Street roof jumper. One rule of design is ‘function before form’ and that’s because people will stop buying any product that doesn’t work and the advertisers in this business ‘don’t’ get paid if they don’t sell. Why do you think American cars don’t sell? Same reason, bad design compared to better design at a cheaper price that uses less gas. In this case FB won’t admit that the costs of maintaining their servers, so have come up with a shortcut, palmed it off as new design and think that business will continue to grow. Business doesn’t work like that, ask GM, ask Chrysler, ask Ford. What you have failed to recognise is the speed of application development by third parties for Twitter, not for Facebook. Twitter third party apps. are growing much quicker and doing lots of things FB can’t do. When FB promised ‘real time streaming’ and failed to deliver it got me annoyed, the fact is the streaming was better before, back to the server problem, right! I spent a week helping people on my friends list find stuff and make their system security safe again. So how much did Mark pay you for this diatribe? Not enough or you would have thought this through before putting digits to keyboard.

  92. Kudos on the article. That’s is beautiful insight.

    On the subject of spam, spam is advertising that is pushed out in a blanketed approach to hit everyone it possibly can in the hopes that one person will buy the product/service. Imaging if companies had no target markets and 13-year-olds were constantly subject to advertisements about retirement funds and luxury sedans. Our world would be bombed with ads and we would all go insane from the huge about of useless messages we would be subjected to everywhere we went.

    Now, imagine a different future . . . Imagine that everyone is on Facebook and that Facebook has collected all of the likes/dislikes and preferences of all it’s users. All this information was given to companies that are selling goods and services that need buyers. Imaging if this “network” knew what you wanted/needed before you did?

    The average person gets hit with thousands of advertisements on a daily basis. Imaging if you were only hit with one or two advertisements that were pertinent to your lifestyle. “Would you like to buy Bounty paper towels?” . . .”That’s right, I’m almost out of paper towels. I had a huge kegger last weekend and was commenting to my friend about the mess that was made.”

    You may think this is wrong, you may think this is creepy, you may not like this, but this is the future. Why is it a bad thing that the right advertisements go to the right people? Facebook is the beginning, what will be the end?

  93. Kudos on the article. That’s is beautiful insight.

    On the subject of spam, spam is advertising that is pushed out in a blanketed approach to hit everyone it possibly can in the hopes that one person will buy the product/service. Imaging if companies had no target markets and 13-year-olds were constantly subject to advertisements about retirement funds and luxury sedans. Our world would be bombed with ads and we would all go insane from the huge about of useless messages we would be subjected to everywhere we went.

    Now, imagine a different future . . . Imagine that everyone is on Facebook and that Facebook has collected all of the likes/dislikes and preferences of all it’s users. All this information was given to companies that are selling goods and services that need buyers. Imaging if this “network” knew what you wanted/needed before you did?

    The average person gets hit with thousands of advertisements on a daily basis. Imaging if you were only hit with one or two advertisements that were pertinent to your lifestyle. “Would you like to buy Bounty paper towels?” . . .”That’s right, I’m almost out of paper towels. I had a huge kegger last weekend and was commenting to my friend about the mess that was made.”

    You may think this is wrong, you may think this is creepy, you may not like this, but this is the future. Why is it a bad thing that the right advertisements go to the right people? Facebook is the beginning, what will be the end?

  94. On the one hand I am one of the users who doesn’t like the new design….not for the lay out, but for some of the granular features that are now gone. Specifically on the Home page, I liked the “see less of this person” and on the Wall the “one line, short, long story” options. Those didn’t make me happy. The rest of the redesign…eh…I’m good with all of it.

    I amo not surprised to see the comment about not listening to the users. Quite simply put, the customer is NOT always right. In fact, the customer of many high-tech services are Usually Wrong. I learned that earlyon in my consulting practice. I’d ask the customer who disagreed with my advice: “When you paid me thousands of dollars for my advice, we you wrong then? Well, if you were right to pay me, how sound is it to not follow the advice you just paid good money for?”

    And also -To the notion of “desiring to eat more spam” You’re again correct. Advertising is not spam. Bulk, unthoughtful “impression/interruptive” advertising is spam. When I receive unsolicited messages that interrupt the flow of what I’m doing, I consider that spam. When I ask, directly or through my behavior, for suggestions on Purchases…that is clearly not spam. This is the way that social media based advertising is going…as you say…10 sushi restaurants in the area that My Friends Liked. Those are the kind of ads I want to see…We were satisfied in the dotcom boom times to have “targeted” ads that were targeted as nameless, faceless people via browser cookie tracking. Now that’s not enough. I want more. I want the ad to speak directly to me.

    Yes Facebook IS a Gold Mine. If I only had me a pick axe.

  95. On the one hand I am one of the users who doesn’t like the new design….not for the lay out, but for some of the granular features that are now gone. Specifically on the Home page, I liked the “see less of this person” and on the Wall the “one line, short, long story” options. Those didn’t make me happy. The rest of the redesign…eh…I’m good with all of it.

    I amo not surprised to see the comment about not listening to the users. Quite simply put, the customer is NOT always right. In fact, the customer of many high-tech services are Usually Wrong. I learned that earlyon in my consulting practice. I’d ask the customer who disagreed with my advice: “When you paid me thousands of dollars for my advice, we you wrong then? Well, if you were right to pay me, how sound is it to not follow the advice you just paid good money for?”

    And also -To the notion of “desiring to eat more spam” You’re again correct. Advertising is not spam. Bulk, unthoughtful “impression/interruptive” advertising is spam. When I receive unsolicited messages that interrupt the flow of what I’m doing, I consider that spam. When I ask, directly or through my behavior, for suggestions on Purchases…that is clearly not spam. This is the way that social media based advertising is going…as you say…10 sushi restaurants in the area that My Friends Liked. Those are the kind of ads I want to see…We were satisfied in the dotcom boom times to have “targeted” ads that were targeted as nameless, faceless people via browser cookie tracking. Now that’s not enough. I want more. I want the ad to speak directly to me.

    Yes Facebook IS a Gold Mine. If I only had me a pick axe.

  96. “It answers back “within walking distance are two sushi restaurants that more than 20 of your friends have liked.””

    Wrong, again. Well, Robert, again, you have found the beatuful life before the Internet – have a problem, call a friend. I have to say, again, that the whole point of search a internet is to get opinions of people who are not your friends.

    But let’s study that sentence a little bit more
    a) if your friends are sushi experts you do not need to ask that question because you already know the answer – they are your friends, remember.
    b) if they are not sushi experts, then their opinion is crap.
    c) if you don’t know about the neighbourhood, then you are at strange place – when you have 20 “friends” there, who liked some sushi places, then you must have 10x more “friends” who didn’t like, you have at least 100x more “friends” who don’t like sushi at all, you have 1000x more friends who live outside of that area – hey, you have at least 20.000 “friends”. Wait – you can not have that many “friends” – they are bunch of strangers and their likes are crap.

  97. “It answers back “within walking distance are two sushi restaurants that more than 20 of your friends have liked.””

    Wrong, again. Well, Robert, again, you have found the beatuful life before the Internet – have a problem, call a friend. I have to say, again, that the whole point of search a internet is to get opinions of people who are not your friends.

    But let’s study that sentence a little bit more
    a) if your friends are sushi experts you do not need to ask that question because you already know the answer – they are your friends, remember.
    b) if they are not sushi experts, then their opinion is crap.
    c) if you don’t know about the neighbourhood, then you are at strange place – when you have 20 “friends” there, who liked some sushi places, then you must have 10x more “friends” who didn’t like, you have at least 100x more “friends” who don’t like sushi at all, you have 1000x more friends who live outside of that area – hey, you have at least 20.000 “friends”. Wait – you can not have that many “friends” – they are bunch of strangers and their likes are crap.

  98. Robert,

    interesting post and I agree to your description of the way how Facebook will proceed. But, I don’t agree that this will lead to a bright new shiny world for Facebooks users. For Mark Zuckerberg perhaps…

    I think there is (or may be) a basic commercial problem: In order for me to trust the recommendations (or “likes”), I need to trust the people who make these recommendations. It is not about the number of people who like or dislike, it is about trustworthiness, meaning that these recommendations are not influenced by marketing nor being paid for. What does this imply? In order to be of value to me, neither the person / friend who liked something may have a financial benefit nor the business / service / product being liked may have paid for this recommendation. So the only possibility to get money from businesses is classical advertisement, either untargeted or targeted. And in this regard, Facebook will face the same difficulties as any other communication channel.

    I filter both types of advertisements from web sites (adblock) and from mails (spam filtering), physical mail ends in the waste paper bin and I got rid of all cold calls after having fought it through with one of the bigger German phone companies.

    I don’t want to be targeted, I want to be the one who is looking for information and who is in control.

    In the end, it is not advertizing which makes companies successful on the long term, it is innovation, product quality, proper customer support and ethical behaviour.

  99. Robert,

    interesting post and I agree to your description of the way how Facebook will proceed. But, I don’t agree that this will lead to a bright new shiny world for Facebooks users. For Mark Zuckerberg perhaps…

    I think there is (or may be) a basic commercial problem: In order for me to trust the recommendations (or “likes”), I need to trust the people who make these recommendations. It is not about the number of people who like or dislike, it is about trustworthiness, meaning that these recommendations are not influenced by marketing nor being paid for. What does this imply? In order to be of value to me, neither the person / friend who liked something may have a financial benefit nor the business / service / product being liked may have paid for this recommendation. So the only possibility to get money from businesses is classical advertisement, either untargeted or targeted. And in this regard, Facebook will face the same difficulties as any other communication channel.

    I filter both types of advertisements from web sites (adblock) and from mails (spam filtering), physical mail ends in the waste paper bin and I got rid of all cold calls after having fought it through with one of the bigger German phone companies.

    I don’t want to be targeted, I want to be the one who is looking for information and who is in control.

    In the end, it is not advertizing which makes companies successful on the long term, it is innovation, product quality, proper customer support and ethical behaviour.

  100. Good point about how companies should be reading the data that we’re all sharing and using that data to meet our immediate needs. And you don’t need a Facebook-size user base to do this. If I’m sharing my last.fm likes on FriendFeed, and if I’ve opted in to certain types of communication, shouldn’t people be commenting to tell me where my recently-liked songs can be purchased? Again, if I’ve opted in to such communications, that’s not advertising – that’s information. (I wish I could remember where I heard that statement.)

  101. Good point about how companies should be reading the data that we’re all sharing and using that data to meet our immediate needs. And you don’t need a Facebook-size user base to do this. If I’m sharing my last.fm likes on FriendFeed, and if I’ve opted in to certain types of communication, shouldn’t people be commenting to tell me where my recently-liked songs can be purchased? Again, if I’ve opted in to such communications, that’s not advertising – that’s information. (I wish I could remember where I heard that statement.)

  102. People don’t leave FaceBook because of the tremendous friction of transporting your social circle elsewhere!

    Windows monopolized the desktop; FaceBook monopolized the social circle. Wow! This thought is giving me a pause.

  103. People don’t leave FaceBook because of the tremendous friction of transporting your social circle elsewhere!

    Windows monopolized the desktop; FaceBook monopolized the social circle. Wow! This thought is giving me a pause.

  104. What the author of the article fails to realize is that after these changes, people are using facebook LESS. I mean the statuses of all my friends have dropped to nil. I see very little activity there now (or maybe withvthe new format it goes somewhere else, but I have kind of lost interest in FB now because the status updates are so uncommon now).

  105. What the author of the article fails to realize is that after these changes, people are using facebook LESS. I mean the statuses of all my friends have dropped to nil. I see very little activity there now (or maybe withvthe new format it goes somewhere else, but I have kind of lost interest in FB now because the status updates are so uncommon now).

  106. Scoble,

    I love to read your articles. I think you are well informed and passionate about technology.

    But I seriously think you should not be giving advice on making billions. If your instincts on making money were right you would have been a billionaire a long time ago.

    Personally (this is my opinion) Face book will never be a great money making business. It will simply be a great useful service like email. If there was a great business model around Facebook it would have happened already.

    Twitter on the other hand has great promise.

    -Augustus

  107. Great post Robert, forward thinking and insightful. Lesson to us all about being open to what’s around the corner. Changes in interface always piss people off because people get used to the way things are and don’t like change.

    Really good point about customers designing the product. Like the Porshe into Volvo example.

    Conratulations on your exciting news.

  108. Scoble,

    I love to read your articles. I think you are well informed and passionate about technology.

    But I seriously think you should not be giving advice on making billions. If your instincts on making money were right you would have been a billionaire a long time ago.

    Personally (this is my opinion) Face book will never be a great money making business. It will simply be a great useful service like email. If there was a great business model around Facebook it would have happened already.

    Twitter on the other hand has great promise.

    -Augustus

  109. Great post Robert, forward thinking and insightful. Lesson to us all about being open to what’s around the corner. Changes in interface always piss people off because people get used to the way things are and don’t like change.

    Really good point about customers designing the product. Like the Porshe into Volvo example.

    Conratulations on your exciting news.

  110. Sounds like Mr. Zuckerman has his GAMPHACE ON!! & so do you!!!

    Everything in life begins with a game plan. And every game plan has the oppurtunity to achieve excellence.

    Congrats on the baby!!!

    YOU ARE A GAMPHACE AMBASSADOR!!!
    PUT YOUR GAMPHACE ON!!!
    SPREAD THE WORD!!
    PEACE, gp11:11/1:11/1:1

  111. Sounds like Mr. Zuckerman has his GAMPHACE ON!! & so do you!!!

    Everything in life begins with a game plan. And every game plan has the oppurtunity to achieve excellence.

    Congrats on the baby!!!

    YOU ARE A GAMPHACE AMBASSADOR!!!
    PUT YOUR GAMPHACE ON!!!
    SPREAD THE WORD!!
    PEACE, gp11:11/1:11/1:1

  112. I never thought this would happen, but you just got me excited about Facebook, Robert. Epic post.

  113. You do realize that for Facebook to provide services like the ones you describe they have to do immense data mining and we have no indication that they have the talent for something like that.

  114. You do realize that for Facebook to provide services like the ones you describe they have to do immense data mining and we have no indication that they have the talent for something like that.

  115. Scobleizer: Technology, innovation, and geek enthusiasm » Blog Archive Why Facebook has never listened and why it definitely won’t start now «…

    Zuckerberg is a real leader because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He’s going to do what he thinks is best for his business. I wish Silicon Valley had more like him….

  116. I think what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. I do think businesses, such as the one I’m in — newspapers — need to be responsive to customers’ needs, but all businesses still need to be true to the core mission (which in most cases is making money.)

    When Facebook changed a while back from the old Facebook to the new, I hated the new version. I couldn’t find anything. It seemed confusing. Know what. I can’t even really remember what the old Facebook looked like.

    People will get used to the new Twitterish Facebook.

  117. I think what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. I do think businesses, such as the one I’m in — newspapers — need to be responsive to customers’ needs, but all businesses still need to be true to the core mission (which in most cases is making money.)

    When Facebook changed a while back from the old Facebook to the new, I hated the new version. I couldn’t find anything. It seemed confusing. Know what. I can’t even really remember what the old Facebook looked like.

    People will get used to the new Twitterish Facebook.

  118. People don’t watch the superbowl for ads; they watch to be ENTERTAINED by the ads. We like entertainment whatever form it may take, even if it’s an ad for a product we have no intention of buying.

    If I need a car, I’m perfectly capable of researching it myself and resent advertising targeted toward me, just like I resent the pushy guy that launches out of the dealership to tell me what I need if I ever try to look at a car. If I announced the upcoming birth of a child and was suddenly inundated with diaper ads, I’d be insulted. As if I’m incapable of looking down the diaper aisle and picking the least expensive that doesn’t cause heat rash.

    Advertising is irritating, but targeted advertising is irritating and invasive. It’s like that annoying car salesman following you to work, home, and the grocery store.

    If my friends prefer a certain product they’ll TELL me. It doesn’t take an intermediary with a server farm and the entire internet to accomplish this simple exchange.

    I currently try to ignore ads because the vast majority are for things I don’t want or can’t afford. Soon enough I guess they’ll be limited only to things I can’t afford. Wow, that’s much better.

  119. People don’t watch the superbowl for ads; they watch to be ENTERTAINED by the ads. We like entertainment whatever form it may take, even if it’s an ad for a product we have no intention of buying.

    If I need a car, I’m perfectly capable of researching it myself and resent advertising targeted toward me, just like I resent the pushy guy that launches out of the dealership to tell me what I need if I ever try to look at a car. If I announced the upcoming birth of a child and was suddenly inundated with diaper ads, I’d be insulted. As if I’m incapable of looking down the diaper aisle and picking the least expensive that doesn’t cause heat rash.

    Advertising is irritating, but targeted advertising is irritating and invasive. It’s like that annoying car salesman following you to work, home, and the grocery store.

    If my friends prefer a certain product they’ll TELL me. It doesn’t take an intermediary with a server farm and the entire internet to accomplish this simple exchange.

    I currently try to ignore ads because the vast majority are for things I don’t want or can’t afford. Soon enough I guess they’ll be limited only to things I can’t afford. Wow, that’s much better.

  120. All the people agreeing with scoble are crazy, stupid, and clueless.

    Scoble does have it right when he says the users do not have facebook’s best interest for its survival in mind. They want something for free. But tyranny always hurt people.

    I am a facebook member and used to be a user full time when facebook was closed and exclusive to me. The more it changed, the less i used it, the less i liked it. Zuckerberg is a genius but he should have been a bigger genius by creating another site, say ‘Faceworld’?, for the ‘all people’ group and linking friendships and social graph to facebook. This way he keeps facebook exclusive to the verified identity group and openly identifies the ‘all people’ group thru ‘Faceworld’ . Though today the site works the same way, it does not feel like it.

    Ignoring users is never a good thing. People are not complaining right now over change. They are complaining about little access of features they liked. Change should be subtle and this was big. Do you know how many companies would still be prospering had change been subtle? hotmail after ajax? yahoo after ajax?

  121. All the people agreeing with scoble are crazy, stupid, and clueless.

    Scoble does have it right when he says the users do not have facebook’s best interest for its survival in mind. They want something for free. But tyranny always hurt people.

    I am a facebook member and used to be a user full time when facebook was closed and exclusive to me. The more it changed, the less i used it, the less i liked it. Zuckerberg is a genius but he should have been a bigger genius by creating another site, say ‘Faceworld’?, for the ‘all people’ group and linking friendships and social graph to facebook. This way he keeps facebook exclusive to the verified identity group and openly identifies the ‘all people’ group thru ‘Faceworld’ . Though today the site works the same way, it does not feel like it.

    Ignoring users is never a good thing. People are not complaining right now over change. They are complaining about little access of features they liked. Change should be subtle and this was big. Do you know how many companies would still be prospering had change been subtle? hotmail after ajax? yahoo after ajax?

  122. Your post is rational and certainly shows us the future of facebook BUT what you are missing here is that manyl of us that protest about the new layout all that we want is the inclusion of more data in the News Feed. Data that is core to facebook like new friendships, photo tagging, event participation, group-page joining, photo comments etc ! All those can be included in the current News Feed without removing pages from the stream… I don’t have a problem with the new design or the inclusion of companies in it (I also run a Public Profile for my company and I like more virality)… my only problem is that in order to find social networking info like those mentioned above I have to check each individual profile!

    If they include again those info I am sure that many of those protesting will stop…

  123. I have to disagree. Social users made Facebook. If he’s trying to get rid of them, he’s succeeding. Those who stay are going to spend less time on FB and more on other sites. Look what happened to MySpace when it got to obnoxious? I never got there anymore. Click on the wrong profile, and your whole machine gets jammed by some idiot with 1,000 widgets on a bloated theme.

    Facebook WAS clean and usable. Now it’s just obnoxious. You get subscribed to things you can’t get unsubscribed from. All the “report” links are gone, and you literally have to dump friends to keep all the stuff you don’t want to see from them off of your home page.

    I liked notifications. You could pick and choose what you looked at. I’m going back to Twitter.

  124. Your post is rational and certainly shows us the future of facebook BUT what you are missing here is that manyl of us that protest about the new layout all that we want is the inclusion of more data in the News Feed. Data that is core to facebook like new friendships, photo tagging, event participation, group-page joining, photo comments etc ! All those can be included in the current News Feed without removing pages from the stream… I don’t have a problem with the new design or the inclusion of companies in it (I also run a Public Profile for my company and I like more virality)… my only problem is that in order to find social networking info like those mentioned above I have to check each individual profile!

    If they include again those info I am sure that many of those protesting will stop…

  125. I have to disagree. Social users made Facebook. If he’s trying to get rid of them, he’s succeeding. Those who stay are going to spend less time on FB and more on other sites. Look what happened to MySpace when it got to obnoxious? I never got there anymore. Click on the wrong profile, and your whole machine gets jammed by some idiot with 1,000 widgets on a bloated theme.

    Facebook WAS clean and usable. Now it’s just obnoxious. You get subscribed to things you can’t get unsubscribed from. All the “report” links are gone, and you literally have to dump friends to keep all the stuff you don’t want to see from them off of your home page.

    I liked notifications. You could pick and choose what you looked at. I’m going back to Twitter.

  126. Scobleizer, you’re absolutely right with everything you’re saying. With absolutely everything.

  127. Scobleizer, you’re absolutely right with everything you’re saying. With absolutely everything.

  128. Compelling idea:

    A “public” statement on fb also as inherent permission for companies to approach me as a prospective client. Never thought of fb in this way: as a pull-service…

  129. Compelling idea:

    A “public” statement on fb also as inherent permission for companies to approach me as a prospective client. Never thought of fb in this way: as a pull-service…

  130. I don’t mind change. What I object to is change being imposed without providing any guidance to users what the change means. Static pages with the “look” but not the “feel” one week ahead of the change are not useful. That’s arrogance. That’s why people are pissed off. And they took away useful user functionality. And then they have the stones to offer the “old’ design at a premium! It seems that they didn’t learn a dadgum thing from the TOS protests. There should be a way to do what they want to do, without UNNECESSARILY alienating the very people they need to continue to monetize this site in the future. But I guess arrogance (which this blog post appears to justify) is what we really need to be on the look out for from FB in the future.

  131. I don’t mind change. What I object to is change being imposed without providing any guidance to users what the change means. Static pages with the “look” but not the “feel” one week ahead of the change are not useful. That’s arrogance. That’s why people are pissed off. And they took away useful user functionality. And then they have the stones to offer the “old’ design at a premium! It seems that they didn’t learn a dadgum thing from the TOS protests. There should be a way to do what they want to do, without UNNECESSARILY alienating the very people they need to continue to monetize this site in the future. But I guess arrogance (which this blog post appears to justify) is what we really need to be on the look out for from FB in the future.

  132. Robert, you’re correct. Facebook is a tool with which we manage the relationships in our lives. Why should Facebook limit itself to simply helping us manage our personal relationships? It shouldn’t.

    Rather, Facebook should become the hub for all the relationships in our lives. Take a quick look at the VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) page over at Wikipedia).

    “VRM, or Vendor Relationship Management, is the reciprocal of CRM or Customer Relationship Management. VRM describes a set of tools, technologies and services that help individuals go to market and manage relationships with vendors. In turn, vendors who align themselves to these tools, technologies and services will have the opportunity to build better relationships with their customers.”

    Facebook should hire Doc Searles and his team to help build-out the VRM side of Facebook. the key point to remember is that each individual person on Facebook controls which vendors s/he wants to connect with inside of Facebook.

    The vendors pay Facebook for the opportunity to create a profile inside of Facebook. The fee paid by the vendor is variable depending on how many people opt-in to connect with that vendor (i.e. a penny per person per month 4PM).

    What’s currently missing from Facebook’s “vendor” profiles is the option of mass customizing each connection between real person and the vendor. For example, if I choose to connect to my local health club then I could have access to al the same information that I would normally have on my user profile on the health club’s website. Same for my relationships with frequent flyer programs, membership cards, credit cards, etc. I get to choose which are important enough to me to connect through Facebook.

    The last little missing piece would be for real people to display publicly those affiliations with vendors (i.e. brands, schools, clubs, media, etc.) on your profile. Kind of like iLike or My Stuff.

    If I were interested in video equipment I would check out your Facebook My Stuff and see which equipment you like enough to publicly display.

    Vendors get one-to-one connections to customers and also the opportunity to market themselves through individual level endorsements.

    Real people get a chance to better manage all the relationships in their lives and a chance to publicly express themselves.

    You do the math and you can quickly see that Facebook could easily monetize its users base to the tune of a couple billion dollars per year. The great thing is that the system is a double opt-in one where only people who wanted to participate would do so.

  133. Robert, you’re correct. Facebook is a tool with which we manage the relationships in our lives. Why should Facebook limit itself to simply helping us manage our personal relationships? It shouldn’t.

    Rather, Facebook should become the hub for all the relationships in our lives. Take a quick look at the VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) page over at Wikipedia).

    “VRM, or Vendor Relationship Management, is the reciprocal of CRM or Customer Relationship Management. VRM describes a set of tools, technologies and services that help individuals go to market and manage relationships with vendors. In turn, vendors who align themselves to these tools, technologies and services will have the opportunity to build better relationships with their customers.”

    Facebook should hire Doc Searles and his team to help build-out the VRM side of Facebook. the key point to remember is that each individual person on Facebook controls which vendors s/he wants to connect with inside of Facebook.

    The vendors pay Facebook for the opportunity to create a profile inside of Facebook. The fee paid by the vendor is variable depending on how many people opt-in to connect with that vendor (i.e. a penny per person per month 4PM).

    What’s currently missing from Facebook’s “vendor” profiles is the option of mass customizing each connection between real person and the vendor. For example, if I choose to connect to my local health club then I could have access to al the same information that I would normally have on my user profile on the health club’s website. Same for my relationships with frequent flyer programs, membership cards, credit cards, etc. I get to choose which are important enough to me to connect through Facebook.

    The last little missing piece would be for real people to display publicly those affiliations with vendors (i.e. brands, schools, clubs, media, etc.) on your profile. Kind of like iLike or My Stuff.

    If I were interested in video equipment I would check out your Facebook My Stuff and see which equipment you like enough to publicly display.

    Vendors get one-to-one connections to customers and also the opportunity to market themselves through individual level endorsements.

    Real people get a chance to better manage all the relationships in their lives and a chance to publicly express themselves.

    You do the math and you can quickly see that Facebook could easily monetize its users base to the tune of a couple billion dollars per year. The great thing is that the system is a double opt-in one where only people who wanted to participate would do so.

  134. What is interesting about Mark’s comments is that great companies think this way. Apple never listens to its customers. In fact, it prides itself on not listening. If you listen to your customers, you will never innovate and you will never be ahead of the curve. You will always tweak and fix minor things on what is top of customer mind that day, week or month.

    At Microsoft in the 1990′s, we had a mentality of never listening to our customers and building great products. Then SteveB came along and focused on “Quality is Job One” kind of crap that is father used at Ford. He focused on Customer Satisfaction numbers and began relying on data. All of a sudden, it became a game of incrementalism, not innovation.

    Gut instinct trumps the data. Having great innovators with a great gut is always better than people with spreadsheets, trend lines and usability studies.

    Everyone is complaining loudly about the Facebook design. Oh wait, everyone seems to be defines at 1% of the user base. Some very vocal minority. Who cares about them.

    Mark is right, go build great software with great iteration design and even UI design. People will understand it, use it, love it and continue on…

  135. What is interesting about Mark’s comments is that great companies think this way. Apple never listens to its customers. In fact, it prides itself on not listening. If you listen to your customers, you will never innovate and you will never be ahead of the curve. You will always tweak and fix minor things on what is top of customer mind that day, week or month.

    At Microsoft in the 1990′s, we had a mentality of never listening to our customers and building great products. Then SteveB came along and focused on “Quality is Job One” kind of crap that is father used at Ford. He focused on Customer Satisfaction numbers and began relying on data. All of a sudden, it became a game of incrementalism, not innovation.

    Gut instinct trumps the data. Having great innovators with a great gut is always better than people with spreadsheets, trend lines and usability studies.

    Everyone is complaining loudly about the Facebook design. Oh wait, everyone seems to be defines at 1% of the user base. Some very vocal minority. Who cares about them.

    Mark is right, go build great software with great iteration design and even UI design. People will understand it, use it, love it and continue on…

  136. Huge congrats to you and the missus! I bet the small business owners and designers on Cool Mom Picks would be thrilled to hook you up – including the awesome new double stroller we just featured this week.

    Say the word.

    And take good care of Maryam.

  137. Huge congrats to you and the missus! I bet the small business owners and designers on Cool Mom Picks would be thrilled to hook you up – including the awesome new double stroller we just featured this week.

    Say the word.

    And take good care of Maryam.

  138. Robert, child birth is an important time that brings with it all kinds of demands. This is true anywhere in the world. But your example of how twitter could have monetised your situation is only applicable in a super consumer-driven society. Exactly the kind of world we should be moving away from, in case we haven’t already understood the message from the financial crisis we’re wallowing in these days. (Note: Buying a double pram when the second child is born is such an American thing to do. Let me guess, you trash the first one?)

    As an online service that is an alternative thread of social connectivity between people, Zuckerberg can invest more resources into understanding the impact he’s having in societies far removed from his own. It’s not a Pepsi Cola era of globalisation anymore.

    The point of social networking searches is to scope opinions and find something common amongst people whom we are now learning to call friends. If Facebook’s design changes isolate millions of users who no longer feel comfortable doing this, that’s got to mean something.

    The world over, people come to facebook to streamline their social connections. Facebook is uniquely poised to tap into the nuances of social connections in the rest of the world. By all means, make money off that rather than competing with all the other advertising channels out there. Technology can serve causes far greater than consumerism!

  139. Robert, child birth is an important time that brings with it all kinds of demands. This is true anywhere in the world. But your example of how twitter could have monetised your situation is only applicable in a super consumer-driven society. Exactly the kind of world we should be moving away from, in case we haven’t already understood the message from the financial crisis we’re wallowing in these days. (Note: Buying a double pram when the second child is born is such an American thing to do. Let me guess, you trash the first one?)

    As an online service that is an alternative thread of social connectivity between people, Zuckerberg can invest more resources into understanding the impact he’s having in societies far removed from his own. It’s not a Pepsi Cola era of globalisation anymore.

    The point of social networking searches is to scope opinions and find something common amongst people whom we are now learning to call friends. If Facebook’s design changes isolate millions of users who no longer feel comfortable doing this, that’s got to mean something.

    The world over, people come to facebook to streamline their social connections. Facebook is uniquely poised to tap into the nuances of social connections in the rest of the world. By all means, make money off that rather than competing with all the other advertising channels out there. Technology can serve causes far greater than consumerism!

  140. Though I find your analysis thoughtful and quite possibly dead-on, I do thing your statement, “Zuckerberg is a real leader because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks” encourages bad leadership behavoir.

  141. Though I find your analysis thoughtful and quite possibly dead-on, I do thing your statement, “Zuckerberg is a real leader because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks” encourages bad leadership behavoir.

  142. I do not mind the new facebook, I do not go there often. I use the twitter app to update my status and mainly use facebook with my cell.

  143. I do not mind the new facebook, I do not go there often. I use the twitter app to update my status and mainly use facebook with my cell.

  144. Great post,
    I agree with most of the things you mentioned here, but I also agree with @paul over here – Facebook is a phase, it will pass soon…

  145. Great post,
    I agree with most of the things you mentioned here, but I also agree with @paul over here – Facebook is a phase, it will pass soon…

  146. Ok, fine. My wants for facebook, including the ability to sift the important stuff from the endless auto-generated crap in the stream, may not agree with their business strategy, but it is pretty fundamental to user experience. I see their refusal to listen as the extreme arrogance of a monopoly.

  147. Ok, fine. My wants for facebook, including the ability to sift the important stuff from the endless auto-generated crap in the stream, may not agree with their business strategy, but it is pretty fundamental to user experience. I see their refusal to listen as the extreme arrogance of a monopoly.

  148. Jim Fawcette was obviously talking to a bunch of Cadillac-loving losers who happened to also own a Porsche. :-)

  149. Jim Fawcette was obviously talking to a bunch of Cadillac-loving losers who happened to also own a Porsche. :-)

  150. Robert,

    Great article and totally dead on.

    As for advertising, I would only adjust it to say, that I do not like advertising, but if a system can tell me about a product or service that is relevant to me AND some of my friends recommend it, then it’s NOT advertising.

  151. Robert,

    Great article and totally dead on.

    As for advertising, I would only adjust it to say, that I do not like advertising, but if a system can tell me about a product or service that is relevant to me AND some of my friends recommend it, then it’s NOT advertising.

  152. “My former boss, Jim Fawcette, used to say that if you asked a group of Porsche owners what they wanted they’d tell you things like “smoother ride, more trunk space, more leg room, etc.” He’d then say “well, they just designed a Volvo.””

    Nice quote. But he didn’t say it. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns340/ns339/ns638/ns914/pdf/TWTV31_Transcript.pdf (and you were on that panel and heard Owyang say it!). I rather doubt Owyang came up with that, either, because a variation of it is used in just about every market research or product design class taught in business school. That said, it is relevant to the Facebook issue. Similarly, when the new Bangle designed BMW’s came out in 99-00, current BMW owners hated it. Alas, almost 10 years later BMW is still selling cars.

    “Will: I disagree. I know a LOT of people who enjoy being marketed to. Here’s a hint: they love going to the mall.”

    Okay, there for a while you were fooling me into thinking you knew what you were talking about, until I read the above quote. Lemme guess..never studied advertising or marketing? Never have done an actual market research study and analyzed the data? First, the fact that people “like going to the mall” has absolutely NO relation to whether like or don’t like being marketed to. So, I guess in your Bizzarro world, people that don’t like being marketed to don’t go shopping? Or people that don’t go to the mall don’t like being marketed to? Finally, that fact that you may “know a lot of people” that “like to do ‘x’” is not something from which you, or anyone, should draw quantitative conclusions from. You do understand what anecdotal data is, right?

    “You are exactly right that if I see a car ad a week after I buy a car that it’ll be unwanted and that’ll be bad.”

    Once again you show you have absolutely NO IDEA what you are talking about when it comes to advertising. You do realize advertising is used to do more than to get you to make a purchase, right? (obviously not). Research (and not the “all my friends” or the “I know a lot of people” type research) shows that people like seeing ads for products that HAVE purchased, because it positively reinforces their purchasing decision, increasing the likelyhood of making a future purchase of the same product or brand. Advertising is as much (if not more) about branding than it is trying to get you to buy something you don’t already own.

  153. “My former boss, Jim Fawcette, used to say that if you asked a group of Porsche owners what they wanted they’d tell you things like “smoother ride, more trunk space, more leg room, etc.” He’d then say “well, they just designed a Volvo.””

    Nice quote. But he didn’t say it. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns340/ns339/ns638/ns914/pdf/TWTV31_Transcript.pdf (and you were on that panel and heard Owyang say it!). I rather doubt Owyang came up with that, either, because a variation of it is used in just about every market research or product design class taught in business school. That said, it is relevant to the Facebook issue. Similarly, when the new Bangle designed BMW’s came out in 99-00, current BMW owners hated it. Alas, almost 10 years later BMW is still selling cars.

    “Will: I disagree. I know a LOT of people who enjoy being marketed to. Here’s a hint: they love going to the mall.”

    Okay, there for a while you were fooling me into thinking you knew what you were talking about, until I read the above quote. Lemme guess..never studied advertising or marketing? Never have done an actual market research study and analyzed the data? First, the fact that people “like going to the mall” has absolutely NO relation to whether like or don’t like being marketed to. So, I guess in your Bizzarro world, people that don’t like being marketed to don’t go shopping? Or people that don’t go to the mall don’t like being marketed to? Finally, that fact that you may “know a lot of people” that “like to do ‘x’” is not something from which you, or anyone, should draw quantitative conclusions from. You do understand what anecdotal data is, right?

    “You are exactly right that if I see a car ad a week after I buy a car that it’ll be unwanted and that’ll be bad.”

    Once again you show you have absolutely NO IDEA what you are talking about when it comes to advertising. You do realize advertising is used to do more than to get you to make a purchase, right? (obviously not). Research (and not the “all my friends” or the “I know a lot of people” type research) shows that people like seeing ads for products that HAVE purchased, because it positively reinforces their purchasing decision, increasing the likelyhood of making a future purchase of the same product or brand. Advertising is as much (if not more) about branding than it is trying to get you to buy something you don’t already own.

  154. “Using your car example, Honda would be foolish to advertise to me, because they’re already at the top of my list due to personal experiences & recommendations. So those with most to gain from advertising to me are other car companies (typically seems like Kia.) But they would need to spend hundreds in advertising to convince me to consider them. Therefore I’ll see 100x more Kia ads than Honda ads, unless my view of the two companies is rare. And so, the ads I end up seeing will be considered spam.”

    BZZZZZ! Wrong!!! Actually Honda would be foolish to NOT continue to advertise to you. Whether you may actively perceive this or not, you actually like seeing ads for Honda’s, because it makes you feel better about your purchase. At some point in the future you are going to be making another car purchase. The LAST thing Honda wants is for you to be seeing more ads for Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, etc., than Honda. Sure, you are not going to buy a Honda tomorrow, but Honda wants to make sure their brand is top of mind for you. As you get closer to your next car purchase, and in that time frame saw fewer and fewer Honda ads, subconsciously you will start to think…”Hmmm…I hardly see ads for Honda anymore. But these Kia’s and Hyndaui’s? I see them all over. That car must be really popular, etc.”

    Again, advertising is about more than getting a consumer to make an immediate purchase. A LOT more.

  155. “Using your car example, Honda would be foolish to advertise to me, because they’re already at the top of my list due to personal experiences & recommendations. So those with most to gain from advertising to me are other car companies (typically seems like Kia.) But they would need to spend hundreds in advertising to convince me to consider them. Therefore I’ll see 100x more Kia ads than Honda ads, unless my view of the two companies is rare. And so, the ads I end up seeing will be considered spam.”

    BZZZZZ! Wrong!!! Actually Honda would be foolish to NOT continue to advertise to you. Whether you may actively perceive this or not, you actually like seeing ads for Honda’s, because it makes you feel better about your purchase. At some point in the future you are going to be making another car purchase. The LAST thing Honda wants is for you to be seeing more ads for Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, etc., than Honda. Sure, you are not going to buy a Honda tomorrow, but Honda wants to make sure their brand is top of mind for you. As you get closer to your next car purchase, and in that time frame saw fewer and fewer Honda ads, subconsciously you will start to think…”Hmmm…I hardly see ads for Honda anymore. But these Kia’s and Hyndaui’s? I see them all over. That car must be really popular, etc.”

    Again, advertising is about more than getting a consumer to make an immediate purchase. A LOT more.

  156. Wow. I haven’t seen you write anything of value in quite a while. Welcome back.

    You’re right, of course about Facebook. However it’s a dangerous lesson for most. Not everyone is a visionary like Zuckerberg. You can get it seriously wrong if you think you know more about what your customers need than they do.

  157. Wow. I haven’t seen you write anything of value in quite a while. Welcome back.

    You’re right, of course about Facebook. However it’s a dangerous lesson for most. Not everyone is a visionary like Zuckerberg. You can get it seriously wrong if you think you know more about what your customers need than they do.

  158. Congratulations on the new baby, and thanks for the interesting post.

    Facebook was also excited about its applications and ad platform – are they making any money for them?

    We share things on Facebook out of pure joy to strengthen our relationships. We are not really looking for any solutions. I want to buy things but do not want to be sold. When friends suggest things, it involves the possibility of ignoring the suggestion by the friends – that involves rejections – not good for relationships.

  159. Congratulations on the new baby, and thanks for the interesting post.

    Facebook was also excited about its applications and ad platform – are they making any money for them?

    We share things on Facebook out of pure joy to strengthen our relationships. We are not really looking for any solutions. I want to buy things but do not want to be sold. When friends suggest things, it involves the possibility of ignoring the suggestion by the friends – that involves rejections – not good for relationships.

  160. I wish you had better data about how many people are actually still using Facebook, other than using the fact that your wife is still there.

    I can tell by looking at my feed that fewer friends are getting on and posting any kind of activity. I used to have to check multiple times a day in order to “see everything” my friends were doing. (IOW, I could check every few hours and not have repeated information in my live feed.) Now, if I check more than once or twice a day, the same information is in my feed. That is a fairly obvious to me, that at least my friends are less active on Facebook.

    I understand change. I really do. I think businesses should always be growing and changing. The biggest difference here from what I like to see companies do is that Facebook just took away a lot of functionality from its users. They took away the things that two weeks ago they were talking up on Oprah as the best thing about FB: the ability to connect with people. It’s extremely difficult to connect with other PEOPLE now.

    And the answer is not just using the feed filters on the side because the feed filters are lacking. You can’t see just status updates. You can’t see just notes. The only feed filter I see that is useful is photos. (unless those other features are so hidden I can’t find them)

    Granted, there is a friend list filter, which might be useful for new users. Maybe they will grow their friend group lists as they add friends. But for people who have been using Facebook for 1 – 2 years and have hundreds of friends, it’s not reasonable to go back and spend a lot of time grouping friends to control the feed. I think I’d rather spend that time looking for the next Facebook to enjoy.

  161. I wish you had better data about how many people are actually still using Facebook, other than using the fact that your wife is still there.

    I can tell by looking at my feed that fewer friends are getting on and posting any kind of activity. I used to have to check multiple times a day in order to “see everything” my friends were doing. (IOW, I could check every few hours and not have repeated information in my live feed.) Now, if I check more than once or twice a day, the same information is in my feed. That is a fairly obvious to me, that at least my friends are less active on Facebook.

    I understand change. I really do. I think businesses should always be growing and changing. The biggest difference here from what I like to see companies do is that Facebook just took away a lot of functionality from its users. They took away the things that two weeks ago they were talking up on Oprah as the best thing about FB: the ability to connect with people. It’s extremely difficult to connect with other PEOPLE now.

    And the answer is not just using the feed filters on the side because the feed filters are lacking. You can’t see just status updates. You can’t see just notes. The only feed filter I see that is useful is photos. (unless those other features are so hidden I can’t find them)

    Granted, there is a friend list filter, which might be useful for new users. Maybe they will grow their friend group lists as they add friends. But for people who have been using Facebook for 1 – 2 years and have hundreds of friends, it’s not reasonable to go back and spend a lot of time grouping friends to control the feed. I think I’d rather spend that time looking for the next Facebook to enjoy.

  162. [...] Mientras algunos analistas critican la ceguera y sordera de Zuckerberg y compañía, otros como Robert Scoble alaban su capacidad para evolucionar un producto sin contar con el apoyo de los [...]

  163. Robert: Great post! I for one do not like the new FB layout. However, as the Director of Training for a billion dollar company, I encounter both internal and external customers who don’t always agree with what we are doing or where we are heading. That does not mean we run out and change everything in our business model or product line-up to appease them.

    The point is that the guy behind the vision (Zuckerberg) knows where he is going. We can alwasy voice opinions, but it is up to him and his team to decide whether that input helps of detracts from their vision of the future. Just because there are masses who don’t like the current changes at FB, does not make them right. We have seen mass support for concepts, products, and ideologies over the last 100 years that proved to be tragic.

    Regarding the new FB layout, each one of us can choose whether to adapt or change. That is the nature of a free enterprise global marketplace.

  164. Robert: Great post! I for one do not like the new FB layout. However, as the Director of Training for a billion dollar company, I encounter both internal and external customers who don’t always agree with what we are doing or where we are heading. That does not mean we run out and change everything in our business model or product line-up to appease them.

    The point is that the guy behind the vision (Zuckerberg) knows where he is going. We can alwasy voice opinions, but it is up to him and his team to decide whether that input helps of detracts from their vision of the future. Just because there are masses who don’t like the current changes at FB, does not make them right. We have seen mass support for concepts, products, and ideologies over the last 100 years that proved to be tragic.

    Regarding the new FB layout, each one of us can choose whether to adapt or change. That is the nature of a free enterprise global marketplace.

  165. This sounds more or less like what the Amazon personalization (“People who have bought X also bought …”), recommendations etc. were the initial steps towards, which began years ago. The use of data to target marketing messages and so on.

    While I think all this is inevitable and even desirable (your sushi example sounds like the logical extension of an iPhone app like urbanspoon), my concern would be the privacy issues around all of this. With the growth of Facebook & Twitter and the further integration with businesses, I can see where there could be a few tussles over privacy. (They’re happening already, actually.) Due to sheer size, penetration … ubiquitous use of a Facebook, might that lead to some sort of legal/legislated decision about Facebook, such as considering it a public utility? I dunno. Just wondering.

  166. This sounds more or less like what the Amazon personalization (“People who have bought X also bought …”), recommendations etc. were the initial steps towards, which began years ago. The use of data to target marketing messages and so on.

    While I think all this is inevitable and even desirable (your sushi example sounds like the logical extension of an iPhone app like urbanspoon), my concern would be the privacy issues around all of this. With the growth of Facebook & Twitter and the further integration with businesses, I can see where there could be a few tussles over privacy. (They’re happening already, actually.) Due to sheer size, penetration … ubiquitous use of a Facebook, might that lead to some sort of legal/legislated decision about Facebook, such as considering it a public utility? I dunno. Just wondering.

  167. this essay misses the point of our protest. it has nothing to do with all of the wonderful people/business/object networking possibilities so well cited here.
    that’s all well and good and, yes, inevitable. the problem is that in shifting toward the “realtime everything broadcast” model they have unnecessarily removed lots of functionality that many many people were thriving on. so many preferential options have been removed that it now feels more like force-feeding and less like a personal kiosk. the empowerment you cite may exist in some theoretical future situations (restaurant searching in palo alto) but meanwhile a huge amount of functionality and empowerment has been removed or buried under a landslide of massive triviality and disposable nonsense.

    people may not be leaving, but i know plenty of folks who are trimming their friend lists down to true personal friends. it used to be fun and useful to have a kiosk visible to a large extended network. now it’s a burden to be inundated by every superpoke and hiccup from relative strangers. i fail to see the genius in this move.

  168. this essay misses the point of our protest. it has nothing to do with all of the wonderful people/business/object networking possibilities so well cited here.
    that’s all well and good and, yes, inevitable. the problem is that in shifting toward the “realtime everything broadcast” model they have unnecessarily removed lots of functionality that many many people were thriving on. so many preferential options have been removed that it now feels more like force-feeding and less like a personal kiosk. the empowerment you cite may exist in some theoretical future situations (restaurant searching in palo alto) but meanwhile a huge amount of functionality and empowerment has been removed or buried under a landslide of massive triviality and disposable nonsense.

    people may not be leaving, but i know plenty of folks who are trimming their friend lists down to true personal friends. it used to be fun and useful to have a kiosk visible to a large extended network. now it’s a burden to be inundated by every superpoke and hiccup from relative strangers. i fail to see the genius in this move.

  169. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook (as has been documented). The very “future” of FB that you describe right now is already being provided to me by Yelp. I love Yelp. And one reason I love Yelp is that I don’t get slammed by marketers and advertisers. I just get the specific information I need. I used it very successfully this week to find a ski rental outfit that was close to my house and reasonable! And I knew immediately how well my friends “liked” it.

    I always appreciate your enthusiasm, Robert. Always. I do think FB has staying power and a future. I am unsure I am quite as enthusiastic about it’s all encompassing future as you, though. I also know that the noise the past two weeks over the changes is just that, noise. People HATE change. The larger your online social community, the noisier it will be when you institute changes to THEIR playground.

    Just how this particular playground will actually be of more service to me than as an illustrated news feed of my friends and family, I am unconvinced. But I’m willing to stick around to see.

    More importantly, congratulations to you and Maryam. Babies are always worth celebrating and getting excited about!!

  170. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook (as has been documented). The very “future” of FB that you describe right now is already being provided to me by Yelp. I love Yelp. And one reason I love Yelp is that I don’t get slammed by marketers and advertisers. I just get the specific information I need. I used it very successfully this week to find a ski rental outfit that was close to my house and reasonable! And I knew immediately how well my friends “liked” it.

    I always appreciate your enthusiasm, Robert. Always. I do think FB has staying power and a future. I am unsure I am quite as enthusiastic about it’s all encompassing future as you, though. I also know that the noise the past two weeks over the changes is just that, noise. People HATE change. The larger your online social community, the noisier it will be when you institute changes to THEIR playground.

    Just how this particular playground will actually be of more service to me than as an illustrated news feed of my friends and family, I am unconvinced. But I’m willing to stick around to see.

    More importantly, congratulations to you and Maryam. Babies are always worth celebrating and getting excited about!!

  171. where’s the geek to create ‘Peoplebook’ and give the PEOPLE what they want – is it you?

  172. where’s the geek to create ‘Peoplebook’ and give the PEOPLE what they want – is it you?

  173. [...] Before we get deeper into this, remember that Facebook has always pissed off its users. First, you’ve gotta realize that in Facebook’s life it will go through at least seven phases. We are moving from phase four to phase five right now. In each phase change people have gotten pissed off.[From Scobleizer: Technology, innovation, and geek enthusiasm » Blog Archive Why Facebook has never liste...] [...]

  174. Robert, I think you’re confusing folks’ craving for “information about products” with an interest in marketing and advertising.

    As a consumer in the Internet age I don’t need marketing at all. I can use the Web to look up an compare specifications, prices, and reviews from trusted sources. I couldn’t care less what the manufacturer has to say about why they think I should like a product.

    Far more people go out of their way to avoid advertising than to seek it, illustrated by the rise of DVRs, the death of newspapers, and the implementation of no call lists and anti-junk mail campaigns.

    Advertisers are scrambling to make up the deficit in revenue by seeking Web 2.0 outlets. But I believe the age of advertising is dead, and business who base their revenue model upon it should be wary of the plight of newspapers and network TV. Facebook may make billions still on ads, but customers will seek ways to shun them.

    Ps: people watch superbowl ads because they’re entertaining, and visit malls to socialize. We tolerate the marketing in both experiences.

  175. Robert, I think you’re confusing folks’ craving for “information about products” with an interest in marketing and advertising.

    As a consumer in the Internet age I don’t need marketing at all. I can use the Web to look up an compare specifications, prices, and reviews from trusted sources. I couldn’t care less what the manufacturer has to say about why they think I should like a product.

    Far more people go out of their way to avoid advertising than to seek it, illustrated by the rise of DVRs, the death of newspapers, and the implementation of no call lists and anti-junk mail campaigns.

    Advertisers are scrambling to make up the deficit in revenue by seeking Web 2.0 outlets. But I believe the age of advertising is dead, and business who base their revenue model upon it should be wary of the plight of newspapers and network TV. Facebook may make billions still on ads, but customers will seek ways to shun them.

    Ps: people watch superbowl ads because they’re entertaining, and visit malls to socialize. We tolerate the marketing in both experiences.

  176. “Oh, wait, they aren’t leaving! How do I know that?”

    “Because my wife Maryam is totally addicted to Facebook.”

    Well, that settles it then. We have to listen to you based on this compelling anecdotal evidence. Thanks a lot for that. I’m going to go back to watching the old Jim Cramer shows I Tivo’d and maybe see if I can get me some more stock in some of those company’s he’s recommending.

  177. “Oh, wait, they aren’t leaving! How do I know that?”

    “Because my wife Maryam is totally addicted to Facebook.”

    Well, that settles it then. We have to listen to you based on this compelling anecdotal evidence. Thanks a lot for that. I’m going to go back to watching the old Jim Cramer shows I Tivo’d and maybe see if I can get me some more stock in some of those company’s he’s recommending.

  178. The common thread I read in all of the replies and to the original post is that FB is all about relationships. And that means human relationships. People that advertise without understanding their tribe = low quality spammy relationships. People on FB to connect with people from high school that still party til dawn = interesting, check out what we’re doing now relationships. People on FB to build their business and have nothing to do with friends from the past of current = looking to build relationships.

    FB is a tool that connects us as humans. It’s a tool. That I, the user, choose how to use for my relationships. Take it for what it is, use it with the intent you have.

    If something pisses me off, I click the x button. If someone approaches me to be a friend I have never met before, I ignore them – that’s not why I put my profile on FB.

    The blessing of FB that Mr. Z is keeping in mind, is that while he’s growing his business, he’s aware that FB is about me being able to click the x button and that businesses still can advertise to me, their exact tribe market. Like threading a needle, or pulling a plastic bone out of the body in Operation, it’s a fine line to walk. Tip too far one way and he hits the buzzer and makes the nose light up red. Game over.

    As a business owner, I LOVE the clear and easy way FB offers me the ability to place and incredibly targeted ad to the tribe of people I wish to reach. When I get an ad that is completely antithetical to my personal views or needs, it’s because I didn’t put in my religious views, or my political views and the businesses are marketing to the widest audience. I didn’t define my tribe. And, the company said, “let’s throw some seed and see what sticks,” to the biggest group possible – aka shotgun marketing. (We all know this doesn’t work too well.) If Robert isn’t getting car ads, then those companies aren’t actively advertising to his tribe in the FB medium – that means they are unaware of how to communicate, with you Robert, in the way you need to hear it. It means that the big clunky businesses aren’t as nimble as some of us that see the potential in using a tool like FB to advertise. Give it about 6 months to a year when the big old companies get the hint, hire a 20 year old and move into FB. Then you’ll get a car ad from them.

    BTW: thanks for the post. congratulations. good luck on finding a car, insurance, shoes, etc.

  179. The common thread I read in all of the replies and to the original post is that FB is all about relationships. And that means human relationships. People that advertise without understanding their tribe = low quality spammy relationships. People on FB to connect with people from high school that still party til dawn = interesting, check out what we’re doing now relationships. People on FB to build their business and have nothing to do with friends from the past of current = looking to build relationships.

    FB is a tool that connects us as humans. It’s a tool. That I, the user, choose how to use for my relationships. Take it for what it is, use it with the intent you have.

    If something pisses me off, I click the x button. If someone approaches me to be a friend I have never met before, I ignore them – that’s not why I put my profile on FB.

    The blessing of FB that Mr. Z is keeping in mind, is that while he’s growing his business, he’s aware that FB is about me being able to click the x button and that businesses still can advertise to me, their exact tribe market. Like threading a needle, or pulling a plastic bone out of the body in Operation, it’s a fine line to walk. Tip too far one way and he hits the buzzer and makes the nose light up red. Game over.

    As a business owner, I LOVE the clear and easy way FB offers me the ability to place and incredibly targeted ad to the tribe of people I wish to reach. When I get an ad that is completely antithetical to my personal views or needs, it’s because I didn’t put in my religious views, or my political views and the businesses are marketing to the widest audience. I didn’t define my tribe. And, the company said, “let’s throw some seed and see what sticks,” to the biggest group possible – aka shotgun marketing. (We all know this doesn’t work too well.) If Robert isn’t getting car ads, then those companies aren’t actively advertising to his tribe in the FB medium – that means they are unaware of how to communicate, with you Robert, in the way you need to hear it. It means that the big clunky businesses aren’t as nimble as some of us that see the potential in using a tool like FB to advertise. Give it about 6 months to a year when the big old companies get the hint, hire a 20 year old and move into FB. Then you’ll get a car ad from them.

    BTW: thanks for the post. congratulations. good luck on finding a car, insurance, shoes, etc.

  180. I think the new design is the way to go. People can be afraid of change. There are many conservative people in our world that want everything to stay the same. But the world won’t let things remain in a static limbo. Existence is constantly shifting, moving forward, and evolving.

    We mustn’t let the many get in the way of the few. We mustn’t let ourselves slow down.

  181. I think the new design is the way to go. People can be afraid of change. There are many conservative people in our world that want everything to stay the same. But the world won’t let things remain in a static limbo. Existence is constantly shifting, moving forward, and evolving.

    We mustn’t let the many get in the way of the few. We mustn’t let ourselves slow down.

  182. >>Oh, wait, they aren’t leaving! How do I know that?
    >> Because my wife Maryam is totally addicted to Facebook.

    Geez, how pathetic is this Robert. I am glad you provided us with such great empirical evidence!! As usually, you’re just as clueless on things as when you worked here at MSFT. And you’re still doing your typical ass-kissing up to folks like Mr. Zuckerberg.

  183. >>Oh, wait, they aren’t leaving! How do I know that?
    >> Because my wife Maryam is totally addicted to Facebook.

    Geez, how pathetic is this Robert. I am glad you provided us with such great empirical evidence!! As usually, you’re just as clueless on things as when you worked here at MSFT. And you’re still doing your typical ass-kissing up to folks like Mr. Zuckerberg.

  184. Redesigns have typically always been met with derision and this won’t change any time in the future.

    However, an undercurrent to the ‘WAH, I HATE IT, CHANGE IT BACK!” roar are some very intelligent people who have taken the time to examine and use the interface and make some very valid usability suggestions. I, and most Web super-users, will never be so entrenched in “this is how we do it” to think that “this is how it always should be done,” that we don’t accept change.

    But, by virtue of what we do — and there are untold numbers of us — there is valid feedback that Zuckerberg would be smart to at least take a peek at. Certain parts of the navigation are confusing and key features of the site are difficult to find. There are some style choices that make it difficult to parse what is a status or a comment on a link or a wall post. These aren’t “I DON’T LIKE IT, U SUCK” rants, but somewhat informed opinions.

    Last redesign there was a transition period with the opportunity to offer feedback. I have to hope that at least 5% of what they got was of value to them — changes to the site certainly reflected a refinement process before the permanent switch. I find myself wondering why this couldn’t be done again.

  185. A. Visicalc would never been made if the designers listened to users.

    B. Altavista’s CEO Rod Schrock listened to the users who were outraged by ads in the search results and cancelled that. That was one of the biggest mistakes ever.

    So yes, if you are a visionary then you can ignore your users’ opinions but you better know what you are doing!!!

  186. Redesigns have typically always been met with derision and this won’t change any time in the future.

    However, an undercurrent to the ‘WAH, I HATE IT, CHANGE IT BACK!” roar are some very intelligent people who have taken the time to examine and use the interface and make some very valid usability suggestions. I, and most Web super-users, will never be so entrenched in “this is how we do it” to think that “this is how it always should be done,” that we don’t accept change.

    But, by virtue of what we do — and there are untold numbers of us — there is valid feedback that Zuckerberg would be smart to at least take a peek at. Certain parts of the navigation are confusing and key features of the site are difficult to find. There are some style choices that make it difficult to parse what is a status or a comment on a link or a wall post. These aren’t “I DON’T LIKE IT, U SUCK” rants, but somewhat informed opinions.

    Last redesign there was a transition period with the opportunity to offer feedback. I have to hope that at least 5% of what they got was of value to them — changes to the site certainly reflected a refinement process before the permanent switch. I find myself wondering why this couldn’t be done again.

  187. A. Visicalc would never been made if the designers listened to users.

    B. Altavista’s CEO Rod Schrock listened to the users who were outraged by ads in the search results and cancelled that. That was one of the biggest mistakes ever.

    So yes, if you are a visionary then you can ignore your users’ opinions but you better know what you are doing!!!

  188. An aside to Dave Natriss:

    “Jamie, just filter the ‘noise’ out if you don’t like it – is it really so hard to choose a filter from the left of the page?! ”

    The filters are — or would be — useful, if a) all the filter possibilities are there. For example, a user cannot use a filter to just see status updates.

    You can only modify the filter with the choices that FB stacks in the expanded mode. My experience, and that of my friends, is that the choices often feature applications what the user hasn’t even added.

    Finally, Facebook removed the option to customize your news feed to choosing to see “more” of one type of content — say, photos — or less of another — particularly applications.

    In these ways and in others it has reduced its user-friendliness.

    As Robert says, perhaps user-friendliness is no longer part of the business model. While that may be the evolution of of a site’s “life,” the fact that Facebook has always pissed off its users does not mean that the users will continue to stay in an abusive relationship. Perhaps attrition will take a while, but that and new Internet “toys” will erode its audience. And, when the users leave, the businesses and “well known objects” will follow them.

  189. An aside to Dave Natriss:

    “Jamie, just filter the ‘noise’ out if you don’t like it – is it really so hard to choose a filter from the left of the page?! ”

    The filters are — or would be — useful, if a) all the filter possibilities are there. For example, a user cannot use a filter to just see status updates.

    You can only modify the filter with the choices that FB stacks in the expanded mode. My experience, and that of my friends, is that the choices often feature applications what the user hasn’t even added.

    Finally, Facebook removed the option to customize your news feed to choosing to see “more” of one type of content — say, photos — or less of another — particularly applications.

    In these ways and in others it has reduced its user-friendliness.

    As Robert says, perhaps user-friendliness is no longer part of the business model. While that may be the evolution of of a site’s “life,” the fact that Facebook has always pissed off its users does not mean that the users will continue to stay in an abusive relationship. Perhaps attrition will take a while, but that and new Internet “toys” will erode its audience. And, when the users leave, the businesses and “well known objects” will follow them.

  190. Robert,

    I think you’re giving entirely too much credit to Facebook. This has almost nothing to do with listening or not listening “to the masses” and everything to do with Facebook scrambling to create an environment that’s more friendly to marketers while simultaneously trying to out-Twitter Twitter.

    Ever since Twitter spurned their takeover offer they’ve been throwing everything over the walls of the castle in an attempt to fend off a perceived attack on their user base. They should just stop it already, the two can coexist and compliment each other.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook is great for what it’s primary value proposition is all about – providing an environment for me to maintain closer relationships with people & organizations that I care about. If Facebook forgets this they risk the very real possibility that another platform that better addresses this primary value proposition will rise from nowhere and render them the new Friendster – and it won’t be Twitter. But it will be a service that sits on top of and/or utilizes Twitter.

    Facebook is fitting the wrong battle here.

    BTW, congrats on the new addition to your family!

  191. Beautiful article. You’re old boss was an a-hole, just like Zuckerberg is becoming.

    The last facebook change people whined about the way it looked, and it seemed like a needless change.

    People are complaining about functionality this time. It is NOT intuitive. Where are my groups, where are the pokes, where are my events? Where are all of the functions that I incorporated into my user experience last month.

    He’s chasing Twitter just like Myspace began chasing Facebook, but he’s forgetting what people actually use the site for.

    Customer’s aren’t always right, but the companies who listen to them stay around a lot longer than the companies that don’t.

  192. Robert,

    I think you’re giving entirely too much credit to Facebook. This has almost nothing to do with listening or not listening “to the masses” and everything to do with Facebook scrambling to create an environment that’s more friendly to marketers while simultaneously trying to out-Twitter Twitter.

    Ever since Twitter spurned their takeover offer they’ve been throwing everything over the walls of the castle in an attempt to fend off a perceived attack on their user base. They should just stop it already, the two can coexist and compliment each other.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook is great for what it’s primary value proposition is all about – providing an environment for me to maintain closer relationships with people & organizations that I care about. If Facebook forgets this they risk the very real possibility that another platform that better addresses this primary value proposition will rise from nowhere and render them the new Friendster – and it won’t be Twitter. But it will be a service that sits on top of and/or utilizes Twitter.

    Facebook is fitting the wrong battle here.

    BTW, congrats on the new addition to your family!

  193. Beautiful article. You’re old boss was an a-hole, just like Zuckerberg is becoming.

    The last facebook change people whined about the way it looked, and it seemed like a needless change.

    People are complaining about functionality this time. It is NOT intuitive. Where are my groups, where are the pokes, where are my events? Where are all of the functions that I incorporated into my user experience last month.

    He’s chasing Twitter just like Myspace began chasing Facebook, but he’s forgetting what people actually use the site for.

    Customer’s aren’t always right, but the companies who listen to them stay around a lot longer than the companies that don’t.

  194. BTW, obviously should be “Facebook is FIGHTING the wrong battle here.” in my post. Thanks in advance for the edit if at all possible Robert!

  195. BTW, obviously should be “Facebook is FIGHTING the wrong battle here.” in my post. Thanks in advance for the edit if at all possible Robert!

  196. Agreed with the Sushi example. Point well taken and it makes sense.
    But I woke up yesterday morning, and my homepage was completely covered with quiz results taken by my friends, ranging from “What animal are you?” or “what is your true age?” or “When are you going to die?”
    Now tell me, not giving a user an option to disable these idiotic spammy messages is what is driving me crazy. I have no control over the feeds I want to receive. I can’t disable recieving quiz notifications….i have to completely take the person off my friends list or mute him for ever to get away from the annoyances.
    True, no one prolly knows how to run a company better than Zuckerberg…but for all you know, Zuckerberg must prolly be on facebook for just 2 mins in a day. So he really should start thinking about what people want.

    To sum up what I am saying…i quote my friend oon his status.

    “This is an open warning….if anyone takes any more frikkin quizzes….he/she is off my list….and I mean it….HOW do i make this stop? Gack!”

  197. Agreed with the Sushi example. Point well taken and it makes sense.
    But I woke up yesterday morning, and my homepage was completely covered with quiz results taken by my friends, ranging from “What animal are you?” or “what is your true age?” or “When are you going to die?”
    Now tell me, not giving a user an option to disable these idiotic spammy messages is what is driving me crazy. I have no control over the feeds I want to receive. I can’t disable recieving quiz notifications….i have to completely take the person off my friends list or mute him for ever to get away from the annoyances.
    True, no one prolly knows how to run a company better than Zuckerberg…but for all you know, Zuckerberg must prolly be on facebook for just 2 mins in a day. So he really should start thinking about what people want.

    To sum up what I am saying…i quote my friend oon his status.

    “This is an open warning….if anyone takes any more frikkin quizzes….he/she is off my list….and I mean it….HOW do i make this stop? Gack!”

  198. FB users _hated_ the news feed when it was introduced. They hated the beta layout that eventually went live. And now the same users are complaining about a minor change to the way the news feed operates.

    They’ll get over it after they see how awesome it is.

  199. FB users _hated_ the news feed when it was introduced. They hated the beta layout that eventually went live. And now the same users are complaining about a minor change to the way the news feed operates.

    They’ll get over it after they see how awesome it is.

  200. Robert advertising is indeed spam which is why I have a DVR that allows me to skip over the commercials, throw away all of the junk mail I receive and keep the spam filter on my email set no lower then medium…Indeed IMHO Face Book, My Space and Twitter are all scams aimed at getting their users personal information for free that will then be sold to other companies who will then invade the users of FB, MS and T’s privacy in order to sell them an overpriced product they do not need…

  201. Robert advertising is indeed spam which is why I have a DVR that allows me to skip over the commercials, throw away all of the junk mail I receive and keep the spam filter on my email set no lower then medium…Indeed IMHO Face Book, My Space and Twitter are all scams aimed at getting their users personal information for free that will then be sold to other companies who will then invade the users of FB, MS and T’s privacy in order to sell them an overpriced product they do not need…

  202. Interesting post – thought provoking – but I’d have two areas I’d like some clarification…
    You stated: “He saw that Twitter was going to make a crapload of money”

    I ask: Exactly how?

    You stated: “Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day.”

    I ask: That’s a wide window that doesn’t ‘feel right’, can you state your source (or can someone from Facebook tell us users, active users and new users per day?)

  203. Interesting post – thought provoking – but I’d have two areas I’d like some clarification…
    You stated: “He saw that Twitter was going to make a crapload of money”

    I ask: Exactly how?

    You stated: “Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day.”

    I ask: That’s a wide window that doesn’t ‘feel right’, can you state your source (or can someone from Facebook tell us users, active users and new users per day?)

  204. Sorry, Robert, but I’m already growing weary of Facebook. The more Mark forces his will, the less excited I get. Perhaps it’s my inner dinosaur, eh? I’m SUCH an old fart.

  205. Sorry, Robert, but I’m already growing weary of Facebook. The more Mark forces his will, the less excited I get. Perhaps it’s my inner dinosaur, eh? I’m SUCH an old fart.

  206. Robert, for one I agree with you on this.

    This post hits the nail on the head, thanks for delving into this topic, I enjoyed reading every bit. :)
    Should say great post! Looking forward to seeing your next post!

  207. Robert, for one I agree with you on this.

    This post hits the nail on the head, thanks for delving into this topic, I enjoyed reading every bit. :)
    Should say great post! Looking forward to seeing your next post!

  208. Facebook can do whatever it wants. I don’t care. I use to look at it all day long. Not anymore. Its like hanging out in times square at night. Just too much of everything.

  209. Facebook can do whatever it wants. I don’t care. I use to look at it all day long. Not anymore. Its like hanging out in times square at night. Just too much of everything.

  210. It’s not that simple, Peter. Just over a year ago, I happened to find a really good Thai restaurant somewhere in London. I’d recommend it to anyone who asked – but I live 500 miles away. A bunch of my Facebook friends live in London, too. Now, supposing a friend of mine (and theirs) from LA visits London and wants good Thai food: which of us would she ask? She probably wouldn’t think to ask me explicitly, but if she could search her friends network for Thai restaurants in London, up it comes.

    That’s the real strength of a good search system. If I know I can get a good answer to my programming question from Raymond Chen’s well-known blog, I don’t need Google: I can just go straight to his blog. The value is in Google’s ability to find something I didn’t already know about: perhaps the guy who wrote that part of the filesystem just started blogging and mentioned the same problem I’m having as being an obscure bug they’ve just fixed, or that you have to use some unexpected flag to get the results I need. I don’t know beforehand to check this guy’s blog to find the answer I need – but Google does.

    I’ve posted online in the past about problems with various services, vacation plans etc – I’ve had ‘manual’ replies both from some friends and occasionally from relevant companies (the one I’m complaining about, and/or rivals reminding me they offer better). I actually like that, and would be happy to get automated versions too: automatically flagging up which services my friends had liked, or had problems with. There’s a world of difference between spam and relevant ads being inserted in a system where ads are to be expected!

  211. It’s not that simple, Peter. Just over a year ago, I happened to find a really good Thai restaurant somewhere in London. I’d recommend it to anyone who asked – but I live 500 miles away. A bunch of my Facebook friends live in London, too. Now, supposing a friend of mine (and theirs) from LA visits London and wants good Thai food: which of us would she ask? She probably wouldn’t think to ask me explicitly, but if she could search her friends network for Thai restaurants in London, up it comes.

    That’s the real strength of a good search system. If I know I can get a good answer to my programming question from Raymond Chen’s well-known blog, I don’t need Google: I can just go straight to his blog. The value is in Google’s ability to find something I didn’t already know about: perhaps the guy who wrote that part of the filesystem just started blogging and mentioned the same problem I’m having as being an obscure bug they’ve just fixed, or that you have to use some unexpected flag to get the results I need. I don’t know beforehand to check this guy’s blog to find the answer I need – but Google does.

    I’ve posted online in the past about problems with various services, vacation plans etc – I’ve had ‘manual’ replies both from some friends and occasionally from relevant companies (the one I’m complaining about, and/or rivals reminding me they offer better). I actually like that, and would be happy to get automated versions too: automatically flagging up which services my friends had liked, or had problems with. There’s a world of difference between spam and relevant ads being inserted in a system where ads are to be expected!

  212. I guess Zuckerberg shouldn’t have listened to the masses when they all complained about copyrights, right? Zuckerberg is right. Facebook should be able to use content and photos as they please even when a user deletes his or her account. Yeah, Zuckerberg should just do whatever he wants without having to listen to anyone.

  213. I guess Zuckerberg shouldn’t have listened to the masses when they all complained about copyrights, right? Zuckerberg is right. Facebook should be able to use content and photos as they please even when a user deletes his or her account. Yeah, Zuckerberg should just do whatever he wants without having to listen to anyone.

  214. FB is like high school; it’s exclusive, you’ve got to have the right friends, join the right groups, etc. Twitter is way more friendly and open to everyone; there’s less false ‘friending’ and everyone is aware that it’s a site to share information to anyone and everyone. I used to check FB repeatedly, recently though I hardly noticed the most changes because of Twitter; I basically check on family updates only. I’m aware of the advertisers on Twitter, I get to choose who I follow and unfollow at a drop of the hat, and I never am encouraged to let everyone know what my relationship status is. Twitter is way more entertaining and less annoying because I know up front what I’ve gotten myself into.

    As I’m in the middle of reading buy•ology, I’m growing more aware of how much a waste all this advertising effort is anyways.

    BTW, I read this article as a direct result of Twitter, not FB.

  215. FB is like high school; it’s exclusive, you’ve got to have the right friends, join the right groups, etc. Twitter is way more friendly and open to everyone; there’s less false ‘friending’ and everyone is aware that it’s a site to share information to anyone and everyone. I used to check FB repeatedly, recently though I hardly noticed the most changes because of Twitter; I basically check on family updates only. I’m aware of the advertisers on Twitter, I get to choose who I follow and unfollow at a drop of the hat, and I never am encouraged to let everyone know what my relationship status is. Twitter is way more entertaining and less annoying because I know up front what I’ve gotten myself into.

    As I’m in the middle of reading buy•ology, I’m growing more aware of how much a waste all this advertising effort is anyways.

    BTW, I read this article as a direct result of Twitter, not FB.

  216. Right on target. There’s a difference between listening to customers to improve some feature or service, e.g. a hotel reading guest reviews an acting on them, or have them run your business. As an innovator you have to lead and present products or services that people don’t even realize they need or want. Like that intro quote about Porsche.

    Quick: What’s the name of another very successful guy who didn’t listen to customers and has introduced great products everyone seems to crave? Yes, Steve Jobs.

  217. Right on target. There’s a difference between listening to customers to improve some feature or service, e.g. a hotel reading guest reviews an acting on them, or have them run your business. As an innovator you have to lead and present products or services that people don’t even realize they need or want. Like that intro quote about Porsche.

    Quick: What’s the name of another very successful guy who didn’t listen to customers and has introduced great products everyone seems to crave? Yes, Steve Jobs.

  218. I didn’t read all these posts, so I don’t know if this is covered, but people railing about advertising being inherently bad miss the point that advertising usually funds their entertainment and their news. Local print news advertising has recently proved less valuable, and it’s killing print media. We’ll only get to continue using Facebook or Twitter for free if they figure out a way to make the advertising valuable. The more targeted the advertising, the greater the value. So getting advertising tailored to your needs facebook should be welcomed. It means your favorite online application can survive, and it might be serving you up relevant advertising. My facebook account lists me as a married atheist, but I still get advertising for Christian Singles on Facebook. WTF? Where’s the value in that. Soon will be gone the days of finding advertising for a local shoe sale in your local paper. You’ll find it when it finds you online. Kudos Scoble. Great points.

  219. I didn’t read all these posts, so I don’t know if this is covered, but people railing about advertising being inherently bad miss the point that advertising usually funds their entertainment and their news. Local print news advertising has recently proved less valuable, and it’s killing print media. We’ll only get to continue using Facebook or Twitter for free if they figure out a way to make the advertising valuable. The more targeted the advertising, the greater the value. So getting advertising tailored to your needs facebook should be welcomed. It means your favorite online application can survive, and it might be serving you up relevant advertising. My facebook account lists me as a married atheist, but I still get advertising for Christian Singles on Facebook. WTF? Where’s the value in that. Soon will be gone the days of finding advertising for a local shoe sale in your local paper. You’ll find it when it finds you online. Kudos Scoble. Great points.

  220. Can you explain why you would welcome marketing material from car companies when you can easily research cars yourself on a variety of websites, getting peer reviews from everyone from car geeks to soccer moms.

    I refer to this as The Real Digital Revolution and it changes the way we relate to advertising: advertising created an image, which puts a brand in our consideration set when we go to Google. So that whereas in years past, we relied solely on advertising to learn about things like cars, now we rely on our fellow consumers.

    That’s a critical distinction though: targeted messaging is a direct response vehicles; brand advertising is done to create/change perception: Volvo is safe, BMW is well-engineered, etc. But a quick trip to Google will tell you if that is true or not.

    Your argument is valid if the advertising sent through is value-based, e.g. Volvo says, “congratulations on the new baby, Mr. & Mrs. Scoble, here’s a special deal to give you 20% off a 3 year lease.” If you’d been on the fence, that might sway you over to Volvo’s side. That’s where targeted FB messaging can work.

  221. Can you explain why you would welcome marketing material from car companies when you can easily research cars yourself on a variety of websites, getting peer reviews from everyone from car geeks to soccer moms.

    I refer to this as The Real Digital Revolution and it changes the way we relate to advertising: advertising created an image, which puts a brand in our consideration set when we go to Google. So that whereas in years past, we relied solely on advertising to learn about things like cars, now we rely on our fellow consumers.

    That’s a critical distinction though: targeted messaging is a direct response vehicles; brand advertising is done to create/change perception: Volvo is safe, BMW is well-engineered, etc. But a quick trip to Google will tell you if that is true or not.

    Your argument is valid if the advertising sent through is value-based, e.g. Volvo says, “congratulations on the new baby, Mr. & Mrs. Scoble, here’s a special deal to give you 20% off a 3 year lease.” If you’d been on the fence, that might sway you over to Volvo’s side. That’s where targeted FB messaging can work.

  222. [...] “Vilken zombie är du?” 2009/03/22, 21:55 Sparat under: Fotboll, Vardagslunk, Web | Etiketter: Facebook, firefox Om Facebook i den förra uppdateringen lyckades ta död på alla störiga applikationer som spårade ur, så lyckades de då återuppliva dem som blodtörstiga zombies med denna. Snart är råttet mågat attså. Thx Firefox för denna. [...]

  223. This is one of your better thought out and articulated Blogs.

    Well done.

    It’s also worth commenting on the fact that Facebook tried to acquire Twitter. That is a sign of confidence and dominance.

    Twitter might be limited in how it can scale. Facebook is not. So, Facebook, it’s leadership – and, usefulness as a social and business tool is more absolute.

    Cork

  224. This is one of your better thought out and articulated Blogs.

    Well done.

    It’s also worth commenting on the fact that Facebook tried to acquire Twitter. That is a sign of confidence and dominance.

    Twitter might be limited in how it can scale. Facebook is not. So, Facebook, it’s leadership – and, usefulness as a social and business tool is more absolute.

    Cork

  225. Mark Zuckerberg did not create Facebook as a business, he created it as a social networking website for Harvard students. I then grew to other colleges, when Investors started advertising on Facebook, he realized it could be a money making scheme, a.k.a. a business. Since then it has become populated with more and more ads, fake bothersome “users”, Applications, and whatnot. I personally joined Facebook as a social network BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I WANTED!
    At the very beginning of the article it poses the situation with the Porsche drivers who ask for slightly different things than the Porsche they bought offers, and suggests that they should have bought a Volvo. This is not the case with Facebook. I Joined Old Facebook wanting Old Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg FORCED the change upon me. The Porsche drivers did not buy a Volvo and the car company forced the change upon them, they made a bad decision in deciding to get a car they did not want, not Porsche. I had the old Facebook and liked the old Facebook. I DID NOT MAKE A POOR DECISION, why do I suffer from his decisions?
    The answer to the previous question is because it’s Mark Zuckerberg’s website and he can do whatever he wants with it. He’s a human and if he wants to make money off of his endeavours I can’t blame him, but I don’t have to like the changes.
    Personally, I didn’t mind the new users, I can “be friends” with more of my family whom I don’t see much, but with that came the “friendship” of my parents on Facebook, something I could have done without. The advertisements botherd me a little bit more, but what keeps bothering me are the “invitations” for random stuff like “Pirates VS. Ninjas,” “causes” for random stuff like “save the evergreen trees in Vermont,” and most of all, FORMAT CHANGES! I can barely navigate through Facebook now because I no longer know where all the buttons I used went, and what the buttons I have do. And I don’t have a choice to change the format of my homepage, or the way I view other people’s pages.

  226. Mark Zuckerberg did not create Facebook as a business, he created it as a social networking website for Harvard students. I then grew to other colleges, when Investors started advertising on Facebook, he realized it could be a money making scheme, a.k.a. a business. Since then it has become populated with more and more ads, fake bothersome “users”, Applications, and whatnot. I personally joined Facebook as a social network BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I WANTED!
    At the very beginning of the article it poses the situation with the Porsche drivers who ask for slightly different things than the Porsche they bought offers, and suggests that they should have bought a Volvo. This is not the case with Facebook. I Joined Old Facebook wanting Old Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg FORCED the change upon me. The Porsche drivers did not buy a Volvo and the car company forced the change upon them, they made a bad decision in deciding to get a car they did not want, not Porsche. I had the old Facebook and liked the old Facebook. I DID NOT MAKE A POOR DECISION, why do I suffer from his decisions?
    The answer to the previous question is because it’s Mark Zuckerberg’s website and he can do whatever he wants with it. He’s a human and if he wants to make money off of his endeavours I can’t blame him, but I don’t have to like the changes.
    Personally, I didn’t mind the new users, I can “be friends” with more of my family whom I don’t see much, but with that came the “friendship” of my parents on Facebook, something I could have done without. The advertisements botherd me a little bit more, but what keeps bothering me are the “invitations” for random stuff like “Pirates VS. Ninjas,” “causes” for random stuff like “save the evergreen trees in Vermont,” and most of all, FORMAT CHANGES! I can barely navigate through Facebook now because I no longer know where all the buttons I used went, and what the buttons I have do. And I don’t have a choice to change the format of my homepage, or the way I view other people’s pages.

  227. I may be the only one but I have liked every change that facebook has gone through. Such consisted developlement that I like is so rare I don’t think I’ll ever leave facebook. And as a wannabe entrepreneur myself Mark is a idol for me.

  228. I may be the only one but I have liked every change that facebook has gone through. Such consisted developlement that I like is so rare I don’t think I’ll ever leave facebook. And as a wannabe entrepreneur myself Mark is a idol for me.

  229. [...] Give them exactly what they ask for, and they often hate it. Robert Scoble nailed this point in his Porsche analogy (read the whole article, he discusses some of the same stuff there): My former boss, Jim Fawcette, [...]

  230. Robert -

    Agree with you on the potential commercial applications of the facebook platform. I think the genius of facebook is that it has created a trusted environment that is currently primary used for social interactions but will in future be used for business transactions.

    ————————————
    Attention: Shameless plug, below:
    ————————————

    I want to draw you attention to a facebook app that could be the start of what you’re talking about: i-crave, which allows people to share gadgets they desire/own with their friends. There are a couple of goals for this app:

    1. Some people are gadget freaks. They can’t wait to get their hands on the latest stuff and show it off to their friends…. So the idea was to create sub-communities around specific gadgets. You might have 100s of friends in your profile… and this would allow you to see which of your friends also shares your interest in specific gadgets (like iphones, kindles, etc). But it doesn’t have to be just electronic gadgets – it could also be specific books or appliances or whatever people want. For users, this could be one more app that provided useful info about your circle for friends. Just like you have apps that tell you places/music/movies your friends like.

    2. Another use of this would be to help you make shopping decisions. Let’s say you want to buy a Kindle and put it on your ‘iCrave’ list. Your friends who already own it might have feedback about it and post it — or if you see that one of your friends already owns the device, you could ask him or her for their opinion.

    3. The end goal is that, if we can get this to be adopted, we have a bunch of information about users that could be used to help them get the most out of facebook. For instance — someone has a book in their “crave” list and one of their friends has the same book in their “have” list. Maybe this app could make it easy for one to lend the book to another ad keep track of it. Another idea — someone says they have an iphone, we could use this to serve targeted ads to that user for iphone accessories.

    Would welcome your thoughts/ideas.

  231. Robert -

    Agree with you on the potential commercial applications of the facebook platform. I think the genius of facebook is that it has created a trusted environment that is currently primary used for social interactions but will in future be used for business transactions.

    ————————————
    Attention: Shameless plug, below:
    ————————————

    I want to draw you attention to a facebook app that could be the start of what you’re talking about: i-crave, which allows people to share gadgets they desire/own with their friends. There are a couple of goals for this app:

    1. Some people are gadget freaks. They can’t wait to get their hands on the latest stuff and show it off to their friends…. So the idea was to create sub-communities around specific gadgets. You might have 100s of friends in your profile… and this would allow you to see which of your friends also shares your interest in specific gadgets (like iphones, kindles, etc). But it doesn’t have to be just electronic gadgets – it could also be specific books or appliances or whatever people want. For users, this could be one more app that provided useful info about your circle for friends. Just like you have apps that tell you places/music/movies your friends like.

    2. Another use of this would be to help you make shopping decisions. Let’s say you want to buy a Kindle and put it on your ‘iCrave’ list. Your friends who already own it might have feedback about it and post it — or if you see that one of your friends already owns the device, you could ask him or her for their opinion.

    3. The end goal is that, if we can get this to be adopted, we have a bunch of information about users that could be used to help them get the most out of facebook. For instance — someone has a book in their “crave” list and one of their friends has the same book in their “have” list. Maybe this app could make it easy for one to lend the book to another ad keep track of it. Another idea — someone says they have an iphone, we could use this to serve targeted ads to that user for iphone accessories.

    Would welcome your thoughts/ideas.

  232. I just ignore the new features on facebook. I go straight to the features that matter to me. I use facebook for connecting to groups and don’t need it for socialization. I do the same with Twitter and Yammer and text messages and chat groups and email and yahoo groups and google notebook and zimbio and wikis and –sheez, I’d fritter my life away if I monitored all my groups minute by minute.

    As for targeted ads – I delete them. There’s something foul about a machine or “system” tracking my preferences. Like Mr. Wolk, I’ll search for my own products, thank you, when it is necessary.

  233. I just ignore the new features on facebook. I go straight to the features that matter to me. I use facebook for connecting to groups and don’t need it for socialization. I do the same with Twitter and Yammer and text messages and chat groups and email and yahoo groups and google notebook and zimbio and wikis and –sheez, I’d fritter my life away if I monitored all my groups minute by minute.

    As for targeted ads – I delete them. There’s something foul about a machine or “system” tracking my preferences. Like Mr. Wolk, I’ll search for my own products, thank you, when it is necessary.

  234. thanks goodness for GreaseMonkey. I don’t have to see anything I don’t want to see. So for all the useless news about groups in the ‘highlights’ pane, I don’t see it.

    This is what people do. They use filters to block advertising.

  235. thanks goodness for GreaseMonkey. I don’t have to see anything I don’t want to see. So for all the useless news about groups in the ‘highlights’ pane, I don’t see it.

    This is what people do. They use filters to block advertising.

  236. I’m just not buying that you shouldn’t listen to your customers. Your Porsche anecdote may actually prove my point. If Porsche owners really did say they wanted something more like a Volvo, I think you could read that as, “I love my Porsche but I’d love to have one that I could haul my family in too.” Maybe it’s not worth it to Porsche to pursue that demographic since there are plenty of car makers doing that already but that’s a different business decision than not listening to your customers.

    Here’s a possibility that’s different from your projection. If FB improves communication between friends and something better than FB comes along, would FB actually hasten its own undoing by allowing lots of people to inform others about better options?

  237. I’m just not buying that you shouldn’t listen to your customers. Your Porsche anecdote may actually prove my point. If Porsche owners really did say they wanted something more like a Volvo, I think you could read that as, “I love my Porsche but I’d love to have one that I could haul my family in too.” Maybe it’s not worth it to Porsche to pursue that demographic since there are plenty of car makers doing that already but that’s a different business decision than not listening to your customers.

    Here’s a possibility that’s different from your projection. If FB improves communication between friends and something better than FB comes along, would FB actually hasten its own undoing by allowing lots of people to inform others about better options?

  238. For the big picture on social network, please read the science fiction short story:

    Maneki nekko by Bruce Sterling

    Wrote 10 years ago. Best utopian prediction on what will be going on 10 years from now I ever read.

  239. For the big picture on social network, please read the science fiction short story:

    Maneki nekko by Bruce Sterling

    Wrote 10 years ago. Best utopian prediction on what will be going on 10 years from now I ever read.

  240. There’s one thing no one has questioned here

    Schobleizer, You have proven being a paid blogger might pay your soup, but one thing I dont get is, are you paid for the extra comments you have to answer?. Common feed the fans of your business model.

  241. There’s one thing no one has questioned here

    Schobleizer, You have proven being a paid blogger might pay your soup, but one thing I dont get is, are you paid for the extra comments you have to answer?. Common feed the fans of your business model.

  242. …ok I buy the argument…

    …what about the other issue where branded pages (some of whom paid for advertising) show up hidden by default for the most of the users who opted in.

    Tell me how that’s good for business.

  243. …ok I buy the argument…

    …what about the other issue where branded pages (some of whom paid for advertising) show up hidden by default for the most of the users who opted in.

    Tell me how that’s good for business.

  244. I completely agree with this. Facebook is, in essence, a business. A money-making business. Whereas Twitter was created for fun, much like Dailybooth or anything else, and that’s why Facebook will last!

  245. I completely agree with this. Facebook is, in essence, a business. A money-making business. Whereas Twitter was created for fun, much like Dailybooth or anything else, and that’s why Facebook will last!

  246. Now tell me why I should care about Facebook getting rich? As far as twitter is concerned, I didn’t like the format of twitter, so guess what? I don’t use twitter. I’ve significantly lessened the time going on Facebook because I hate the style. I simply log in, see if there’s the red thing with numbers (I usually ignore it because it’s never related to me anyway) and then log out. If Facebook annoys it’s users it’ll turn a lot of people off and I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but facebook is a bunch of people. I guess it wouldn’t be enough people to hurt it. It’s a people program, and yeah, if he wants to piss people off and get rich then good for him, but what about the users. We’re not getting rich in the process, so why the Hell should we care?

  247. Now tell me why I should care about Facebook getting rich? As far as twitter is concerned, I didn’t like the format of twitter, so guess what? I don’t use twitter. I’ve significantly lessened the time going on Facebook because I hate the style. I simply log in, see if there’s the red thing with numbers (I usually ignore it because it’s never related to me anyway) and then log out. If Facebook annoys it’s users it’ll turn a lot of people off and I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but facebook is a bunch of people. I guess it wouldn’t be enough people to hurt it. It’s a people program, and yeah, if he wants to piss people off and get rich then good for him, but what about the users. We’re not getting rich in the process, so why the Hell should we care?

  248. This post makes some interesting points about not necessarily listening to the first reactions of your customers. What I want to know is what, specifically, the new home page design has to do with this vision of targeted advertising. I have no problem with the new layout and think people are overreacting, but I don’t see what the visual redesign has to do with the phase shift.

  249. This post makes some interesting points about not necessarily listening to the first reactions of your customers. What I want to know is what, specifically, the new home page design has to do with this vision of targeted advertising. I have no problem with the new layout and think people are overreacting, but I don’t see what the visual redesign has to do with the phase shift.

  250. There’s a big difference between listening and following. I am sure that FB is listening — of course they are. That’s how they — and lots of other smart companies — have always figured out what’s missing.

  251. There’s a big difference between listening and following. I am sure that FB is listening — of course they are. That’s how they — and lots of other smart companies — have always figured out what’s missing.

  252. I used to use iLike. Bit by bit the commercial side of it got more and more commercial till in the end one day i just thought: enough.

    People stay with something for a while, even after it has started to irritate/disappoint them, because of the investment they have in it (Friends made, posts posted, etc) and because of the expenditure of time and energy needed to up sticks and go elsewhere.

    But with each increment of irritation they get closer and closer to the tipping point, the point where they will act – and in today’s world there is always someone waiting to catch them, some new idea.

    I have only just joined up – because i thought some people i was trying to get in touch with were on it. Turns out they’ve gone and so have various friends, mostly to Twitter. In all cases because it’s perceived as simpler, a more genuine interaction and less intrusive.

    Anyway, my main beef is that FB has a poor Help section, many of the apps are buggy and it’s rather a lot of work for what you get back out of it. I was expecting to be impressed and to be honest i’m not. I’ll give it a month or two and see if i gel with it but i’m already starting to get the feeling that’s not going to happen.

  253. I used to use iLike. Bit by bit the commercial side of it got more and more commercial till in the end one day i just thought: enough.

    People stay with something for a while, even after it has started to irritate/disappoint them, because of the investment they have in it (Friends made, posts posted, etc) and because of the expenditure of time and energy needed to up sticks and go elsewhere.

    But with each increment of irritation they get closer and closer to the tipping point, the point where they will act – and in today’s world there is always someone waiting to catch them, some new idea.

    I have only just joined up – because i thought some people i was trying to get in touch with were on it. Turns out they’ve gone and so have various friends, mostly to Twitter. In all cases because it’s perceived as simpler, a more genuine interaction and less intrusive.

    Anyway, my main beef is that FB has a poor Help section, many of the apps are buggy and it’s rather a lot of work for what you get back out of it. I was expecting to be impressed and to be honest i’m not. I’ll give it a month or two and see if i gel with it but i’m already starting to get the feeling that’s not going to happen.

  254. Facebook redesigned its site to be like Twitter? Twitter has 0.03% of daily web traffic. FB has 16%. Why is FB so concerned about Twitter? It’s Twitter that should copy FB. This doesn’t make sense.

  255. Facebook redesigned its site to be like Twitter? Twitter has 0.03% of daily web traffic. FB has 16%. Why is FB so concerned about Twitter? It’s Twitter that should copy FB. This doesn’t make sense.

  256. Very insightful, Robert. I agree that Mark Zuckerberg seems right to forge ahead despite complaints, seeing the big picture when many do not.

    As Giovanni Rodriguez pointed out, there is a difference between listening to complaints and responding in the particular way someone wants you to. I think that’s a good thing to keep in mind, much like the difference between welcomed advertising and spam.

    Not everyone realizes it, but a lot of people love relevant, interesting, useful, or even just amusing advertising. One need only look to movie trailers, Superbowl advertising, or Apple advertising to see that. These are things people not only accept, but request by going to pages full of ads and either streaming them or downloading them for repeated viewing.

  257. Very insightful, Robert. I agree that Mark Zuckerberg seems right to forge ahead despite complaints, seeing the big picture when many do not.

    As Giovanni Rodriguez pointed out, there is a difference between listening to complaints and responding in the particular way someone wants you to. I think that’s a good thing to keep in mind, much like the difference between welcomed advertising and spam.

    Not everyone realizes it, but a lot of people love relevant, interesting, useful, or even just amusing advertising. One need only look to movie trailers, Superbowl advertising, or Apple advertising to see that. These are things people not only accept, but request by going to pages full of ads and either streaming them or downloading them for repeated viewing.

  258. sheesh – i’m just not with the next wave of commercial netsploitation – i couldn’t stand facebook (joined it and myspace, and don’t use either of them), yet i’m enjoying Twitter

  259. sheesh – i’m just not with the next wave of commercial netsploitation – i couldn’t stand facebook (joined it and myspace, and don’t use either of them), yet i’m enjoying Twitter

  260. If Facebook is not listening to the people that use it, why should that result in billion dollar profits for its owners? It should go out of business. That what businesses do according to laws of consumer soverignty. You know, supply and demand, Adam Smith, capitalsim; ring any bells?

    When I announce that my wife is having a baby (which she is) I don’t want to be contacted by a diaper company, a formula company, a business selling cars seats, etc. WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU???? Why do you think they invented SPAM filters, pop-up blockers, and the such like?

    Companies not listening to the people who use their products is how we wound up Windows Vista. Gone are the days that Microsoft can TELL their customers what they want.

  261. If Facebook is not listening to the people that use it, why should that result in billion dollar profits for its owners? It should go out of business. That what businesses do according to laws of consumer soverignty. You know, supply and demand, Adam Smith, capitalsim; ring any bells?

    When I announce that my wife is having a baby (which she is) I don’t want to be contacted by a diaper company, a formula company, a business selling cars seats, etc. WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU???? Why do you think they invented SPAM filters, pop-up blockers, and the such like?

    Companies not listening to the people who use their products is how we wound up Windows Vista. Gone are the days that Microsoft can TELL their customers what they want.

  262. I have no problem with the direction FB is going in.. it’s a smart plan. But there is such thing as good design, and what they have going on is contrived Web 2.0. End of story.

  263. I have no problem with the direction FB is going in.. it’s a smart plan. But there is such thing as good design, and what they have going on is contrived Web 2.0. End of story.

  264. This article is reasonably thought out, but I disagree with one key premise. Several people have replied that the new facebook isn’t “about spam — it’s about targetted advertising!”. The problem is, spam is defined by the person receiving the ad, not the person who is doing the “targeting”. I’ve been in a number of social networks for many years now, and every one of them (starting with usenet) had members who claimed that *their* ad was targeted to people who wanted that ad. And they were all wrong.

    I’m saying the new format is “spamy”, because *MY* home page is now cluttered up with crap that I do not want. You may want a new camera when you have a new kid, but not everyone with a new kid will need to buy a new camera.

    Let me also note that I don’t really think that facebook needs to go back to the exact layout they had before all these changes. But the current layout is in fact causing me to spend less time on facebook. And all the advertisers yelling “Targeted Ads!” are not going to change my opinion.

  265. This article is reasonably thought out, but I disagree with one key premise. Several people have replied that the new facebook isn’t “about spam — it’s about targetted advertising!”. The problem is, spam is defined by the person receiving the ad, not the person who is doing the “targeting”. I’ve been in a number of social networks for many years now, and every one of them (starting with usenet) had members who claimed that *their* ad was targeted to people who wanted that ad. And they were all wrong.

    I’m saying the new format is “spamy”, because *MY* home page is now cluttered up with crap that I do not want. You may want a new camera when you have a new kid, but not everyone with a new kid will need to buy a new camera.

    Let me also note that I don’t really think that facebook needs to go back to the exact layout they had before all these changes. But the current layout is in fact causing me to spend less time on facebook. And all the advertisers yelling “Targeted Ads!” are not going to change my opinion.

  266. disclaimer: there was supposed to be a “*cough*” before the word “usenet”, as I realize it’s something of a stretch to call that a social network, but it got dropped in the formatting…

  267. disclaimer: there was supposed to be a “*cough*” before the word “usenet”, as I realize it’s something of a stretch to call that a social network, but it got dropped in the formatting…

  268. Firstly: congrats to you and Maryam!!!

    Next: you’ve just tried to argue away the entire premise of Social Media engagement for companies… not buying it. Listening is one thing, giving control over is another.

    Your old boss may have given the Porsche/Volvo example – but what he didn’t follow through on is that if Porsche doesn’t identify why its buyers choose Porsche over Volvo and emphasize that? Then they will eventually lose customers to Volvo – who will capitalize on the “you say you want leg room, smooth ride and trunk space? Well we’ve got it and they don’t.”

    Listening and responding is NOT the same thing as “rule by committee.”

    Which just goes to show why tech entrepreneurs do not make good marketing strategists. ;)

  269. Firstly: congrats to you and Maryam!!!

    Next: you’ve just tried to argue away the entire premise of Social Media engagement for companies… not buying it. Listening is one thing, giving control over is another.

    Your old boss may have given the Porsche/Volvo example – but what he didn’t follow through on is that if Porsche doesn’t identify why its buyers choose Porsche over Volvo and emphasize that? Then they will eventually lose customers to Volvo – who will capitalize on the “you say you want leg room, smooth ride and trunk space? Well we’ve got it and they don’t.”

    Listening and responding is NOT the same thing as “rule by committee.”

    Which just goes to show why tech entrepreneurs do not make good marketing strategists. ;)

  270. ““Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day.”

    I must conclude you are making this up. Or are believing everything Zuckerberg tells you without questioning it. The gap between 200K and 700K/day alone tells me that if it is based on actual data, the data gathering mechanism is flawed. But, you wouldn’t understand that, because you think the only accurate marketing data is anecdotal and based on what your wife does, or is doing; “people I know”, or “what I’ve seen is…”

    When you hear a number like this, do you even bother to extrapolate it? Do you realize that if the 700K number is accurate and is sustainable, that means FB grows by 225.5 MILLIION users a year!!!!! So you are basically saying that in a year, FB will have more users, by 18MMm than the total population of Indonesia?

  271. ““Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day.”

    I must conclude you are making this up. Or are believing everything Zuckerberg tells you without questioning it. The gap between 200K and 700K/day alone tells me that if it is based on actual data, the data gathering mechanism is flawed. But, you wouldn’t understand that, because you think the only accurate marketing data is anecdotal and based on what your wife does, or is doing; “people I know”, or “what I’ve seen is…”

    When you hear a number like this, do you even bother to extrapolate it? Do you realize that if the 700K number is accurate and is sustainable, that means FB grows by 225.5 MILLIION users a year!!!!! So you are basically saying that in a year, FB will have more users, by 18MMm than the total population of Indonesia?

  272. Robert, awesome insightful post. This is huge. In one move Facebook trumped Twitter and FriendFeed, AND they positioned themselves to be the king of Word Of Mouth advertising on the Internet.

    You inspired me to write a post on How Facebook Trumped Twitter http://tinyurl.com/cuv5j5

    This could be a huge sea change event. Beacon was a failed experiment. But they were on the right track. These are the first steps to a much better Beacon.

    Don Dodge

  273. Robert, awesome insightful post. This is huge. In one move Facebook trumped Twitter and FriendFeed, AND they positioned themselves to be the king of Word Of Mouth advertising on the Internet.

    You inspired me to write a post on How Facebook Trumped Twitter http://tinyurl.com/cuv5j5

    This could be a huge sea change event. Beacon was a failed experiment. But they were on the right track. These are the first steps to a much better Beacon.

    Don Dodge

  274. This is great piece Robert :) I’m glad that you took your time to write a blog post :)
    And congratulations to you both for the little Scoble, I’m really happy for you. When are you guys coming to London again ?

    Cheers !

  275. This is great piece Robert :) I’m glad that you took your time to write a blog post :)
    And congratulations to you both for the little Scoble, I’m really happy for you. When are you guys coming to London again ?

    Cheers !

  276. I once twittered that I got razor burn. That day some razor company followed me and sent me a message about their product that cut down on it.

    That works because my twitter is fully open and searchable.

    I don’t want my whole facebook profile open to the world because it knows a lot more about me.

    Once facebook can figure out a way to make the details available to companys that want to hear about what I’m suffering from, without compromising all my pictures and personal details then zuck is onto a winner.

  277. I once twittered that I got razor burn. That day some razor company followed me and sent me a message about their product that cut down on it.

    That works because my twitter is fully open and searchable.

    I don’t want my whole facebook profile open to the world because it knows a lot more about me.

    Once facebook can figure out a way to make the details available to companys that want to hear about what I’m suffering from, without compromising all my pictures and personal details then zuck is onto a winner.

  278. One would expect research and numbers to prove your theory about Facebook’s user retention; instead, you made a jest at your wife’s Facebook addiction as your evidence. Although this “fact” may seem whimsical to you, the article in its entirety proved to be anti-climactic and illogical, thus, it is of no use whatsoever.

  279. One would expect research and numbers to prove your theory about Facebook’s user retention; instead, you made a jest at your wife’s Facebook addiction as your evidence. Although this “fact” may seem whimsical to you, the article in its entirety proved to be anti-climactic and illogical, thus, it is of no use whatsoever.

  280. Well I agree with quite a few points both in the article and in other comments, lets not forget some of the changes on facebook that have been reversed do to user feedback. The terms of service for example.

  281. Well I agree with quite a few points both in the article and in other comments, lets not forget some of the changes on facebook that have been reversed do to user feedback. The terms of service for example.

  282. They could’ve easily integrated new features without taking away so much of what FB users enjoyed.

    For those of you who are genuinely interested in why so many FB users are upset about the changes, I suggest you read this: http://tinyurl.com/ccbypt

  283. They could’ve easily integrated new features without taking away so much of what FB users enjoyed.

    For those of you who are genuinely interested in why so many FB users are upset about the changes, I suggest you read this: http://tinyurl.com/ccbypt

  284. Definitely time to jump the FB ship, definitely! Well, maybe definitely. Soon, after I check what my friends are doing…better send out a tweet, definitely.

  285. Definitely time to jump the FB ship, definitely! Well, maybe definitely. Soon, after I check what my friends are doing…better send out a tweet, definitely.

  286. Great Post! I am not a fan of Facebook. To be honest, I find it boring. I do like “the Wall” which other networking sites are copying. I want to network with it and it is more difficult than My space.

  287. Great Post! I am not a fan of Facebook. To be honest, I find it boring. I do like “the Wall” which other networking sites are copying. I want to network with it and it is more difficult than My space.

  288. You left out a phase in between 2 and 3 where it was open to everybody in phase 2 and high school students, but not the general public.

  289. You left out a phase in between 2 and 3 where it was open to everybody in phase 2 and high school students, but not the general public.

  290. Bad design is bad design. It has nothing to do with any of Facebook’s phases or anything else. Facebook has listened and caved in to customers several times on privacy issues. Criticism of a design is not criticism of a business model. The argument on Techmeme was about design – it wasn’t about Facebook’s plans to include businesses in the social graph.

  291. This seems to be initially correct based on it’s own premise… with one huge fatal flaw. It’s wrong. Ethically. This is the type of rabid free market money worshipping bullshit that got the world into this recession. Whatever happened to right and wrong? Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it. Just because you can make money, doesn’t mean you should. Do I want marketing shoved in my face? No. That’s spam. The late comedian Bill Hicks wasn’t far off the mark when he condemned marketing as evil.
    While you are correct that for the time being people will stick with facebook because it is useful to them, if Zuckerberg or any other money grabbers in his disgustingly wealthy company want any more advertising cream, they will come to discover that increasing droves will leave – it could go as far a becoming a political and civil liberties issue. Do I want advertising leaches going through my trash, looking at the sweetcorn in my shit, and telling me to buy a few more cans of green giant? No. Hopefully people will start to see through this bullshit. We need to reduce the power of these feckless scoundrels. Whatever happened to putting the customer first, customer service, making something decent for a decent days pay. Why must Zuckerberg drain all the juice out of every person on the planet. Can’t he just sit on his pile o’ cash and become a philanthropist. At what point is enough enough? If this articles assertion is correct, and facebook keeps growing and mutating to force people closer into bed with advertisers, then I for one, will ditch it no matter how useful it is.
    - Peace.

  292. Bad design is bad design. It has nothing to do with any of Facebook’s phases or anything else. Facebook has listened and caved in to customers several times on privacy issues. Criticism of a design is not criticism of a business model. The argument on Techmeme was about design – it wasn’t about Facebook’s plans to include businesses in the social graph.

  293. This seems to be initially correct based on it’s own premise… with one huge fatal flaw. It’s wrong. Ethically. This is the type of rabid free market money worshipping bullshit that got the world into this recession. Whatever happened to right and wrong? Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it. Just because you can make money, doesn’t mean you should. Do I want marketing shoved in my face? No. That’s spam. The late comedian Bill Hicks wasn’t far off the mark when he condemned marketing as evil.
    While you are correct that for the time being people will stick with facebook because it is useful to them, if Zuckerberg or any other money grabbers in his disgustingly wealthy company want any more advertising cream, they will come to discover that increasing droves will leave – it could go as far a becoming a political and civil liberties issue. Do I want advertising leaches going through my trash, looking at the sweetcorn in my shit, and telling me to buy a few more cans of green giant? No. Hopefully people will start to see through this bullshit. We need to reduce the power of these feckless scoundrels. Whatever happened to putting the customer first, customer service, making something decent for a decent days pay. Why must Zuckerberg drain all the juice out of every person on the planet. Can’t he just sit on his pile o’ cash and become a philanthropist. At what point is enough enough? If this articles assertion is correct, and facebook keeps growing and mutating to force people closer into bed with advertisers, then I for one, will ditch it no matter how useful it is.
    - Peace.

  294. I get what you’re saying Robert, and I agree. There’s gold wrapped up in the 175MM accounts, and perhaps Mark is looking to mine it.

    However, the new Facebook is simply more difficult to navigate than the old one. And I believe this to be so even after taking time to get to know it. I am not confident that, in its present form, people will find it easy enough to use to mine it for the information you are citing (friends’ restaurant reviews, etc).

    No, the users won’t leave. But they might use FB less – I know quite a few people that are now using it less, strictly due to the recent changes. This equates to less data to mine, and that’s a huge problem for FB.

  295. I get what you’re saying Robert, and I agree. There’s gold wrapped up in the 175MM accounts, and perhaps Mark is looking to mine it.

    However, the new Facebook is simply more difficult to navigate than the old one. And I believe this to be so even after taking time to get to know it. I am not confident that, in its present form, people will find it easy enough to use to mine it for the information you are citing (friends’ restaurant reviews, etc).

    No, the users won’t leave. But they might use FB less – I know quite a few people that are now using it less, strictly due to the recent changes. This equates to less data to mine, and that’s a huge problem for FB.

  296. [...] open for the incumbent CRM companies to take advantage of –and miss this opportunity, hell, Scoble is already expecting brands to contact him when he has a major life event. Either way, with a recent funding amount of $35mm, they’ve [...]

  297. Mr. Dodge, I’m both perplexed and disappointed you would find Scoble’s post “insightful”. It is devoid of any facts, research, or quantifiable data to support any of his positions. Like all his posts, it is one long stream of consciousness.

    Up until now, I found your writings quite intelligent and well reasoned. Reading that you find this post “inspirational” has caused me to reassess that opinion.

    I’m amazed so many find this guy credible.

  298. Mr. Dodge, I’m both perplexed and disappointed you would find Scoble’s post “insightful”. It is devoid of any facts, research, or quantifiable data to support any of his positions. Like all his posts, it is one long stream of consciousness.

    Up until now, I found your writings quite intelligent and well reasoned. Reading that you find this post “inspirational” has caused me to reassess that opinion.

    I’m amazed so many find this guy credible.

  299. Facebook is good for people that dont have a website or don’t want a website. Whats going to kill facebook and other social networking sites is when people realize that they are already connected and do not need a centralized hub for rubbing butts. Whatever happened to people using RSS as the system for connecting. Why do I need facebook or twitter to subscribe to people who generate RSS feeds. Why are people like cows in a green field happy to never do anything but give milk. Hey! farmer Scoble!,,get off you dam tractor, your cows needs milking!!!! Oh wait sorry you just milked about 200 cows with this artical. 8P

  300. Facebook is good for people that dont have a website or don’t want a website. Whats going to kill facebook and other social networking sites is when people realize that they are already connected and do not need a centralized hub for rubbing butts. Whatever happened to people using RSS as the system for connecting. Why do I need facebook or twitter to subscribe to people who generate RSS feeds. Why are people like cows in a green field happy to never do anything but give milk. Hey! farmer Scoble!,,get off you dam tractor, your cows needs milking!!!! Oh wait sorry you just milked about 200 cows with this artical. 8P

  301. I usually find myself in agreement with the advice you give and your take on things, but one little point about glorifying leaders who do not listen to people — Hitler and other dictators. It’s a slippery slope, and it starts with little things…like not listening. And listening to advice given by people authority on a topic (such as yourself) that tell you that you would make a great leader if you didn’t listen either. Is this what you would tell the CEO’s of tomorrow? Don’t listen to your customers? Do what will rake in craploads of money in the future. It’s all about growth?

    Just because Zuckerberg doesn’t listen (to some *existing* customers complaining) isn’t really what makes him brilliant. What makes him brilliant is his vision for what will make *future* customers happy. Somehow, I doubt that if most customers now and in the future were unhappy and complaining, Facebook would not be successful.

    So, with all due respect, I think you are off the mark with your title as well as emphasis of advice in this post. What happened to all the social media advice put out by people like Chris Brogan about the importance of listening? Do you kwow how many people will likely throw that out the window reading this kind of thing?

    You are being contradictory to the good advice to listen, without really explaining the differences between when you should listen and when you should not. ie. I’m sure Porsche listened at least to SOME of its customers, because it seeks to fill a particular niche and satisfy a certain type of buyer.

    You social media experts say that listening is sooo important (I’ve seen countless articles tweeted about this on twitter for example), and NOW you say it is not important and hats off to this guy who doesn’t listen?

    This kind of imprecise useage of terms like “listen” and not explaining the context is what drives down the quality and excellence in communication and learnign in a field. Please be clearer. You know, maybe if more people in Silicon Valley were like Zuckerberg, then Silcon Valley would be more like Wall Street. Gee that grew like crazy…for a while. Is THAT what we want?

    Or is it hats off to the guy who doesn’t listen to the “stupid masses” who do not know what is good for them? Or laud the guy who is going to bring in the big big big bucks, no matter how good it is for the people using the service or not? Err, sounds like a patriarchal dictator again to me.

    I think you need to clarify your comments and adice a bit better here. You’re sounding a lot like Big Brother to the Man — is that the professional excellence you want to convey? Are we in this together or not?

  302. I usually find myself in agreement with the advice you give and your take on things, but one little point about glorifying leaders who do not listen to people — Hitler and other dictators. It’s a slippery slope, and it starts with little things…like not listening. And listening to advice given by people authority on a topic (such as yourself) that tell you that you would make a great leader if you didn’t listen either. Is this what you would tell the CEO’s of tomorrow? Don’t listen to your customers? Do what will rake in craploads of money in the future. It’s all about growth?

    Just because Zuckerberg doesn’t listen (to some *existing* customers complaining) isn’t really what makes him brilliant. What makes him brilliant is his vision for what will make *future* customers happy. Somehow, I doubt that if most customers now and in the future were unhappy and complaining, Facebook would not be successful.

    So, with all due respect, I think you are off the mark with your title as well as emphasis of advice in this post. What happened to all the social media advice put out by people like Chris Brogan about the importance of listening? Do you kwow how many people will likely throw that out the window reading this kind of thing?

    You are being contradictory to the good advice to listen, without really explaining the differences between when you should listen and when you should not. ie. I’m sure Porsche listened at least to SOME of its customers, because it seeks to fill a particular niche and satisfy a certain type of buyer.

    You social media experts say that listening is sooo important (I’ve seen countless articles tweeted about this on twitter for example), and NOW you say it is not important and hats off to this guy who doesn’t listen?

    This kind of imprecise useage of terms like “listen” and not explaining the context is what drives down the quality and excellence in communication and learnign in a field. Please be clearer. You know, maybe if more people in Silicon Valley were like Zuckerberg, then Silcon Valley would be more like Wall Street. Gee that grew like crazy…for a while. Is THAT what we want?

    Or is it hats off to the guy who doesn’t listen to the “stupid masses” who do not know what is good for them? Or laud the guy who is going to bring in the big big big bucks, no matter how good it is for the people using the service or not? Err, sounds like a patriarchal dictator again to me.

    I think you need to clarify your comments and adice a bit better here. You’re sounding a lot like Big Brother to the Man — is that the professional excellence you want to convey? Are we in this together or not?

  303. [...] If you’re a regular Facebook user, you’ve no doubt seen the latest redesign by now. Seems most people dislike it. I don’t really care one way or another. I like this post by Robert Scoble on the issue though: Why Facebook has never listened and why it definitely won’t start now. [...]

  304. Facebook keeps users baffled and that is partly why people seem addicted to it. I personally do not find it interesting to lose stuff that I know I should be attached to on there, and I don’t have time to go digging for it. Maybe if there were some momentous event looming, but there isn’t. The addiction phase is fine to keep people engaged in it, for now, but it seems to me it will burn out.

  305. Facebook keeps users baffled and that is partly why people seem addicted to it. I personally do not find it interesting to lose stuff that I know I should be attached to on there, and I don’t have time to go digging for it. Maybe if there were some momentous event looming, but there isn’t. The addiction phase is fine to keep people engaged in it, for now, but it seems to me it will burn out.

  306. Scoble,

    FB and Twitter will die via fragmentation. Of course Mark will sell fast before that takes place. But do not expect the market to sit around and give him billions or trillions because he has 4-7 years of old data.

    The is but the beginning of the clone wars or reverse clone wars.

  307. Scoble,

    FB and Twitter will die via fragmentation. Of course Mark will sell fast before that takes place. But do not expect the market to sit around and give him billions or trillions because he has 4-7 years of old data.

    The is but the beginning of the clone wars or reverse clone wars.

  308. I found this article fascinating! I’ve been wondering how facebook made money… while I find the new design a little confusing as things aren’t where they were before, I’ve really been enjoying reconnecting with people from my past that I’d completely forgotten about. The number of people that were able to find me, that I didn’t even know were looking for me is incredible! And people are grumbling, but why should it be a free service? In order to continue to connect people the way that it does, it needs to be profitable! Though I love my job, I wouldn’t keep doing it for free… and I’d rather pay attention to some ads (or ignore them, as the case may be), then pay a membership fee like on classmates.com or reunion.com- facebook was better for finding long lost friends than intellius even! I say as long as I can keep certain info private, and can continue to connect to new and old friends, do what you need to to keep providing me with a great FREE service!

  309. I found this article fascinating! I’ve been wondering how facebook made money… while I find the new design a little confusing as things aren’t where they were before, I’ve really been enjoying reconnecting with people from my past that I’d completely forgotten about. The number of people that were able to find me, that I didn’t even know were looking for me is incredible! And people are grumbling, but why should it be a free service? In order to continue to connect people the way that it does, it needs to be profitable! Though I love my job, I wouldn’t keep doing it for free… and I’d rather pay attention to some ads (or ignore them, as the case may be), then pay a membership fee like on classmates.com or reunion.com- facebook was better for finding long lost friends than intellius even! I say as long as I can keep certain info private, and can continue to connect to new and old friends, do what you need to to keep providing me with a great FREE service!

  310. What you said about pesky users not leaving facebook is true, facebook is addictive, and by the looks of things these phases of facebook might actually do us all some good, but as we all know for every change there is an opposition, who critisizes every new move, and maybe listening to some of there points may also do facebook a lot of good, since no one man can become a good leader without people who would follow him, so i advise Mark Zuckerberg to have an open ear to some of the points that the users want, it would do him a lot of good too.

  311. What you said about pesky users not leaving facebook is true, facebook is addictive, and by the looks of things these phases of facebook might actually do us all some good, but as we all know for every change there is an opposition, who critisizes every new move, and maybe listening to some of there points may also do facebook a lot of good, since no one man can become a good leader without people who would follow him, so i advise Mark Zuckerberg to have an open ear to some of the points that the users want, it would do him a lot of good too.

  312. I agree with you about the fb-redesign. I never liked end-user oriented design processes, off course it’s good to know what the user wants and needs, but to involve them too much, I’d go completely mad. People always wants the crappiest things for themself.
    With facebook, the thing I find the most interesting is that people think they should have a say. I can’t see why? If you buy a pair of shoes, and you dislike them, you don’t keep using them and buying new ones like them but complain and send letters to the shoe company that their shoes are bad, do you?
    I’d like to say Leave the designing to the designer, trust me, they know what they are doing:), to all the complainers out there. Or STFU. Or both..

    Also, yeah, fb is rather like twitter now, isn’t it? I scripted away the quiz-stuff from my feed, and now it’s like twitter with an event calendar.. I guess these sites will merge anyway, sooner or later, into more of apps inside a bigger web of networks, rather then separate entities.

    thanx for a nice read!

  313. I agree with you about the fb-redesign. I never liked end-user oriented design processes, off course it’s good to know what the user wants and needs, but to involve them too much, I’d go completely mad. People always wants the crappiest things for themself.
    With facebook, the thing I find the most interesting is that people think they should have a say. I can’t see why? If you buy a pair of shoes, and you dislike them, you don’t keep using them and buying new ones like them but complain and send letters to the shoe company that their shoes are bad, do you?
    I’d like to say Leave the designing to the designer, trust me, they know what they are doing:), to all the complainers out there. Or STFU. Or both..

    Also, yeah, fb is rather like twitter now, isn’t it? I scripted away the quiz-stuff from my feed, and now it’s like twitter with an event calendar.. I guess these sites will merge anyway, sooner or later, into more of apps inside a bigger web of networks, rather then separate entities.

    thanx for a nice read!

  314. Dean Levin, just because you don’t recognize insight in the article does not mean your particular assessment is universal. Two particular key points that I think are insightful in their plainly demonstrated relevance to the controversy about Facebook changes are these: people value recommendations from their friends, family, and associates and while people may dislike changes, they don’t necessarily dislike changes enough to give up the things they enjoy. These things don’t have to be magic or rocket science; they’re just good points and important parts of the big picture.

    Cjay, you don’t seem to be getting what Facebook really has to offer. I have plenty of my own Web sites and my own feeds and I read other people’s Web sites and feeds, but it’s just not the same. It’s like pulling vs. pushing. Facebook is about applications, aggregation, information, and enjoyment in interaction. It’s about bringing people and activities together into one place and making social activities easy and fun. It’s about doing lots of things together with one set of login credentials each. And many Facebook users do have external sites and feeds. Many times many.

    But hey, if you don’t like sharing photos, videos, links, etc. on sites other than blogs, that’s your prerogative. And if you don’t like playing games with other people, that too is your prerogative. You may not understand Facebook or like Facebook, but a lot of people do and it’s here to stay.

  315. Dean Levin, just because you don’t recognize insight in the article does not mean your particular assessment is universal. Two particular key points that I think are insightful in their plainly demonstrated relevance to the controversy about Facebook changes are these: people value recommendations from their friends, family, and associates and while people may dislike changes, they don’t necessarily dislike changes enough to give up the things they enjoy. These things don’t have to be magic or rocket science; they’re just good points and important parts of the big picture.

    Cjay, you don’t seem to be getting what Facebook really has to offer. I have plenty of my own Web sites and my own feeds and I read other people’s Web sites and feeds, but it’s just not the same. It’s like pulling vs. pushing. Facebook is about applications, aggregation, information, and enjoyment in interaction. It’s about bringing people and activities together into one place and making social activities easy and fun. It’s about doing lots of things together with one set of login credentials each. And many Facebook users do have external sites and feeds. Many times many.

    But hey, if you don’t like sharing photos, videos, links, etc. on sites other than blogs, that’s your prerogative. And if you don’t like playing games with other people, that too is your prerogative. You may not understand Facebook or like Facebook, but a lot of people do and it’s here to stay.

  316. [...] Sadly, the memo hasn’t been published anywhere, so like everyone else, I’m going on the third-hand hearsay. Cnet has a reasonable summary of the split between people attacking Facebook/Zuckerberg for his apparent lack of concern about users, and those who are supporting Facebook. So far, though, only Robert Scoble appears to have addressed why Zuckerberg is right to dismiss user concerns in thi…. [...]

  317. I agree with the fact that users in general hate change and don’t know what is good for the business. But, I don’t see how this is going to bring facebook any closer earning more money ?

    What I see users complaining about is the twitter like activity stream. The earlier activity stream was a lot more compact and it also had like buttons. Why can’t we just have that with like buttons. And why can’t the default broadcast be to the user instead of user+friends. Small things like this are annoying me but I guess I’m one of the few who has reduced spending time on facebook after this redesign.

    I don’t mind advertising and I certainly don’t mind facebook trying to earn money but reducing the useabilty of the site is not the right way to go about it.

  318. I agree with the fact that users in general hate change and don’t know what is good for the business. But, I don’t see how this is going to bring facebook any closer earning more money ?

    What I see users complaining about is the twitter like activity stream. The earlier activity stream was a lot more compact and it also had like buttons. Why can’t we just have that with like buttons. And why can’t the default broadcast be to the user instead of user+friends. Small things like this are annoying me but I guess I’m one of the few who has reduced spending time on facebook after this redesign.

    I don’t mind advertising and I certainly don’t mind facebook trying to earn money but reducing the useabilty of the site is not the right way to go about it.

  319. Hmm… I think this shifted my entire perception and it got me looking from the other side of the coin. This makes me really curious about Zuckerberg now, and what goes on in his brain.

    Yeah, I don’t like the new FB design either, but no one liked the old FB design when it was new too. Humans are generally reluctant to changes and that includes me indeed. Although I have to admit, I can live with it. The only complain is FB is too slow now and I love it on my desktop all day.

    From the perspective of your article, it seem to me that Mark has a big plan that many of us are not seeing. And those plans seem very exciting for both users and hopefully his pocket someday.

  320. Hmm… I think this shifted my entire perception and it got me looking from the other side of the coin. This makes me really curious about Zuckerberg now, and what goes on in his brain.

    Yeah, I don’t like the new FB design either, but no one liked the old FB design when it was new too. Humans are generally reluctant to changes and that includes me indeed. Although I have to admit, I can live with it. The only complain is FB is too slow now and I love it on my desktop all day.

    From the perspective of your article, it seem to me that Mark has a big plan that many of us are not seeing. And those plans seem very exciting for both users and hopefully his pocket someday.

  321. Awesome A+ Article.
    And, on top of it your right.

    Keep up the good work Facebook.

    And Thanks for the following stats:

    Twitter is still nowhere near being a ‘major force’ in social networking. As Robert points out: “Facebook has the users (it is growing the size of Twitter every 15 days or so because Facebook has about 180 million users while Twitter only has about 10 million. Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day. Twitter is growing by far fewer users per day.

  322. Awesome A+ Article.
    And, on top of it your right.

    Keep up the good work Facebook.

    And Thanks for the following stats:

    Twitter is still nowhere near being a ‘major force’ in social networking. As Robert points out: “Facebook has the users (it is growing the size of Twitter every 15 days or so because Facebook has about 180 million users while Twitter only has about 10 million. Facebook, at this point, is growing 200,000 to 700,000 users per day. Twitter is growing by far fewer users per day.

  323. Interesting.. I’ll post this link on my facebook wall.
    I am part of the complaining group who does not leave facebook…

    What I like about facebook is that it’s put me back in touch with some friends I had lost track of. It still has that value….

  324. Interesting.. I’ll post this link on my facebook wall.
    I am part of the complaining group who does not leave facebook…

    What I like about facebook is that it’s put me back in touch with some friends I had lost track of. It still has that value….

  325. [...] The 7 phases Facebook is going through: Phase 1. Harvard only. Phase 2. Harvard+Colleges only. Phase 3. Harvard+Colleges+Geeks only. Phase 4. All those above+All People (in the social graph). Phase 5. All those above+People and businesses in the social graph. (Robert notes Facebook is moving into this phase now) Phase 6. All those above+People, businesses, and well-known objects in the social graph. Phase 7. All people, businesses, objects in the social graph. [...]

  326. Interesting post.

    For business people I believe that the message is not to ignore users, but to understand them deeply. You must get at the latent needs that they can’t easily express.

    Ignore the surveys and focus groups that tell you they want Volvos and watch them use your product and get them to co-create.

  327. Interesting post.

    For business people I believe that the message is not to ignore users, but to understand them deeply. You must get at the latent needs that they can’t easily express.

    Ignore the surveys and focus groups that tell you they want Volvos and watch them use your product and get them to co-create.

  328. I can’t really put my finger on why, but this article creeps me out.

    Thanks for writing it, I’m going to be in a weird mood all day.

  329. I can’t really put my finger on why, but this article creeps me out.

    Thanks for writing it, I’m going to be in a weird mood all day.

  330. Will blurted on March 21st, 2009 at 7:31 pm the following:
    “In a perfect system, organic word-of-mouth would take the place of all advertisement so that these miraculous benefits are realized via people who aren’t actually being paid to write glowing opinions of expensive products.”

    Erm… are you on crack?
    Think about this scenario:
    Venture Capitalist Mogul Dood has an idea to create a product to help stay at home moms wirelessly automate grocery list generation based on current available products in the icebox. He spends big dolla$ and makes the product. But just exactly how many stay at home moms does this unmarried 40 year old virgin moneyman know?

    Out of his circle of direct influence, he likely only will come across a small percentage of people able to afford a single-employment solution for their home life (the average percentage for dual-employment families is rising monthly) who ALSO just so happen to be married and have kids. Is it financially worthwhile for him to wait the insanely long period of time it would take for word of mouth advertising to reach beyond his local area (during which time he’s footing the bill for research and development of this product while not making enough to validate maintaining the expense) when he COULD just advertise and reach an international market (even reaching those geek guys that aren’t married but would GREATLY benefit from being able to “phone home” and have their currently autogenerated grocery list txted to their blackberry while they’re at the store)?

    Also, just what do you think twitter, blogs, facebook, etc ARE? It’s a publishing means to individuals for… WORD OF MOUTH ADVERTISING. It’s a means of directly publishing your opinions, suggests, etc to individuals who have specifically “followed” “friended” or otherwise “browsed” to YOUR profile and “tagged” you as interesting for them to keep tabs on.

    Now, imagine that some of these people that saw the advertisement now go and tweet, blog, etc about it. Isn’t that your idea of the “perfect system”? These people weren’t paid to review the product. Now imagine that businesses and organizations create their own blogs, twitter accounts, etc. Imagine they provide irregular tweets or blog posts about new products, services, etc that they are providing. Imagine that you REALLY like company XYZ widget manufacturers. You own 8 of their widgets. You “follow” XYZ Widget Manufacturers on twitter. 3 weeks later, the company tweets about a new widget. Is that SPAM to you? No, it’s targeted marketing. Spam is defined as “UNSOLICITED Commercial/Bulk Email”. If you’ve Solicited following the company, then it’s not spam. It’s stuff you’re into.

    I follow Bruce Sterling on twitter. He posted a tweet about an article he wrote, that I otherwise would NEVER have seen. This article had a DIRECT relation to my current work project. It contained details on future trends that I have been mapping, but that Bruce Sterling has envisioned realistic results for. This one advertisement that I received, at MY personal selection of choosing to follow the author of the advertisement, directly affected my work project and reduced the amount of pathing and mindmapping I was going to have to do.

    The only way that word of mouth advertising can succeed in the financial market (which is what drives innovation, research, design, etc) is if commercial advertising exists symbiotically and then word of mouth advertising takes control of the marketing plan after the initial commercial advertising release. Lots of businesses utilize this method. Heck, even Nerf used it for the release of their Vulcan nerf-dart gatling gun. They released a video of an office war online, and then word of mouth spread that video like a virus (viral marketing). The video was an advertisement. You’re suggesting that there be NO advertising.

  331. Will blurted on March 21st, 2009 at 7:31 pm the following:
    “In a perfect system, organic word-of-mouth would take the place of all advertisement so that these miraculous benefits are realized via people who aren’t actually being paid to write glowing opinions of expensive products.”

    Erm… are you on crack?
    Think about this scenario:
    Venture Capitalist Mogul Dood has an idea to create a product to help stay at home moms wirelessly automate grocery list generation based on current available products in the icebox. He spends big dolla$ and makes the product. But just exactly how many stay at home moms does this unmarried 40 year old virgin moneyman know?

    Out of his circle of direct influence, he likely only will come across a small percentage of people able to afford a single-employment solution for their home life (the average percentage for dual-employment families is rising monthly) who ALSO just so happen to be married and have kids. Is it financially worthwhile for him to wait the insanely long period of time it would take for word of mouth advertising to reach beyond his local area (during which time he’s footing the bill for research and development of this product while not making enough to validate maintaining the expense) when he COULD just advertise and reach an international market (even reaching those geek guys that aren’t married but would GREATLY benefit from being able to “phone home” and have their currently autogenerated grocery list txted to their blackberry while they’re at the store)?

    Also, just what do you think twitter, blogs, facebook, etc ARE? It’s a publishing means to individuals for… WORD OF MOUTH ADVERTISING. It’s a means of directly publishing your opinions, suggests, etc to individuals who have specifically “followed” “friended” or otherwise “browsed” to YOUR profile and “tagged” you as interesting for them to keep tabs on.

    Now, imagine that some of these people that saw the advertisement now go and tweet, blog, etc about it. Isn’t that your idea of the “perfect system”? These people weren’t paid to review the product. Now imagine that businesses and organizations create their own blogs, twitter accounts, etc. Imagine they provide irregular tweets or blog posts about new products, services, etc that they are providing. Imagine that you REALLY like company XYZ widget manufacturers. You own 8 of their widgets. You “follow” XYZ Widget Manufacturers on twitter. 3 weeks later, the company tweets about a new widget. Is that SPAM to you? No, it’s targeted marketing. Spam is defined as “UNSOLICITED Commercial/Bulk Email”. If you’ve Solicited following the company, then it’s not spam. It’s stuff you’re into.

    I follow Bruce Sterling on twitter. He posted a tweet about an article he wrote, that I otherwise would NEVER have seen. This article had a DIRECT relation to my current work project. It contained details on future trends that I have been mapping, but that Bruce Sterling has envisioned realistic results for. This one advertisement that I received, at MY personal selection of choosing to follow the author of the advertisement, directly affected my work project and reduced the amount of pathing and mindmapping I was going to have to do.

    The only way that word of mouth advertising can succeed in the financial market (which is what drives innovation, research, design, etc) is if commercial advertising exists symbiotically and then word of mouth advertising takes control of the marketing plan after the initial commercial advertising release. Lots of businesses utilize this method. Heck, even Nerf used it for the release of their Vulcan nerf-dart gatling gun. They released a video of an office war online, and then word of mouth spread that video like a virus (viral marketing). The video was an advertisement. You’re suggesting that there be NO advertising.

  332. Agree. If the biggest problem you have is that your facebook page isn’t as ‘fluffy’ anymore, you need to get out and get laid rather badly.

  333. Agree. If the biggest problem you have is that your facebook page isn’t as ‘fluffy’ anymore, you need to get out and get laid rather badly.

  334. Look, Currently Facebook and Twitter serve different needs. I liked Facebook before I discovered Twitter. For me, Twitter does the most interesting and enjoyable part of FB. In FB, I liked the humor in folks status updates and I liked a small circle of friends posted links, etc. That’s about it. The rest of the FB experience (updates, news, photos, profiles, pokes, email, friend requests, games, ads) was just plain bothersome but there is no denying that works for folks with those needs. I can learn a new UI, no crying there but to Twitterfy the front end of FB and actually make a lot of the ” drudgery” even more painful (no deleting/hiding, etc.) is too much and too late. I think I’ve moved on. The prediction for FB to be my personalized service reccommender based on my large and wide net of barely known, cared about “friends” is simply frightening. Have you ever tried to use Yelp for recommendations? Good lord- stomping grounds for the tasteless, clueless, biased, masses. FB will no different. Filtering the noise will be such a time suck and effort. Gives me anxiety just thinking about it. When I want opinions, I can use targeted domain testers and or experts, zagat, consumer reports, cnet, @Pogue and oddly enough Twitter. We’re back there and I’m staying. No thank you facebook phase 5+. I don’t need you.

  335. Look, Currently Facebook and Twitter serve different needs. I liked Facebook before I discovered Twitter. For me, Twitter does the most interesting and enjoyable part of FB. In FB, I liked the humor in folks status updates and I liked a small circle of friends posted links, etc. That’s about it. The rest of the FB experience (updates, news, photos, profiles, pokes, email, friend requests, games, ads) was just plain bothersome but there is no denying that works for folks with those needs. I can learn a new UI, no crying there but to Twitterfy the front end of FB and actually make a lot of the ” drudgery” even more painful (no deleting/hiding, etc.) is too much and too late. I think I’ve moved on. The prediction for FB to be my personalized service reccommender based on my large and wide net of barely known, cared about “friends” is simply frightening. Have you ever tried to use Yelp for recommendations? Good lord- stomping grounds for the tasteless, clueless, biased, masses. FB will no different. Filtering the noise will be such a time suck and effort. Gives me anxiety just thinking about it. When I want opinions, I can use targeted domain testers and or experts, zagat, consumer reports, cnet, @Pogue and oddly enough Twitter. We’re back there and I’m staying. No thank you facebook phase 5+. I don’t need you.

  336. RS, you’re right on. FB is about people connecting through an enabling technology and FB would be right to assume that people want a level of connections where they might “search for all these things and see which items and companies have gotten the most ‘likes’.” That’s just one good possibility in the experiment.

    For those who beg to differ with your premise, “Why Facebook has never listened and why it definitely won’t start now”, they fail to understand this is a true statement, “like” it or not. I happen to like it.

    Great products “polarize people.”

  337. RS, you’re right on. FB is about people connecting through an enabling technology and FB would be right to assume that people want a level of connections where they might “search for all these things and see which items and companies have gotten the most ‘likes’.” That’s just one good possibility in the experiment.

    For those who beg to differ with your premise, “Why Facebook has never listened and why it definitely won’t start now”, they fail to understand this is a true statement, “like” it or not. I happen to like it.

    Great products “polarize people.”

  338. Personally, I don’t care for Facebook OR Twitter. I’m only keeping by Facebook because of the friends of mine (that I’ve known for years) I only have contact with through Internet deleted their Myspace account in favor of Facebook. The support group at Facebook is useless as well. I’ve contacted them on occasion telling them I am unable to do certain things and the only replies I get are to do the things I told them I am unable to do. Makes it even more fustirating that I only have access to the Internet through my iPhone, and it freezes up my phone or shuts down on me when I click to use the full site.

  339. Personally, I don’t care for Facebook OR Twitter. I’m only keeping by Facebook because of the friends of mine (that I’ve known for years) I only have contact with through Internet deleted their Myspace account in favor of Facebook. The support group at Facebook is useless as well. I’ve contacted them on occasion telling them I am unable to do certain things and the only replies I get are to do the things I told them I am unable to do. Makes it even more fustirating that I only have access to the Internet through my iPhone, and it freezes up my phone or shuts down on me when I click to use the full site.

  340. I totally agree, Facebook owner is doing a good thing by extending its services further. People should just accept it for what it is.

  341. I totally agree, Facebook owner is doing a good thing by extending its services further. People should just accept it for what it is.

  342. @BizNinja, @RS, @ everyone who thinks that having this capability at your disposal is a *good* thing:

    FB is a tool. That’s it. I go to an Ivy League, and was one of the first people to sign up for it.

    SInce all of you are relative newcomers, I can’t help but tell you what it has become in the land of its birth. FB has for all intents and purposes been turned into an address book and photo album. Most everyone I know at Yale and Harvard no longer use FB really unless they’re dying to look up pictures of a hot friend or looking to find a lost phone number. That’s it.

    None of this marketing bs, none of this “targeted advertising” (most of which is of the “Make $100/$200 a week by doing surveys” variety) is a factor. We, the people who helped bring FB to its current position today, are leaving FB and all joining Twitter.

    FB is an address book.

    Twitter is a way to let people know what you’re doing.

    This is the truth. In this way, Twitter seems to be the better marketing tool. The social graph expands more quickly and is less regulated. And WHO CARES how many people are on FB–we saw how quickly it grew in the past 4 years…what’s stopping Twitter from stealing FB’s momentum (which it certainly will). The two companies are rivals, and Twitter will win.

    Additionally, FB is BORING. It’s a cesspool of random people who want to friend you. And of course there are plenty of ‘actual’ friends who friend me, but the number of people who aren’t my friend that friend me is greater. FB is the new myspace and friendfeed. Something new and better will pop up as soon as the opportunity arises. Which will be soon.

  343. @BizNinja, @RS, @ everyone who thinks that having this capability at your disposal is a *good* thing:

    FB is a tool. That’s it. I go to an Ivy League, and was one of the first people to sign up for it.

    SInce all of you are relative newcomers, I can’t help but tell you what it has become in the land of its birth. FB has for all intents and purposes been turned into an address book and photo album. Most everyone I know at Yale and Harvard no longer use FB really unless they’re dying to look up pictures of a hot friend or looking to find a lost phone number. That’s it.

    None of this marketing bs, none of this “targeted advertising” (most of which is of the “Make $100/$200 a week by doing surveys” variety) is a factor. We, the people who helped bring FB to its current position today, are leaving FB and all joining Twitter.

    FB is an address book.

    Twitter is a way to let people know what you’re doing.

    This is the truth. In this way, Twitter seems to be the better marketing tool. The social graph expands more quickly and is less regulated. And WHO CARES how many people are on FB–we saw how quickly it grew in the past 4 years…what’s stopping Twitter from stealing FB’s momentum (which it certainly will). The two companies are rivals, and Twitter will win.

    Additionally, FB is BORING. It’s a cesspool of random people who want to friend you. And of course there are plenty of ‘actual’ friends who friend me, but the number of people who aren’t my friend that friend me is greater. FB is the new myspace and friendfeed. Something new and better will pop up as soon as the opportunity arises. Which will be soon.

  344. Thank you so much for the insight. While I am VERY new to online social networking and viral marketing, I am NOT new to business and marketing. We teach the motto of all ground breaking visionaires, to new business owners – “OBSERVE the masses and then DO the opposite!”

    There are a number of people that fear change. When change comes, they react out of emotion, not rational thought. The most common emotion used is anger, even if they would like to convince themselves and you of the contrary!

  345. Thank you so much for the insight. While I am VERY new to online social networking and viral marketing, I am NOT new to business and marketing. We teach the motto of all ground breaking visionaires, to new business owners – “OBSERVE the masses and then DO the opposite!”

    There are a number of people that fear change. When change comes, they react out of emotion, not rational thought. The most common emotion used is anger, even if they would like to convince themselves and you of the contrary!

  346. Whereas I understand, and agree to an extent, to completely ignore what users want is bad business.
    If your model is, “get them addicted to they stay no matter what we do.”, then there is a perfect reason to find something else.
    I, and about 75 of the “friends” I had on Facebook did leave. Not because we didn’t like the new design. Oh, I suppose that was what served as catalyst, but what we didn’t like was being told our requests didn’t matter.
    So we found something else. People who drive Porsches do so because they want a specific product. Giving them only Volvos and telling them it’s for their own good will leave you screwed too.
    You might be able to catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but in the words of Wednesday Addams, “But if you pull their little wings off you can feed them whatever you want.”
    Facebook won’t be pulling my wings off to force feed me a clumsy, poorly thought-out, clunky interface. It’s not that important to me, but how a company treats my opinion is.

  347. Whereas I understand, and agree to an extent, to completely ignore what users want is bad business.
    If your model is, “get them addicted to they stay no matter what we do.”, then there is a perfect reason to find something else.
    I, and about 75 of the “friends” I had on Facebook did leave. Not because we didn’t like the new design. Oh, I suppose that was what served as catalyst, but what we didn’t like was being told our requests didn’t matter.
    So we found something else. People who drive Porsches do so because they want a specific product. Giving them only Volvos and telling them it’s for their own good will leave you screwed too.
    You might be able to catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but in the words of Wednesday Addams, “But if you pull their little wings off you can feed them whatever you want.”
    Facebook won’t be pulling my wings off to force feed me a clumsy, poorly thought-out, clunky interface. It’s not that important to me, but how a company treats my opinion is.

  348. @Robert Scoble: Hahah.. This comment made me lol.

    “Leo: you are particularly clueless if you think what I just laid out for you is spam. Advertising is NOT spam. A LOT of people actually LIKE seeing advertising. Look at how many people sign up for catalogs. Or how many people watch the Superbowl just for the ads.”

    I may be wrong, but I would suspect that most people who watch the Superbowl for “just for the ads” are paid to do so.

  349. @Robert Scoble: Hahah.. This comment made me lol.

    “Leo: you are particularly clueless if you think what I just laid out for you is spam. Advertising is NOT spam. A LOT of people actually LIKE seeing advertising. Look at how many people sign up for catalogs. Or how many people watch the Superbowl just for the ads.”

    I may be wrong, but I would suspect that most people who watch the Superbowl for “just for the ads” are paid to do so.

  350. Some fundamental issues here which IMHO skew this argument:

    1. This nirvanic vision is based on the assumption that Facebook will secure sufficient traction with companies and brands that they may monetise those relationships somehow within a format which is wholly constructed on user-generated content…which is of course inherently inelegant and unsophisticated. By example, my personal impression of the once bankable commodity, now known as @mrskutcher is that she’s now, to me at least, just another girl next door with a geeky boyfriend. Which leads to…

    2. For every ‘brand’ that is personified via Twitter, Facebook or invaded by Google adwords; its once preserved cache is gradually eroded by its proximity to adverts for viagra or get rich schemes. As a case in point, the wedding ring I bought with pride and excitement X years ago at Tiffany & Co in New York now feels a little less of a reminder of a special moment and more like a cheap cop out purchase from a chain store, now that Tiffany are rushing so blanketly into new media destinations like Facebook. It just doesn’t feel the same as a full page in Vanity Fair somehow and nothing Facebook does will change that. Do we really want our most admired brands and celebrities to look ordinary?

    3. There is a complete dichotomy between those that advocate Facebook as a means to communicate with family and friends only, (including Facebook themselves based on their own set limits on anything which exceeds those ambitions), and an expectation that we will all marry an adjacent and seemingly incongruous desire to muddy that environment with endless asinine sales pitches from the brands we used to admire. Anyone of my Facebook friends who deletes me in favour of a fan page is overestimating my interest levels in their activities however famous or revered they may be. I admire many people including you Robert, but am a fan of noone.

    4. The only thing that Facebook truly has as leverage on all its 175m users, is the inconvenience of exporting one’s contacts and data to a better offering if it comes, but I suspect that many like me are also keeping local copies of all their Facebook data or at least emails.

    5. Unlike Twitter, Facebook isn’t truly open and so in order to connect with someone you are interested in, know or would like to know, you are bound to ‘friend them’ or be patronised into pronouncing yourself as a ‘fan’. In terms of reaching phase 7, I think Facebook has a brick wall to push through before that becomes a reality and I’m not sure it is achievable in the face of fickle audiences whose own content the whole model is built on.

    6. As the banks have demonstrated, investors will always buy into the emperor’s new clothes and perpetuate the myth, until one day everyone just sees a naked man standing there. In my opinion, Facebook really ought to look at what has brought 175 million people to sign up so far and being visibly contemptuous of their opionions if they don’t fit in with a master plan is a pretty risky strategy. Most people canvassed recently bought into the concept of a place where they could share and communicate with friends, family and peers in a secure and manageable way. They didn’t sign up to be spoon fed daily messages from people trying to sell something so reliance on that as the holy grail will I feel indeed leave them naked in the wind.

    7. I’ve been harping on about user-generated advertising as a new concept for a while now and it is something we are building into our own projects. Basically what Facebook should do is allow users to sell advertising on their profile in return for a share on the profits. It is the best route to hyper-local and would make your suggestion of finding a great sushi restaurant make sense. (Say I persuade my local restaurant to buy an ad on my profile, then I could earn some income from that and the like/ dislike functions could apply as well.) Similarly I could choose adverts from a library and/ instead, that I think suit my audiences and get a (smaller perhaps) share of income too. At that point you have potentially everyone registering their credit card details and the commercial options suddenly becomes more self-perpetuating and interesting! (Paypal?)

    8. I do have a certain discomfort which I have to reluctantly admit as well; in that being a long admirer of your career and reputation, there is now a sense that in light of your new role at Rackspace, any commentary on a big ticket organisation like Facebook is against a backdrop of your new employers being a significant industry supplier whose interests are best served by seeing Facebook promoted and justified. I do think that Rackspace are one of the best run companies in the world, but nevertheless, it does take the sheen off a little for me, and you’ll appreciate that irrespective of your usual integrity and impartiality, the sense of a potential conflict is bound to arise.

  351. Some fundamental issues here which IMHO skew this argument:

    1. This nirvanic vision is based on the assumption that Facebook will secure sufficient traction with companies and brands that they may monetise those relationships somehow within a format which is wholly constructed on user-generated content…which is of course inherently inelegant and unsophisticated. By example, my personal impression of the once bankable commodity, now known as @mrskutcher is that she’s now, to me at least, just another girl next door with a geeky boyfriend. Which leads to…

    2. For every ‘brand’ that is personified via Twitter, Facebook or invaded by Google adwords; its once preserved cache is gradually eroded by its proximity to adverts for viagra or get rich schemes. As a case in point, the wedding ring I bought with pride and excitement X years ago at Tiffany & Co in New York now feels a little less of a reminder of a special moment and more like a cheap cop out purchase from a chain store, now that Tiffany are rushing so blanketly into new media destinations like Facebook. It just doesn’t feel the same as a full page in Vanity Fair somehow and nothing Facebook does will change that. Do we really want our most admired brands and celebrities to look ordinary?

    3. There is a complete dichotomy between those that advocate Facebook as a means to communicate with family and friends only, (including Facebook themselves based on their own set limits on anything which exceeds those ambitions), and an expectation that we will all marry an adjacent and seemingly incongruous desire to muddy that environment with endless asinine sales pitches from the brands we used to admire. Anyone of my Facebook friends who deletes me in favour of a fan page is overestimating my interest levels in their activities however famous or revered they may be. I admire many people including you Robert, but am a fan of noone.

    4. The only thing that Facebook truly has as leverage on all its 175m users, is the inconvenience of exporting one’s contacts and data to a better offering if it comes, but I suspect that many like me are also keeping local copies of all their Facebook data or at least emails.

    5. Unlike Twitter, Facebook isn’t truly open and so in order to connect with someone you are interested in, know or would like to know, you are bound to ‘friend them’ or be patronised into pronouncing yourself as a ‘fan’. In terms of reaching phase 7, I think Facebook has a brick wall to push through before that becomes a reality and I’m not sure it is achievable in the face of fickle audiences whose own content the whole model is built on.

    6. As the banks have demonstrated, investors will always buy into the emperor’s new clothes and perpetuate the myth, until one day everyone just sees a naked man standing there. In my opinion, Facebook really ought to look at what has brought 175 million people to sign up so far and being visibly contemptuous of their opionions if they don’t fit in with a master plan is a pretty risky strategy. Most people canvassed recently bought into the concept of a place where they could share and communicate with friends, family and peers in a secure and manageable way. They didn’t sign up to be spoon fed daily messages from people trying to sell something so reliance on that as the holy grail will I feel indeed leave them naked in the wind.

    7. I’ve been harping on about user-generated advertising as a new concept for a while now and it is something we are building into our own projects. Basically what Facebook should do is allow users to sell advertising on their profile in return for a share on the profits. It is the best route to hyper-local and would make your suggestion of finding a great sushi restaurant make sense. (Say I persuade my local restaurant to buy an ad on my profile, then I could earn some income from that and the like/ dislike functions could apply as well.) Similarly I could choose adverts from a library and/ instead, that I think suit my audiences and get a (smaller perhaps) share of income too. At that point you have potentially everyone registering their credit card details and the commercial options suddenly becomes more self-perpetuating and interesting! (Paypal?)

    8. I do have a certain discomfort which I have to reluctantly admit as well; in that being a long admirer of your career and reputation, there is now a sense that in light of your new role at Rackspace, any commentary on a big ticket organisation like Facebook is against a backdrop of your new employers being a significant industry supplier whose interests are best served by seeing Facebook promoted and justified. I do think that Rackspace are one of the best run companies in the world, but nevertheless, it does take the sheen off a little for me, and you’ll appreciate that irrespective of your usual integrity and impartiality, the sense of a potential conflict is bound to arise.

  352. Listening to your customers is ALWAYS a good idea…they use the product on a daily basis, they know the product. And Fawcette learnt to ignore all those customers and writers, well enough, that were demanding better venues/speakers and actual payments.

    Plus that analogy is so flawed, a smoother ride Porsche, with more legroom, doesn’t feature-transform itself into a Volvo. It’s just a roomier, smoother Porsche, and nothing wrong with that. Saying you want a better, smoother product doesn’t mean you abandon all attributes that make that product that product. If you dared, you won’t have any customers period.

    Listen to your customers, and it’s not a contradiction to want more features, whilst at the same time wanting less features. If programmers would become users, they’d understand. You want more features that YOU use, and less of what don’t. More, yet less bloat.

    Insofar, as your Facebook rants, could care less, but being that you are down on them, they will most likely succeed.

  353. Listening to your customers is ALWAYS a good idea…they use the product on a daily basis, they know the product. And Fawcette learnt to ignore all those customers and writers, well enough, that were demanding better venues/speakers and actual payments.

    Plus that analogy is so flawed, a smoother ride Porsche, with more legroom, doesn’t feature-transform itself into a Volvo. It’s just a roomier, smoother Porsche, and nothing wrong with that. Saying you want a better, smoother product doesn’t mean you abandon all attributes that make that product that product. If you dared, you won’t have any customers period.

    Listen to your customers, and it’s not a contradiction to want more features, whilst at the same time wanting less features. If programmers would become users, they’d understand. You want more features that YOU use, and less of what don’t. More, yet less bloat.

    Insofar, as your Facebook rants, could care less, but being that you are down on them, they will most likely succeed.

  354. @Christopher Coulter:
    “Blindly following the maxim that good managers should keep close to their customers can sometimes be a fatal mistake.”
    - The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

  355. @Christopher Coulter:
    “Blindly following the maxim that good managers should keep close to their customers can sometimes be a fatal mistake.”
    - The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

  356. The only reason I’m still on Facebook is that there is no other website that offer’s the old design. It’s like I signed up for the McDonald’s menu, and after the fact, McDonald’s changed there menu to exactly copy the Burger King Menu. I can go to McDonald’s, but never really be able to eat their food again.

    I feel ripped off about the new facebook. Bait and switch!

  357. The only reason I’m still on Facebook is that there is no other website that offer’s the old design. It’s like I signed up for the McDonald’s menu, and after the fact, McDonald’s changed there menu to exactly copy the Burger King Menu. I can go to McDonald’s, but never really be able to eat their food again.

    I feel ripped off about the new facebook. Bait and switch!

  358. You have a point, but you also miss the point. The problem with these changes isn’t cosmetic (people will get used to that). The problem is content and control — too much content (the feed is now cluttered with garbage) and too little control (users can’t adjust the feed the way they used to).

    Also stupid was dropping one of the hallmarks of social networking: telling people who their friends were friending. That’s the main way to find new friends and expand your own network. Zuckerberg can do the things you’re talking about without wrecking the functionality of the site. I’m using the site much less and I know a lot of people doing likewise. This redesign is different.

  359. You have a point, but you also miss the point. The problem with these changes isn’t cosmetic (people will get used to that). The problem is content and control — too much content (the feed is now cluttered with garbage) and too little control (users can’t adjust the feed the way they used to).

    Also stupid was dropping one of the hallmarks of social networking: telling people who their friends were friending. That’s the main way to find new friends and expand your own network. Zuckerberg can do the things you’re talking about without wrecking the functionality of the site. I’m using the site much less and I know a lot of people doing likewise. This redesign is different.

  360. [...] direct promotion.” Coincidentally, Robert Scoble was writing at the weekend about what he believes Facebook’s impending business model is going to be (leaving Twitter stranded alone on the lunatic fringe of freemium): “Yes, we’re [...]

  361. Reactionary opposition to change on the site should be ignored, but I don’t think Zuckerberg is inclined to, nor should he, ignore well-reasoned criticism and suggestions.

  362. The reason that Facebook should listen to its users is something called “business ethics.” As our current economic climate demonstrates to us, the concept of being ethical in business no longer exists in America. Zuckerberg certainly has not learned the lesson of ethical responsibility to his company’s target audience, and it appears neither has this blog’s author. Eventually, a new social networking site will come along that listens to what users want from the site and when that day does eventually come, Facebook users will remember Zuckerberg and leave in droves. They will leave Facebook and avoid any future web venture Zuckerberg attaches himself to.

  363. Reactionary opposition to change on the site should be ignored, but I don’t think Zuckerberg is inclined to, nor should he, ignore well-reasoned criticism and suggestions.

  364. The reason that Facebook should listen to its users is something called “business ethics.” As our current economic climate demonstrates to us, the concept of being ethical in business no longer exists in America. Zuckerberg certainly has not learned the lesson of ethical responsibility to his company’s target audience, and it appears neither has this blog’s author. Eventually, a new social networking site will come along that listens to what users want from the site and when that day does eventually come, Facebook users will remember Zuckerberg and leave in droves. They will leave Facebook and avoid any future web venture Zuckerberg attaches himself to.

  365. Bobby,

    Good post. I agree with many of your statements, especially ones harping on the “don’t let the customers run your company” tip. However, my problem with your post is that you have failed to convince me that the existing crappy (IMO) new UI has the potential to make FB more money than a better UI.

    I don’t care about the FB business model or ads. Zuck can change, copy, emulate, innovate his business model all he wants. I have a problem with them vanilla-izing their UI and making bad decisions that allow a friend’s 35 different invites/updates/etc. to flood my homepage all at once, which each one looking almost identical. Everything feels the same. The redesign, while enabling some sort of real-time friend data stream, makes Facebook feel more boring (IMO).

    I also think it’s fair to note that people may hate the redesign, but their not going to leave the service over it. Yet.

  366. Bobby,

    Good post. I agree with many of your statements, especially ones harping on the “don’t let the customers run your company” tip. However, my problem with your post is that you have failed to convince me that the existing crappy (IMO) new UI has the potential to make FB more money than a better UI.

    I don’t care about the FB business model or ads. Zuck can change, copy, emulate, innovate his business model all he wants. I have a problem with them vanilla-izing their UI and making bad decisions that allow a friend’s 35 different invites/updates/etc. to flood my homepage all at once, which each one looking almost identical. Everything feels the same. The redesign, while enabling some sort of real-time friend data stream, makes Facebook feel more boring (IMO).

    I also think it’s fair to note that people may hate the redesign, but their not going to leave the service over it. Yet.

  367. Yawn… I just wanted the option to turn off all the feeds… surely to configure the homepage to how we want it is the best option… anyways I’m going back to using Myspace instead of selling out to the corporation.

  368. Yawn… I just wanted the option to turn off all the feeds… surely to configure the homepage to how we want it is the best option… anyways I’m going back to using Myspace instead of selling out to the corporation.

  369. I find it impressive that you have just about the opposite attitude about Facebook as myself. I personally think making our lives more and more public (status updates, wall posts) is hurting the quality of our interpersonal relationships. I think as Zuckerberg refuses to listen to his customers and moves towards a marketing based objective, the growth will slow, even decline in some demographics.

    However, I do believe Facebook will succeed because of the kids. Their innocence and ignorance will have them accept these changes with open arms and will undoubtedly enjoy being marketed to. They will accept being marketed to as a part of daily life and communication (which Facebook is currently a massive component of). McDonald’s is the best example I can think of off the top my head of a Corporation that knew how to market to young people and reaped the rewards. I think Facebook will survive because it has already become a strong foundation of how the youth communicate. They will more readily accept changes that allow Facebook to make more money.

    What’s this about how you WANT car manufacturers to market to you? Are you saying the ads showing a family van doing massive slides, kicking up dust with some cool rock music is how you do your research? You need to look at third-party review publications and user reviews. If anything, you don’t want to let those “cool” kinds of advertising persuade you from the cold, hard truths that are found on hundreds of available review sources.

  370. I find it impressive that you have just about the opposite attitude about Facebook as myself. I personally think making our lives more and more public (status updates, wall posts) is hurting the quality of our interpersonal relationships. I think as Zuckerberg refuses to listen to his customers and moves towards a marketing based objective, the growth will slow, even decline in some demographics.

    However, I do believe Facebook will succeed because of the kids. Their innocence and ignorance will have them accept these changes with open arms and will undoubtedly enjoy being marketed to. They will accept being marketed to as a part of daily life and communication (which Facebook is currently a massive component of). McDonald’s is the best example I can think of off the top my head of a Corporation that knew how to market to young people and reaped the rewards. I think Facebook will survive because it has already become a strong foundation of how the youth communicate. They will more readily accept changes that allow Facebook to make more money.

    What’s this about how you WANT car manufacturers to market to you? Are you saying the ads showing a family van doing massive slides, kicking up dust with some cool rock music is how you do your research? You need to look at third-party review publications and user reviews. If anything, you don’t want to let those “cool” kinds of advertising persuade you from the cold, hard truths that are found on hundreds of available review sources.

  371. Want to find out where the nearest sushi bar is? Want to know where to buy pregnancy clothes? Ever think of asking Google?

    Facebook is free for users, so of course it can do whatever it wants. Business model econo-babble aside, it’s a shame that Mark is just not as smart as Craig.

  372. Want to find out where the nearest sushi bar is? Want to know where to buy pregnancy clothes? Ever think of asking Google?

    Facebook is free for users, so of course it can do whatever it wants. Business model econo-babble aside, it’s a shame that Mark is just not as smart as Craig.

  373. This is cute and all, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the complaints about the new Facebook, which boil down to: they removed functionality/user control when they did the layout redesign. There was no reason that was necessary. The layout is not inherently harder to incorporate with user control. Keep the changes, just give us back all the control over stream content we had in the last version. What’s hard about that (other than it would make it possible to cut out the coming onslaught of advertising…)?

  374. This is cute and all, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the complaints about the new Facebook, which boil down to: they removed functionality/user control when they did the layout redesign. There was no reason that was necessary. The layout is not inherently harder to incorporate with user control. Keep the changes, just give us back all the control over stream content we had in the last version. What’s hard about that (other than it would make it possible to cut out the coming onslaught of advertising…)?

  375. “Listening to your customers is ALWAYS a good idea…”

    Listening, yes. Obeying, no. Don’t forget, your initial rabid userbase, the ones who are the most vocal, are probably not the userbase you’ll end up with 5 years from now. With their growth, listening to the small initial userbase, the loudest ones, is big mistake. A mistake facebook has made many times.

  376. “Listening to your customers is ALWAYS a good idea…”

    Listening, yes. Obeying, no. Don’t forget, your initial rabid userbase, the ones who are the most vocal, are probably not the userbase you’ll end up with 5 years from now. With their growth, listening to the small initial userbase, the loudest ones, is big mistake. A mistake facebook has made many times.

  377. Very informative Scob.

    Thanks for sharing this and helping us out with your Phase graph! Loved it.

    And congratulations over the Baby-To-Come. Grab some rest before they get out.

  378. Very informative Scob.

    Thanks for sharing this and helping us out with your Phase graph! Loved it.

    And congratulations over the Baby-To-Come. Grab some rest before they get out.

  379. I don’t mind if there’s more advertising, as long as it’s clean and neat.

    BUT HERE IS MY PROBLEM:
    How is “your friend took the ‘which underwear are you?’ quiz” not spam? This is what floods my homepage, not “your friend likes Z bar at main street”.

  380. I don’t mind if there’s more advertising, as long as it’s clean and neat.

    BUT HERE IS MY PROBLEM:
    How is “your friend took the ‘which underwear are you?’ quiz” not spam? This is what floods my homepage, not “your friend likes Z bar at main street”.

  381. Facebook is a very strong brand now. It would take a lot HUGE MISTAKES to turn it down. Like you said, your wife hasn’t left FB. I know some friends complaining the new layout. But guess what.. they don’t leave.

    The brand is too powerful to fail over a layout change. And the fact that FB is adopting other features such as FriendFeed is brilliant, to my opinion. Zuckerberg knows how to adapt his business to the trend. He sees far beyond what most of the complaining customers are seeing.

  382. Facebook is a very strong brand now. It would take a lot HUGE MISTAKES to turn it down. Like you said, your wife hasn’t left FB. I know some friends complaining the new layout. But guess what.. they don’t leave.

    The brand is too powerful to fail over a layout change. And the fact that FB is adopting other features such as FriendFeed is brilliant, to my opinion. Zuckerberg knows how to adapt his business to the trend. He sees far beyond what most of the complaining customers are seeing.

  383. How people can respond to this article with a straight face, let alone agree with it is absolutely hilarious. Facebook achieved its success because people found it to be useful tool to socialize with hence the service being defined as a “social networking website.” Zuckerberg made it perfectly clear early on in his patented internal memos, that increased advertising was being done to maintain Facebook as a free entity, it wasn’t until later that the urge to bank in on the millions of people swarming to his website became irresistible.

    Now, making money is not inherently bad, hell, I’d love to have a piece of Mark’s fortune, but not through the means of exploitation. Yes, I said it. Facebook exploits its users because of their attachment to its services. Good business model or not, Zuckerberg is making money on a service that was originally designed for college kids to get together to be college kids. I used to be one of those college kids, and I loved the fact that we had a site that acted like a club of sorts, where our parents and little siblings couldn’t invade, leaving them to wallow in the depths that is Myspace. Is this a bit elitist? Of course it is, but no one outside of current college students and alumni knows what life is like in college. Can you imagine if an African American or Jewish networking site all of a sudden opened up to the public for anyone and everyone to flock to? I’d think that might instill a bit of resentment in their original demographic.

    Mark sold out those who made Facebook what it is today, and now those original users have graduated and are abandoning the once useful college networking tool making the service a shell of its former self. Getting friend requests from grandparents and little brothers is not what I’d call a positive transition. But oh wait, it doesn’t matter because Mark is going to make more money; screw those who he once called peers.

  384. How people can respond to this article with a straight face, let alone agree with it is absolutely hilarious. Facebook achieved its success because people found it to be useful tool to socialize with hence the service being defined as a “social networking website.” Zuckerberg made it perfectly clear early on in his patented internal memos, that increased advertising was being done to maintain Facebook as a free entity, it wasn’t until later that the urge to bank in on the millions of people swarming to his website became irresistible.

    Now, making money is not inherently bad, hell, I’d love to have a piece of Mark’s fortune, but not through the means of exploitation. Yes, I said it. Facebook exploits its users because of their attachment to its services. Good business model or not, Zuckerberg is making money on a service that was originally designed for college kids to get together to be college kids. I used to be one of those college kids, and I loved the fact that we had a site that acted like a club of sorts, where our parents and little siblings couldn’t invade, leaving them to wallow in the depths that is Myspace. Is this a bit elitist? Of course it is, but no one outside of current college students and alumni knows what life is like in college. Can you imagine if an African American or Jewish networking site all of a sudden opened up to the public for anyone and everyone to flock to? I’d think that might instill a bit of resentment in their original demographic.

    Mark sold out those who made Facebook what it is today, and now those original users have graduated and are abandoning the once useful college networking tool making the service a shell of its former self. Getting friend requests from grandparents and little brothers is not what I’d call a positive transition. But oh wait, it doesn’t matter because Mark is going to make more money; screw those who he once called peers.

  385. [...] against the changes, then they would either change back, or forward again. That was until I read this article. It is a really interesting piece about the real world of Facebook. By which I mean the [...]

  386. Yeah Facebook most certainly is not listening to its customers, it makes sense…to see a company that IS listening to its customers, and the needs of the masses of underpriviledged workers in industrializing nations, check this out! AN AUTOMOBILE WILL BE OFFERED FOR SALE FOR LESS THAN 2,000 DOLLARS!

  387. Yeah Facebook most certainly is not listening to its customers, it makes sense…to see a company that IS listening to its customers, and the needs of the masses of underpriviledged workers in industrializing nations, check this out! AN AUTOMOBILE WILL BE OFFERED FOR SALE FOR LESS THAN 2,000 DOLLARS!

  388. If your wife continues to give personal information to a company that hired Ted Ullyot, she deserves whatever she gets, addicted or not.

  389. If your wife continues to give personal information to a company that hired Ted Ullyot, she deserves whatever she gets, addicted or not.

  390. Plus that analogy is so flawed, a smoother ride Porsche, with more legroom, doesn’t feature-transform itself into a Volvo. It’s just a roomier, smoother Porsche,

    I guess everyone’s so busy twittering and FB-ing that they haven’t heard that Porsche is coming out with a new roomier, smoother four-door Porsche.

    Hmm … I wondered if they started listening to Volvo S80 owners or sumpin’ …

  391. Plus that analogy is so flawed, a smoother ride Porsche, with more legroom, doesn’t feature-transform itself into a Volvo. It’s just a roomier, smoother Porsche,

    I guess everyone’s so busy twittering and FB-ing that they haven’t heard that Porsche is coming out with a new roomier, smoother four-door Porsche.

    Hmm … I wondered if they started listening to Volvo S80 owners or sumpin’ …

  392. Scoble,

    This was a remarkably stupid post.

    There is nothing about the monetization of FB that required the new design. All of what you discuss could have been achieved with minimal change.

    The new look was and is about trying to head off Twitter – nothing more.

    FB was previously somewhat useful. Now its just a stream of noise.

  393. Scoble,

    This was a remarkably stupid post.

    There is nothing about the monetization of FB that required the new design. All of what you discuss could have been achieved with minimal change.

    The new look was and is about trying to head off Twitter – nothing more.

    FB was previously somewhat useful. Now its just a stream of noise.

  394. agreeing with you… and as someone who has found business, hired people, rediscovered forgotten networks… i’m going to choose not to bite the hand… good post.

  395. agreeing with you… and as someone who has found business, hired people, rediscovered forgotten networks… i’m going to choose not to bite the hand… good post.

  396. they haven’t heard that Porsche is coming out with a new roomier, smoother four-door Porsche.

    Good catch. But I heard, subtle jab. Sarcasm is lost on Scoble and Cult half the time. Heh. ;)

  397. they haven’t heard that Porsche is coming out with a new roomier, smoother four-door Porsche.

    Good catch. But I heard, subtle jab. Sarcasm is lost on Scoble and Cult half the time. Heh. ;)

  398. Innovator’s Dilemma? I subscribe to that programmer-cult rant posing as a book, about as much as the Cluetrain Manifesto, which is to say none.

    Listening to your customers is a good idea. ALWAYS. Now in terms of strategy, many complex factors at work, some customers might be edge-cases, hence focusing on some customers over all customers can kill, customers now might not be customers then. This is complicated stuff, that most often lends itself to the absurd. But customers that don’t feel you are listening, go elsewhere. So even if you aren’t listening, you have to appear to be, but you can only fake it for so long. Don’t boil this down to a cutesy book or a MBA recipe, it’s not rational nor quantifiable. Listening, means listening, strategy is something wholly differing, something that changes second by second.

  399. Innovator’s Dilemma? I subscribe to that programmer-cult rant posing as a book, about as much as the Cluetrain Manifesto, which is to say none.

    Listening to your customers is a good idea. ALWAYS. Now in terms of strategy, many complex factors at work, some customers might be edge-cases, hence focusing on some customers over all customers can kill, customers now might not be customers then. This is complicated stuff, that most often lends itself to the absurd. But customers that don’t feel you are listening, go elsewhere. So even if you aren’t listening, you have to appear to be, but you can only fake it for so long. Don’t boil this down to a cutesy book or a MBA recipe, it’s not rational nor quantifiable. Listening, means listening, strategy is something wholly differing, something that changes second by second.

  400. Not to mention that his users have about a 30-second attention span. “I’m leaving Facebook” groups pop up about every five days or so, and then people forget all about it.

    And there are enough options for the old school users to avoid real problems. For instance, when Facebook expanded, it also introduced the option to limit how many networks you were visible on (having joined as a college student, I made use of this, so I’m basically unsearchable).

    I find the redesign annoying and useless…but I’ve never liked News Feed anyway, and it hasn’t stopped me from using Facebook.

    Also, congrats.

  401. Not to mention that his users have about a 30-second attention span. “I’m leaving Facebook” groups pop up about every five days or so, and then people forget all about it.

    And there are enough options for the old school users to avoid real problems. For instance, when Facebook expanded, it also introduced the option to limit how many networks you were visible on (having joined as a college student, I made use of this, so I’m basically unsearchable).

    I find the redesign annoying and useless…but I’ve never liked News Feed anyway, and it hasn’t stopped me from using Facebook.

    Also, congrats.

  402. @ Scoble : Nice Post !!

    FB could not and would not be persuaded, no matter what the users would prefer ! Its organically growing and evolving at a rapid rate ! At this stage listening to customer/user needs would be far down in the list as long as it does not affect the “Business” !! For the heck of it, I would probably take the “Who Is your Soulmate?” quiz and wouldnt mind the result on public display, but “Which Female Celebritys Underwear would you like to be?” Quiz result is not something that would amuse my wife.

    Cheers !

  403. @ Scoble : Nice Post !!

    FB could not and would not be persuaded, no matter what the users would prefer ! Its organically growing and evolving at a rapid rate ! At this stage listening to customer/user needs would be far down in the list as long as it does not affect the “Business” !! For the heck of it, I would probably take the “Who Is your Soulmate?” quiz and wouldnt mind the result on public display, but “Which Female Celebritys Underwear would you like to be?” Quiz result is not something that would amuse my wife.

    Cheers !

  404. Although there has been tons of grumbling from users about the new design Facebook is using, corporations are certainly opening up to it – with one caveat: there needs to be an easier way to find company pages. One way Facebook is making that easy for big partners, is by giving them their Facebook “home page” with a simple “slash.” Check out http://www.facebook.com/Microsoft or http://www.facebook.com/jeep. These easily identifiable and search-able pages will be in high demand as more marketers move to the “new” Facebook.

  405. Although there has been tons of grumbling from users about the new design Facebook is using, corporations are certainly opening up to it – with one caveat: there needs to be an easier way to find company pages. One way Facebook is making that easy for big partners, is by giving them their Facebook “home page” with a simple “slash.” Check out http://www.facebook.com/Microsoft or http://www.facebook.com/jeep. These easily identifiable and search-able pages will be in high demand as more marketers move to the “new” Facebook.

  406. I was really not looking to read a blog about Facebook and truth is I found so much more in your post here! They say, when you are ready to hear the lesson will appear and funny it appeared for me in your post!

    I own a business in which the model is evolving and yes it involved alot of people however many have voiced their opinions and said they dont like the model and are ticked at us for changing – just like Facebook!! Ironic that this would happen at the same time – I think not!

    Thank you for showing me as a CEO of a company that I must continue on my path to implement the change and those that will still need our solution will be there and those that wont – well my motto is NEXT!!!!!!!!!!

    All the best with your new arrival.
    Tina Dezsi, CEO Power of Women Exchange, Author The Power of Women United.

  407. I was really not looking to read a blog about Facebook and truth is I found so much more in your post here! They say, when you are ready to hear the lesson will appear and funny it appeared for me in your post!

    I own a business in which the model is evolving and yes it involved alot of people however many have voiced their opinions and said they dont like the model and are ticked at us for changing – just like Facebook!! Ironic that this would happen at the same time – I think not!

    Thank you for showing me as a CEO of a company that I must continue on my path to implement the change and those that will still need our solution will be there and those that wont – well my motto is NEXT!!!!!!!!!!

    All the best with your new arrival.
    Tina Dezsi, CEO Power of Women Exchange, Author The Power of Women United.

  408. I had not thought of Facebook catching up on the Twitter model, but what you say is very true. Zuckerberg always seems to know what he’s doing.

  409. I had not thought of Facebook catching up on the Twitter model, but what you say is very true. Zuckerberg always seems to know what he’s doing.

  410. [...] Scobleizer: Technology, innovation, and geek enthusiasm My former boss, Jim Fawcette, used to say that if you asked a group of Porsche owners what they wanted they’d tell you things like “smoother ride, more trunk space, more leg room, etc.” He’d then say “well, they just designed a Volvo.” (tags: facebook design scoble) [...]

  411. What you fail to realize is that the design and usability of the service has absolutely NOTHING to do with anything you’ve said here. People aren’t afraid of the “phase shift” – if it adds more utility and zing then great, it will be a good change. The only problem with the current “redesign” is that it took away so much without adding anything useful. It wasn’t a phase shift at all, it was a petty redesign toward an image. Twitter’s image, to be exact.

    Everything you’ve said here is bull and doesn’t recognize the lack of connection between your insights about the social network, and the change that has actually taken place. You’re in fantasyland trying to explain the genius of Zuckerburg without any context. Why didn’t you just write a post about him and how awesomely cool and visionary and handsome he is? Unfortunately there’s evidence to the contrary; he hasn’t proven himself yet, and apparently is willing to walk over us lower class normal people to get to the top. He gets zero respect for that.

  412. What you fail to realize is that the design and usability of the service has absolutely NOTHING to do with anything you’ve said here. People aren’t afraid of the “phase shift” – if it adds more utility and zing then great, it will be a good change. The only problem with the current “redesign” is that it took away so much without adding anything useful. It wasn’t a phase shift at all, it was a petty redesign toward an image. Twitter’s image, to be exact.

    Everything you’ve said here is bull and doesn’t recognize the lack of connection between your insights about the social network, and the change that has actually taken place. You’re in fantasyland trying to explain the genius of Zuckerburg without any context. Why didn’t you just write a post about him and how awesomely cool and visionary and handsome he is? Unfortunately there’s evidence to the contrary; he hasn’t proven himself yet, and apparently is willing to walk over us lower class normal people to get to the top. He gets zero respect for that.

  413. I find it astonishing and troubling that you think that companies should ignore the wishes of their customers “because they don’t know any better”. Your condescension for “the little people” is really the theme of this post. Who cares what the users want, huh? Let them eat cake!

    Shame on you.

  414. I find it astonishing and troubling that you think that companies should ignore the wishes of their customers “because they don’t know any better”. Your condescension for “the little people” is really the theme of this post. Who cares what the users want, huh? Let them eat cake!

    Shame on you.

  415. i have no problems with being marketed to, however they need to hire a graphic design or a user interface consultant because it’s obvious it’s just some web nerds with no sense of design throwing things together. i’ll take crappy new services if they are well integrated and not thrown on a page. This article is kind of pretentious, to say the least. should they have to change? no, of course not. but with every new version it loses any touch with user interaction.

  416. i have no problems with being marketed to, however they need to hire a graphic design or a user interface consultant because it’s obvious it’s just some web nerds with no sense of design throwing things together. i’ll take crappy new services if they are well integrated and not thrown on a page. This article is kind of pretentious, to say the least. should they have to change? no, of course not. but with every new version it loses any touch with user interaction.

  417. The company I work for has become increasingly corporatised and globalised over the last few years, in very distinct ‘phase shifts’. On each occasion the high-ups have been very clear on how this is better for ‘the business’, primarily because it will open up new markets and make more money.

    The problem is, a) I simply don’t believe that the only, or even the best, motive in life is to make more money. I’d much rather have as a business goal a company that made the same amount of money as before (in real terms) but changed to provide an environment that appeared to give a d*mn about me as an employee.
    b) who is the money being made for? The high-ups. Pay rises at ground level are currently frozen, so where on earth is all this new money we’re coining in going to? Ultimately the idea is that we will all work just as hard at jobs we now enjoy less, because this will make more money for faceless people on the other side of the world.

    On a comparable ethical theme, if the primary aim of Facebook is to make money then the phase changes are a good thing, for the high-ups but not for the ground levels. I’m annoyed because I hoped Facebook rated user enjoyment a little higher than it clearly does. Yes, ignore a massive negative reaction from users; it’s a good change because someone high up will make more money; and for the people who actually make it what it is, things get a little duller and more corporatised for no personal benefit.

  418. The company I work for has become increasingly corporatised and globalised over the last few years, in very distinct ‘phase shifts’. On each occasion the high-ups have been very clear on how this is better for ‘the business’, primarily because it will open up new markets and make more money.

    The problem is, a) I simply don’t believe that the only, or even the best, motive in life is to make more money. I’d much rather have as a business goal a company that made the same amount of money as before (in real terms) but changed to provide an environment that appeared to give a d*mn about me as an employee.
    b) who is the money being made for? The high-ups. Pay rises at ground level are currently frozen, so where on earth is all this new money we’re coining in going to? Ultimately the idea is that we will all work just as hard at jobs we now enjoy less, because this will make more money for faceless people on the other side of the world.

    On a comparable ethical theme, if the primary aim of Facebook is to make money then the phase changes are a good thing, for the high-ups but not for the ground levels. I’m annoyed because I hoped Facebook rated user enjoyment a little higher than it clearly does. Yes, ignore a massive negative reaction from users; it’s a good change because someone high up will make more money; and for the people who actually make it what it is, things get a little duller and more corporatised for no personal benefit.

  419. I think there is some confusion here in comments between listening to your customers and allowing them to have their way with your brand. Of course it’s essential for marketers (or Facebook) to understand their customers needs and open communication channels. But asking them to redesign the site themselves (ie the Porsche example) cannot end happily.

    Look for the video that details how consumers in a focus group would redesign the infamous 1984 ad that launched Macintosh. Let’s just say it ends with babies. And monkeys.

  420. I think there is some confusion here in comments between listening to your customers and allowing them to have their way with your brand. Of course it’s essential for marketers (or Facebook) to understand their customers needs and open communication channels. But asking them to redesign the site themselves (ie the Porsche example) cannot end happily.

    Look for the video that details how consumers in a focus group would redesign the infamous 1984 ad that launched Macintosh. Let’s just say it ends with babies. And monkeys.

  421. [...] of Facebook as returning to vogue as a result of coverage it’s received lately from folks like Robert Scoble and Jesse Stay. Perhaps it’s just my inability to really get Facebook, or perhaps I’m just [...]

  422. I can’t say I enjoyed the new look of Facebook, but since I appreciated Twitter, I enjoyed what it was becoming. Twitter, but a Twitter that my friends used. BUT Facebook didn’t do it right. I already want it to be what it will become. Right now it’s this weird mix of what Facebook used to be and this weird expanding presence.

    My number one complaint is clutter and redundancy: The profiles themselves are still trying to be communicative (the wall) when they don’t need to be (because we have inboxes). And entirely too much information (without white-space) is forced upon us at every screen including advertisements.

    No, Facebook won’t ever entirely listen, but they did relegate applications to an “opt in” nature when they forced them into tabs in the new design. And when Facebook attempted to own our opinions and reviews, great eyes watching out in the terms of use saw to it that they at least had to ask us first.

    I just want Facebook to be a service that I want to use again. I use it right now, but only reluctantly as everyone else uses it. The power of community is great and Zuckerberg has definitely harnessed it. Maybe one day the begrudging can become enough to cause change… or maybe they can just re-earn their place in my life.

  423. I can’t say I enjoyed the new look of Facebook, but since I appreciated Twitter, I enjoyed what it was becoming. Twitter, but a Twitter that my friends used. BUT Facebook didn’t do it right. I already want it to be what it will become. Right now it’s this weird mix of what Facebook used to be and this weird expanding presence.

    My number one complaint is clutter and redundancy: The profiles themselves are still trying to be communicative (the wall) when they don’t need to be (because we have inboxes). And entirely too much information (without white-space) is forced upon us at every screen including advertisements.

    No, Facebook won’t ever entirely listen, but they did relegate applications to an “opt in” nature when they forced them into tabs in the new design. And when Facebook attempted to own our opinions and reviews, great eyes watching out in the terms of use saw to it that they at least had to ask us first.

    I just want Facebook to be a service that I want to use again. I use it right now, but only reluctantly as everyone else uses it. The power of community is great and Zuckerberg has definitely harnessed it. Maybe one day the begrudging can become enough to cause change… or maybe they can just re-earn their place in my life.

  424. i sell USANA nutritional suplements, if you want spam i can give it to you hahahaha. no really, if you are interested, contact me, usana is known for their farmaceutical quality control, so you know you are buying something that really has what it says.

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  425. i sell USANA nutritional suplements, if you want spam i can give it to you hahahaha. no really, if you are interested, contact me, usana is known for their farmaceutical quality control, so you know you are buying something that really has what it says.

    you can leave a coment here http://www.health-learners.com (under construction)

  426. I’m sorry, but please connect this:

    “if you asked a group of Porsche owners what they wanted they’d tell you things like “smoother ride, more trunk space, more leg room, etc.” He’d then say “WELL, THEY JUST DESIGNED A VOLVO.”

    …with this:

    “They just designed a Twitter.”

    What facebook staf made was the same that would happen if they would have listen to users. And then, we the same users would have sayed that the design looks like Twitter.

    They changed from Porcshe to Volvo without the people council.
    Now they need to hear the secon part of the counsil:

    “you designed a Volvo and I want a Porsche.”

  427. I’m sorry, but please connect this:

    “if you asked a group of Porsche owners what they wanted they’d tell you things like “smoother ride, more trunk space, more leg room, etc.” He’d then say “WELL, THEY JUST DESIGNED A VOLVO.”

    …with this:

    “They just designed a Twitter.”

    What facebook staf made was the same that would happen if they would have listen to users. And then, we the same users would have sayed that the design looks like Twitter.

    They changed from Porcshe to Volvo without the people council.
    Now they need to hear the secon part of the counsil:

    “you designed a Volvo and I want a Porsche.”

  428. [...] らくだと馬の比喩は(らくだをけなすつもりはもちろんないが)、あまりにも多くの人が製品に口出しをしたときに起きる問題を見事に表現している。Seth Godinは、Sonyのウォークマンは事前に消費者の要望を聞いて作ったらあのような見事な製品にはならなかっただろうと言っている(彼のPurple Cowという本を読んでみて)。数日前にRobert Scobleが、事前に買い手に機能の要望を聞いてから作ったら、ポルシェはボルボになってしまっただろうと言った: “ポルシェを持っている人たちに要望を聞いたら’乗り心地が良くて、トランクのスペースが大きくて、足元が広いこと’などと言うだろう”。Scobleは続けて: “でもそんなデザインは、ボルボだよ。”。 [...]

  429. Robert,
    Thank you for sharing your brilliant thoughts … here are my comments

    With Feature comes complexity, and with 180 Million People if there are no signs of mixed opinions its not a social network.

    Assume thats a lousy design, but with this design he is able to see the real dynamics of people gauging the impact of one small change in his platform making turbulance in the entire web2.0 there are blogs,tweets,IMs mails what not people are talking of Facebook period.

    As one of my friend mentioned, there is nothing called “Bad Publicity”, just publicity if you can create the movement later you can change it back if scenario is that bad ..

    let me give you another example, what happened when Facebook changed it terms and conditions ?? people blogged, created groups in the same platform , tweeted what not, then next day there appeared a small banner saying sorry , we did not want to do this and we are changing back to old version and all got cooled down .. now will any one speak ? so this I think is the best way to use the users for your advertisement.

    I am sure Facebook has a lot more to offer and people won’t leave facebook because of 1. Connectivity and other applications that are glued to the interface.

    Lets wait and watch …

  430. Robert,
    Thank you for sharing your brilliant thoughts … here are my comments

    With Feature comes complexity, and with 180 Million People if there are no signs of mixed opinions its not a social network.

    Assume thats a lousy design, but with this design he is able to see the real dynamics of people gauging the impact of one small change in his platform making turbulance in the entire web2.0 there are blogs,tweets,IMs mails what not people are talking of Facebook period.

    As one of my friend mentioned, there is nothing called “Bad Publicity”, just publicity if you can create the movement later you can change it back if scenario is that bad ..

    let me give you another example, what happened when Facebook changed it terms and conditions ?? people blogged, created groups in the same platform , tweeted what not, then next day there appeared a small banner saying sorry , we did not want to do this and we are changing back to old version and all got cooled down .. now will any one speak ? so this I think is the best way to use the users for your advertisement.

    I am sure Facebook has a lot more to offer and people won’t leave facebook because of 1. Connectivity and other applications that are glued to the interface.

    Lets wait and watch …

  431. [...] il y a quelque jours. Malheureusement, elle a été plus que mal accueillie par les utilisateurs. Beaucoup pensaient que Facebook ne ferait pas machine arrière, et pourtant ils le font (attention, ils ne repassent pas à l’ancienne version, faut pas [...]

  432. For me, this was an odd post. But an interesting juxtaposition of your recent FIR interview.

    Before Milan was born, you made the same requests from on stage in Seattle – back then, though, I noted that your blog audience is not the right audience for such companies to reach out to. It’s not about you, but your audience.

    For example, if I know one of the editor’s of a PC magazine is about to have a baby, would I send goods to him or her as the PR person of a baby good’s company? No, not at all – not the right readership, not the right audience.

    Same goes for your blog.

    Congratulations on the impending new addition!

  433. For me, this was an odd post. But an interesting juxtaposition of your recent FIR interview.

    Before Milan was born, you made the same requests from on stage in Seattle – back then, though, I noted that your blog audience is not the right audience for such companies to reach out to. It’s not about you, but your audience.

    For example, if I know one of the editor’s of a PC magazine is about to have a baby, would I send goods to him or her as the PR person of a baby good’s company? No, not at all – not the right readership, not the right audience.

    Same goes for your blog.

    Congratulations on the impending new addition!

  434. Thank you! I have been sick of listening to my friends complain who have no understanding of the industry or the business model… but I have been too lazy to explain all the reasons why. Now I can just link them to this… it covers everything I wanted to say but couldn’t articulate.

  435. Thank you! I have been sick of listening to my friends complain who have no understanding of the industry or the business model… but I have been too lazy to explain all the reasons why. Now I can just link them to this… it covers everything I wanted to say but couldn’t articulate.

  436. Your vision of Facebook in one year may appeal to you, but if facebook want’s toi evolve, it cannot afford to loose the competion to another, witch means not loosing too much off is base.

  437. Your vision of Facebook in one year may appeal to you, but if facebook want’s toi evolve, it cannot afford to loose the competion to another, witch means not loosing too much off is base.

  438. Here’s a story. Coca-Cola dominated the soft-drink market for years on end, then this other company, Pepsi-Cola, began consistently gaining market share, and they even ran taste tests that ‘showed’ that more people preferred the taste of Pepsi to to Coke. Coca-Cola responded by changing their recipe to make their drink taste more like Pepsi, because they were convinced that was what consumers wanted. As it turned out, people didn’t want that at all, and they had a very strong connection to the previous version of Coke, so much so that they hoarded away the old coke, and boycotted the new beverage. Facebook is making the same mistake that Coca-Cola made. Just like Pepsi, Twitter is not right for everybody, it is right for only a small-subset of the population. Facebook as the market numbers show, has a service that is far more appealing to the majority of users, if only out of habit alone. Facebook is removing the choice for people who prefer a social networking service that acts more like a world-wide phonebook, and don’t want /need a constantly updating feed of inane babble.

    The idea that a sushi restaurant would advertise through facebook and let the public control the advertising message is also off. What if you 80 of your friends hate that restaurant because it’s a total mess? Is the owner going to pay to drive prospective customers away through facebook? Of course not! Maybe he’d pay for advertising positive reviews, but that’s not really useful to you. You’d want the full range of opinions, and would most likely rather not eat there if 80 out of 100 people dislike it.

    This type of advertising would be equivalent to infomercial paid testimonials, and you’d much rather go on yelp or yahoo reviews to find out the real story. The true value to consumers is UNBIASED information on products and services and you only get that when money is not involved. When I shop for a car I don’t read automaker brochures, but look at consumer reports, magazine model comparisons, etc.

  439. Here’s a story. Coca-Cola dominated the soft-drink market for years on end, then this other company, Pepsi-Cola, began consistently gaining market share, and they even ran taste tests that ‘showed’ that more people preferred the taste of Pepsi to to Coke. Coca-Cola responded by changing their recipe to make their drink taste more like Pepsi, because they were convinced that was what consumers wanted. As it turned out, people didn’t want that at all, and they had a very strong connection to the previous version of Coke, so much so that they hoarded away the old coke, and boycotted the new beverage. Facebook is making the same mistake that Coca-Cola made. Just like Pepsi, Twitter is not right for everybody, it is right for only a small-subset of the population. Facebook as the market numbers show, has a service that is far more appealing to the majority of users, if only out of habit alone. Facebook is removing the choice for people who prefer a social networking service that acts more like a world-wide phonebook, and don’t want /need a constantly updating feed of inane babble.

    The idea that a sushi restaurant would advertise through facebook and let the public control the advertising message is also off. What if you 80 of your friends hate that restaurant because it’s a total mess? Is the owner going to pay to drive prospective customers away through facebook? Of course not! Maybe he’d pay for advertising positive reviews, but that’s not really useful to you. You’d want the full range of opinions, and would most likely rather not eat there if 80 out of 100 people dislike it.

    This type of advertising would be equivalent to infomercial paid testimonials, and you’d much rather go on yelp or yahoo reviews to find out the real story. The true value to consumers is UNBIASED information on products and services and you only get that when money is not involved. When I shop for a car I don’t read automaker brochures, but look at consumer reports, magazine model comparisons, etc.

  440. Seriously, who gives a crap about “the social graph”?

    It might be useful for data mining and selling ads (which we’ll ignore), but humans already keep their social graph in their heads.

  441. Seriously, who gives a crap about “the social graph”?

    It might be useful for data mining and selling ads (which we’ll ignore), but humans already keep their social graph in their heads.

  442. Robert, pull out before you cum all over Zuckerberg, ok? Although, I must say, congratulations on your bromance.

  443. Robert, pull out before you cum all over Zuckerberg, ok? Although, I must say, congratulations on your bromance.

  444. Odd that you all seem to think that the “social circle” is all that important. My facebook “friends” weren’t friends at all. Most of them were people I only had a passing interest in and had lost track of decades ago. When this change came along I found it very disruptive, very annoying and quite useless. The redesign took away the ability to filter by relevance and replaced it with meaningless drivel. After that, deleting my Facebook account was just as easy as throwing away a magazine I had lost interest in.

    Listening to your customers is important when they leave. And I for one, left.

  445. Odd that you all seem to think that the “social circle” is all that important. My facebook “friends” weren’t friends at all. Most of them were people I only had a passing interest in and had lost track of decades ago. When this change came along I found it very disruptive, very annoying and quite useless. The redesign took away the ability to filter by relevance and replaced it with meaningless drivel. After that, deleting my Facebook account was just as easy as throwing away a magazine I had lost interest in.

    Listening to your customers is important when they leave. And I for one, left.

  446. What you might not understand, big boy, is that a lot of people use Facebook for more than just information on where to next stuff their face with food or buy plus-size shoes.

  447. What you might not understand, big boy, is that a lot of people use Facebook for more than just information on where to next stuff their face with food or buy plus-size shoes.

  448. Building Your List with Paid eZine Advertising Some Internet Marketers can get clueless when it comes to unleashing the full potential of paid eZine advertising. One of the most common dilemmas is that whether should the Internet Marketer advertise the product or service he is selling directly to the subscribers of the eZine he is paying advertising for? This can be a wise method, but with ifs and buts. For one, the advertisement must be compelling and attention grabbing. Secondly, there is no telling if the eZine’s subscribers constantly practice a buying habit until you put some money to find out. Investing even a small sum of money can be risky to a number of Internet Marketers who are on tight budgets. But in spite of the risk factors, eZine advertising can still be rewarding, if done right. Thus the solution: the marketer would be wiser if he or she uses eZine advertising to build his or her mailing list. It makes sense, anyway. Since some eZines display more than one sponsored advertisement, you can grab the subscriber’s attention by giving a free or risk-free product or offer through your ad. When the subscriber clicks on your ad, he or she can opt into your mailing list in exchange for the free offer, which can be a free report or even a trial service. While you are not making a hard sell through your advertisement just yet, building your list by getting other eZine’s subscribers subscribed to your eZine allows you to follow up with them in the future, as and when you have new offers. Pachuca Press

  449. Building Your List with Paid eZine Advertising Some Internet Marketers can get clueless when it comes to unleashing the full potential of paid eZine advertising. One of the most common dilemmas is that whether should the Internet Marketer advertise the product or service he is selling directly to the subscribers of the eZine he is paying advertising for? This can be a wise method, but with ifs and buts. For one, the advertisement must be compelling and attention grabbing. Secondly, there is no telling if the eZine’s subscribers constantly practice a buying habit until you put some money to find out. Investing even a small sum of money can be risky to a number of Internet Marketers who are on tight budgets. But in spite of the risk factors, eZine advertising can still be rewarding, if done right. Thus the solution: the marketer would be wiser if he or she uses eZine advertising to build his or her mailing list. It makes sense, anyway. Since some eZines display more than one sponsored advertisement, you can grab the subscriber’s attention by giving a free or risk-free product or offer through your ad. When the subscriber clicks on your ad, he or she can opt into your mailing list in exchange for the free offer, which can be a free report or even a trial service. While you are not making a hard sell through your advertisement just yet, building your list by getting other eZine’s subscribers subscribed to your eZine allows you to follow up with them in the future, as and when you have new offers. Pachuca Press

  450. OK.
    If the relationship is structured so that the user can determine when they want the information, I don’t see the ad noise problem. You have to give permission to be contacted (see Seth G’s book), that’s the only way businesses will work.

    Why can’t changes to a homepage design be appealing to the masses and follow a route to allow for businesses to contribute/connect? Give the user a choice to opt in, allow for classic interfaces, etc. On the flip side if some customers or businesses are constantly complaining, you probably are better off losing them in the long run.

    Is it really impossible to continually impress your customers by giving them more instead of less, while following your own business agenda?

    My analogy for the facebook redesign: They took a free comfortable shared limo ride, and turned it into a crammed subway. Some folks really enjoyed the former, why should they have to give that up? They could do this by allowing folks to customize the hell out of the interface for each user (with an open API).

    I’ve read that users of facebook have dropped a lot of friends in order to recreate that personal feel.

  451. OK.
    If the relationship is structured so that the user can determine when they want the information, I don’t see the ad noise problem. You have to give permission to be contacted (see Seth G’s book), that’s the only way businesses will work.

    Why can’t changes to a homepage design be appealing to the masses and follow a route to allow for businesses to contribute/connect? Give the user a choice to opt in, allow for classic interfaces, etc. On the flip side if some customers or businesses are constantly complaining, you probably are better off losing them in the long run.

    Is it really impossible to continually impress your customers by giving them more instead of less, while following your own business agenda?

    My analogy for the facebook redesign: They took a free comfortable shared limo ride, and turned it into a crammed subway. Some folks really enjoyed the former, why should they have to give that up? They could do this by allowing folks to customize the hell out of the interface for each user (with an open API).

    I’ve read that users of facebook have dropped a lot of friends in order to recreate that personal feel.