Facebook: the new data black hole

Oh, my.

I added the WordPress Facebook Application a few days ago. Now my blog, and your comments, are showing up on my Facebook Profile Page. Along with my Twitters. My Flickr photos. My Google Reader items. My Kyte videos. And a bunch of other things.

Jeremiah Owyang is sitting here with me and he’s the one who said it’s a black hole after seeing how Facebook is becoming the new portal for all information you post around the Web. He wrote a post titled “all your widgets are belong to Facebook.”

Other evidence that Facebook is a black hole, sucking stuff into it: They just acquired Parakey, a stealth-mode startup started by Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, two former Firefox geeks.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Another concern, apart from my post is that these third party developers (like the wordpress one) now have access to your blog, and they are not affiliated with wordpress.

    What’s stopping them from doing something devious? slipping in some light SEO code? or putting up a goatze?

    On the other hand, when I see several of my friends using one application (and facebook is great for that) my level of trust goes up, as I see my peers using it.

    Trade offs either way.

  2. Another concern, apart from my post is that these third party developers (like the wordpress one) now have access to your blog, and they are not affiliated with wordpress.

    What’s stopping them from doing something devious? slipping in some light SEO code? or putting up a goatze?

    On the other hand, when I see several of my friends using one application (and facebook is great for that) my level of trust goes up, as I see my peers using it.

    Trade offs either way.

  3. I’m still not getting why people insist that facebook, as a platform, is a “closed system”, am I missing something???
    A)anyone can develop apps on said system, no need for authorization
    B)anyone can access information from their users and display it on an external site, of course not all-data is available, but that would make no sense because of the privacy issues

    There are certain parts of FB that of course aren’t open (like the user’s profiles outside of FB)but that’s FB the site, not FB the platform.

    Jeremiah: I don’t know how that wordpress app is implemented, but if it’s just crawling the feed of your blog it can’t really write anything on it or access any information that isn’t already public. The developer could however “put up a goatze” on your profile box, but that’s as far as it gets (I realize it would be pretty bad, but I guess you should only install apps if you trust the developer as on any system). As for SEO code, first I don’t think google indexes or could index user’s profiles and also FB caches anything that goes on the profile boxes so they wouldn’t allow it).

    peace,
    mario romero

  4. I’m still not getting why people insist that facebook, as a platform, is a “closed system”, am I missing something???
    A)anyone can develop apps on said system, no need for authorization
    B)anyone can access information from their users and display it on an external site, of course not all-data is available, but that would make no sense because of the privacy issues

    There are certain parts of FB that of course aren’t open (like the user’s profiles outside of FB)but that’s FB the site, not FB the platform.

    Jeremiah: I don’t know how that wordpress app is implemented, but if it’s just crawling the feed of your blog it can’t really write anything on it or access any information that isn’t already public. The developer could however “put up a goatze” on your profile box, but that’s as far as it gets (I realize it would be pretty bad, but I guess you should only install apps if you trust the developer as on any system). As for SEO code, first I don’t think google indexes or could index user’s profiles and also FB caches anything that goes on the profile boxes so they wouldn’t allow it).

    peace,
    mario romero

  5. This is interesting. Wondered something similar when i hooked up WP this morning. I wonder if we have to think about horizontal social networks, such as FB as aggregators, and vertical networks such as WP, or Lending Club, as capabilities that folks will pull into their horizontal networks. I’ll stop there before my brain explodes.

  6. This is interesting. Wondered something similar when i hooked up WP this morning. I wonder if we have to think about horizontal social networks, such as FB as aggregators, and vertical networks such as WP, or Lending Club, as capabilities that folks will pull into their horizontal networks. I’ll stop there before my brain explodes.

  7. “Oh my god! Facebook again, you should working for Facebook, I think.”

    Yeah, I miss the Robert Scoble that went on a no “GYM” binge and pointed out that Techmeme tends to aggregate popular/press release stories over the little guy.

    At least he straight up admits that he plans to talk about Facebook and the iPhone as much as he wants. On the bright side, it’s there are PodTech videos thrown in the mix.

    Basically, Scobleizer@Microsoft > Scobleizer@Podtech.

  8. “Oh my god! Facebook again, you should working for Facebook, I think.”

    Yeah, I miss the Robert Scoble that went on a no “GYM” binge and pointed out that Techmeme tends to aggregate popular/press release stories over the little guy.

    At least he straight up admits that he plans to talk about Facebook and the iPhone as much as he wants. On the bright side, it’s there are PodTech videos thrown in the mix.

    Basically, Scobleizer@Microsoft > Scobleizer@Podtech.

  9. Mario

    The wordpress app requires you to login to your wordpress account from their app. This means they know your wordpress account info.

    This means they could modify your blog on wordpress (outside of Facebook)

    It’s a semi-closed systems, you can build on top of Facebook, but they still retain a tremendous amount of data you can’t easily export. Be sure to read my post that Scoble linked to.

  10. Mario

    The wordpress app requires you to login to your wordpress account from their app. This means they know your wordpress account info.

    This means they could modify your blog on wordpress (outside of Facebook)

    It’s a semi-closed systems, you can build on top of Facebook, but they still retain a tremendous amount of data you can’t easily export. Be sure to read my post that Scoble linked to.

  11. heh. just saw this a few minutes ago; added links back to you + Jeremiah + Duncan Riley on my Facebook isn’t AOL, it’s Visual Basic post from earlier this evening.

    guess we’re all drawing the Facebook = Microsoft analogy, especially those of us who used to drink the MSFT developer koolaid :)

    those were the daze, eh Robert?

    (the SDForum Visual Basic SIG still lives on in a special little place in my Borg heart ;)

    – dave mcclure
    http://500hats.typepad.com/

  12. heh. just saw this a few minutes ago; added links back to you + Jeremiah + Duncan Riley on my Facebook isn’t AOL, it’s Visual Basic post from earlier this evening.

    guess we’re all drawing the Facebook = Microsoft analogy, especially those of us who used to drink the MSFT developer koolaid :)

    those were the daze, eh Robert?

    (the SDForum Visual Basic SIG still lives on in a special little place in my Borg heart ;)

    – dave mcclure
    http://500hats.typepad.com/

  13. The WordPress app in Facebook is in an iframe. At no point does Facebook ever get your WordPress.com username and password.

    If you login at wordpress.com and then go to the app you’ll skip the app login page entirely.

  14. The WordPress app in Facebook is in an iframe. At no point does Facebook ever get your WordPress.com username and password.

    If you login at wordpress.com and then go to the app you’ll skip the app login page entirely.

  15. Dave: great blog post, thanks, I put it on my link blog. I have a special place in my heart for the Visual Basic SIG, too. One speech there has made me more than $100,000 so far.

  16. Dave: great blog post, thanks, I put it on my link blog. I have a special place in my heart for the Visual Basic SIG, too. One speech there has made me more than $100,000 so far.

  17. Robert,
    Just read your blog comment on techcrunch. Why do people think it is all hype… guess they have not used facebook and can’t “get it”…

    As you said…. Siemens doe s not have thousands of people on facebook if there is no value. ;)

  18. Robert,
    Just read your blog comment on techcrunch. Why do people think it is all hype… guess they have not used facebook and can’t “get it”…

    As you said…. Siemens doe s not have thousands of people on facebook if there is no value. ;)

  19. Rumford: a couple people admitted at the conference today they are dragging their feet because they are tired of trying to keep up with everything new.

  20. Rumford: a couple people admitted at the conference today they are dragging their feet because they are tired of trying to keep up with everything new.

  21. More evidence that FB is a Black Hole.

    Nothing escapes.

    FB is hidden behind the login wall. It has almost no RSS. There’s no way to export anything about your friends. And so on.

  22. More evidence that FB is a Black Hole.

    Nothing escapes.

    FB is hidden behind the login wall. It has almost no RSS. There’s no way to export anything about your friends. And so on.

  23. Robert – i’m already dragged in (it actually reminds of of Ecademy when i used to use that) :)

    I DO like the idea – but i’m not convinved it’s a platform as such. I like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Internet Service Bus, OpenID etc – those would be my service platform.

  24. Robert – i’m already dragged in (it actually reminds of of Ecademy when i used to use that) :)

    I DO like the idea – but i’m not convinved it’s a platform as such. I like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Internet Service Bus, OpenID etc – those would be my service platform.

  25. Joseph

    Thanks, just for clarity, (read my comments carefully) I was suggesting that the third party application creator to WordPress has access to Scobleizer.com.

  26. Joseph

    Thanks, just for clarity, (read my comments carefully) I was suggesting that the third party application creator to WordPress has access to Scobleizer.com.

  27. Ok, I smell scobie got some juicy offer for IPO stock from facebook and he is contributing to the hype.

    Say it ain’t so rob?

  28. Ok, I smell scobie got some juicy offer for IPO stock from facebook and he is contributing to the hype.

    Say it ain’t so rob?

  29. I don’t know. For me, too many options and too many apps confined in one space. I don’t like being stuck in a closet full of widgets. RSS and tags already bridges me to content that I want, links me to niche experts and relevant conversations.

    But then, I’m not an early adapter; and perhaps I will ‘get it’ in a few years when the other 900 million people on the Internet do.

    All the best

    Tom

  30. I don’t know. For me, too many options and too many apps confined in one space. I don’t like being stuck in a closet full of widgets. RSS and tags already bridges me to content that I want, links me to niche experts and relevant conversations.

    But then, I’m not an early adapter; and perhaps I will ‘get it’ in a few years when the other 900 million people on the Internet do.

    All the best

    Tom

  31. Todays Tech Notes 7/20/2007

    Digital DNA could finger Harry Potter leaker A few lines of ‘digital DNA’ could allow the publishers of Harry Potter to find and finger the person apparently responsible for leaking the final adventures of the boy wizard.
    Opera Software Op…

  32. I love Facebook. And I am getting overwhelmed by all these new apps. Regarding the WordPress app, I was already feeding my posts into my profile page, so I am not sure about the difference with the new app. I guess it makes it easier for people to leave comments?

    marguerite
    http://lamarguerite.wordpress.com

  33. I love Facebook. And I am getting overwhelmed by all these new apps. Regarding the WordPress app, I was already feeding my posts into my profile page, so I am not sure about the difference with the new app. I guess it makes it easier for people to leave comments?

    marguerite
    http://lamarguerite.wordpress.com

  34. I’m pretty much naive when it comes to FB because I don’t like the lack of control it gives the user. I signed up for an account more than a year ago at this point and I think I’ve been on there all of two times. But this obviously is a concern especially when it comes to how much privacy you can setup.

  35. I’m pretty much naive when it comes to FB because I don’t like the lack of control it gives the user. I signed up for an account more than a year ago at this point and I think I’ve been on there all of two times. But this obviously is a concern especially when it comes to how much privacy you can setup.

  36. It seems like there are more facebook widgets and applications than there are grains of sand in the oceans. The more you add, the more information gets added to your page and at an increasing rate. Pretty soon they’re going to run out of places to store all the information.

  37. It seems like there are more facebook widgets and applications than there are grains of sand in the oceans. The more you add, the more information gets added to your page and at an increasing rate. Pretty soon they’re going to run out of places to store all the information.