Facebook Hotel?

I had lunch with Dave Morin of Facebook today (he’s one of the key guys on the application platform) and that led to some brainstorming about what would happen if Facebook were to open up a hotel or casino. Watch my Kyte video for that (embedded on this post).

But, in other news, someone just attacked me for my use of Facebook. Says I treat it as a “one way” medium to push out content to my unsuspecting friends.

Such a claim isn’t worth a link or acknowledgement because it demonstrates a total misunderstanding of how Facebook works.

What do I mean? It’s impossible to treat Facebook as a one-way medium. Here’s why: when I sign into Facebook I don’t see the stuff I’ve published on my home page. No, instead I see a bunch of stuff my friends have published.

Here, try it yourself. Sign into Facebook and visit the “home page” which is where your News Feed is.

Do you see anything you published yourself? I don’t.

I see a link from Teresa Klein. I see Ryan Westrom writing on my wall. I see Eric Auchard backsliding onb his vacation. I see Scott Westerman posting Jeremiah Owyang’s White Paper. I see Jeremy Wagstaff and Walt Mossberg joining a group for the Wall Street Journal Online. Tom Conrad is attending Coda. Chris Messina posted a news story. Dave Davison joined the group Nobody for President. Dave Morin wrote on my wall. Ken Kaplan added “people” to his interests. Jeff Grosse commented on Kevin Dugan’s video. Andrew Bourland sent me a gift. And on and on and on.

I read this feed a lot more than I think about writing on my blog lately.

What’s even more interesting is how Facebook picks stuff from my 4,775 friends to put on my wall.

Dave told me there’s a set of algorithms that keep track of which friends of yours are closer friends to you than others. For instance, if you write on someone’s wall, you’ll get more of their items. I’ll do some other tests to reverse engineer the News Feed’s algorithm a bit.

Anyway, back to the idea of a Facebook Hotel.

Think about how a business would change if it knew every one of its customers had a Facebook account.

I was thinking of a hotel/casino where when I walked in the iPod in the room was playing the music that I had set as my favorite on my Facebook profile. The digital screens in my room had all my photos and some random photos from my friends. My favorite movies and TV shows were on the video device. The bar knew my favorite drink and how I liked it made.

That got me thinking about how I’d change my business after I knew everything about my customers.

Thought of the day.

Oh, one thing? In my Facebook Hotel anyone who just attacks me would be deleted. So, if that’s your idea of fun, hang out somewhere else cause I’m starting to delete comments from people who don’t add any value here. Get your own blog if all you want to do is attack me.

Comments

  1. The biggest mental obstacle I have with promoting my use of Facebook is the nagging thought that it’s like CompuServe’s fenced pastures used to be in a world before Windows. Although I trust the business logic behind the way most of Facebook is cloaked from Google, I distrust anything that looks and feels like a vanity mirror and Facebook’s legacy as a college campus club evokes that reaction from me.

    Nonetheless, as a college lecturer, I know I increase my reach to students who need the repetition by extending conversations from the lecture hall. I bake some of those conversations into take-away thoughts that fold into Facebook groups. That seems to have pedagogical merit.

    On the operational side, I cannot justify clocking up two hours a day while following Facebook Zeitgeist inside Facebook itself. I need to read stuff that’s relevant to me on the RSS devices that have proven they can serve up content faster than me stumbling upon it. So we’re developing a harvester to burrow into Facebook masked as a web browsing session and then aggregates the information back out as an XML feed. That way, I can enjoy the fenced pastures of Facebook without walking through the land myself.

  2. The biggest mental obstacle I have with promoting my use of Facebook is the nagging thought that it’s like CompuServe’s fenced pastures used to be in a world before Windows. Although I trust the business logic behind the way most of Facebook is cloaked from Google, I distrust anything that looks and feels like a vanity mirror and Facebook’s legacy as a college campus club evokes that reaction from me.

    Nonetheless, as a college lecturer, I know I increase my reach to students who need the repetition by extending conversations from the lecture hall. I bake some of those conversations into take-away thoughts that fold into Facebook groups. That seems to have pedagogical merit.

    On the operational side, I cannot justify clocking up two hours a day while following Facebook Zeitgeist inside Facebook itself. I need to read stuff that’s relevant to me on the RSS devices that have proven they can serve up content faster than me stumbling upon it. So we’re developing a harvester to burrow into Facebook masked as a web browsing session and then aggregates the information back out as an XML feed. That way, I can enjoy the fenced pastures of Facebook without walking through the land myself.

  3. The world should move to more open environments instead of walled gardens. You realize you’re evangelizing about one of the most walled gardens out there, right? Their famous API is in fact only useful within Facebook.

    Robert, I’m not attacking you, but seriously… Google grew under the mantra “don’t do evil” and yet today they scare the shit out of many people. What is Facebook saying today, when they’re not nearly the size of Google, so we can trust them now? Not much. And tomorrow?

    I hesitate.

  4. The world should move to more open environments instead of walled gardens. You realize you’re evangelizing about one of the most walled gardens out there, right? Their famous API is in fact only useful within Facebook.

    Robert, I’m not attacking you, but seriously… Google grew under the mantra “don’t do evil” and yet today they scare the shit out of many people. What is Facebook saying today, when they’re not nearly the size of Google, so we can trust them now? Not much. And tomorrow?

    I hesitate.

  5. Eesh. All the comments before me are negative. What gives? I think it’s a cool idea, literally, even though it’s highly metaphorical. Imagine hotels implementing this now.

    Hi, I’ll just need a card to charge it to…Okay, here’s your invoice, and oh, what’s your facebook account.

    Cheers.

  6. Eesh. All the comments before me are negative. What gives? I think it’s a cool idea, literally, even though it’s highly metaphorical. Imagine hotels implementing this now.

    Hi, I’ll just need a card to charge it to…Okay, here’s your invoice, and oh, what’s your facebook account.

    Cheers.

  7. RBA: I seem to remember you thinking blogging was a fad when I first started doing those back in 2001. Just to let you know that you haven’t been on the right side of the wall before.

    The fact that it’s walled off a bit actually is what makes it interesting. But we have yet to really explain why that is.

    Oh, and it has been opening up a bit lately. It’s not as closed as you make it out to be.

    Arpit: that was caused by a bug. It should be better now. Also I’ve changed my behavior and am “pruning” stuff off of my Facebook feed so I don’t overwhelm my friends.

    One thing: you’ll get more stuff from people who you’ve interacted with. So, if you leave a message on someone’s wall you’ll get more stuff from them.

  8. RBA: I seem to remember you thinking blogging was a fad when I first started doing those back in 2001. Just to let you know that you haven’t been on the right side of the wall before.

    The fact that it’s walled off a bit actually is what makes it interesting. But we have yet to really explain why that is.

    Oh, and it has been opening up a bit lately. It’s not as closed as you make it out to be.

    Arpit: that was caused by a bug. It should be better now. Also I’ve changed my behavior and am “pruning” stuff off of my Facebook feed so I don’t overwhelm my friends.

    One thing: you’ll get more stuff from people who you’ve interacted with. So, if you leave a message on someone’s wall you’ll get more stuff from them.

  9. Bernie: you probably don’t even need to scrape Facebook. Last week they added some RSS feeds for the feed, if I remember the posts right.

    I can see your point, but do you see a business card as a “vanity” object? Facebook is just the modern business card.

  10. Bernie: you probably don’t even need to scrape Facebook. Last week they added some RSS feeds for the feed, if I remember the posts right.

    I can see your point, but do you see a business card as a “vanity” object? Facebook is just the modern business card.

  11. Facebook is just a bunch of personal ads. Sure, you get others blog posts, but that’s because they don’t have a blog.

  12. Facebook is just a bunch of personal ads. Sure, you get others blog posts, but that’s because they don’t have a blog.

  13. “RBA: I seem to remember you thinking blogging was a fad when I first started doing those back in 2001″

    Robert, are you confusing me with someone else? :-)
    In 2001 I had no idea what blogging was, but I was running a YahooGroups-like service (still am) and I was defintely up for user-generated content, conversation, etc. And when I learned about blogging (somewhere in 2004), I launched a blogging platform (zoomblog.com). It’s not WordPress but the point is, I definitely think you’re mistaking me for someone else :-)

    All in all, I’m not throwing stones at Facebook, all I’m saying is that I do hesitate.

    BTW, regarding your bizcard analogy, you know Facebook today is still very much a US-centric app. It may be your business card replacement, but if you go Europe, you’ll probably have to leave your “garden” and check Xing out. Or Orkut if you go Brazil, good-ole Friendster if you go to the Phillipines, etc. See what I’m saying?

    You build your world in FB and it’s cool. As long as you don’t leave your world or manage to bring those out of it into it, you’re fine. But it’s *your* world. Others, especially those outside US, may want to build theirs somewhere else. Would you leave FB tomorrow and join, say, Xing? And there we go with the walled gardens again :-)

    These apps (Facebook, Xing, etc) will become the modern business card when they are no longer walled gardens. But they are businesses and they see more value being a walled garden than an open one. If we were to find an analogy with software we’d know that “walled” (propietary, closed) is not necessarily better.

    So yeah I hesitate. I have my world somewhere else, and I’m not comfortable every time I get a message alerting me that I need to go to my FB account to see/read/check something out. Just like you might feel if you’ve got messages from LinkedIn, Xing, Orkut or Ryze…

  14. “RBA: I seem to remember you thinking blogging was a fad when I first started doing those back in 2001″

    Robert, are you confusing me with someone else? :-)
    In 2001 I had no idea what blogging was, but I was running a YahooGroups-like service (still am) and I was defintely up for user-generated content, conversation, etc. And when I learned about blogging (somewhere in 2004), I launched a blogging platform (zoomblog.com). It’s not WordPress but the point is, I definitely think you’re mistaking me for someone else :-)

    All in all, I’m not throwing stones at Facebook, all I’m saying is that I do hesitate.

    BTW, regarding your bizcard analogy, you know Facebook today is still very much a US-centric app. It may be your business card replacement, but if you go Europe, you’ll probably have to leave your “garden” and check Xing out. Or Orkut if you go Brazil, good-ole Friendster if you go to the Phillipines, etc. See what I’m saying?

    You build your world in FB and it’s cool. As long as you don’t leave your world or manage to bring those out of it into it, you’re fine. But it’s *your* world. Others, especially those outside US, may want to build theirs somewhere else. Would you leave FB tomorrow and join, say, Xing? And there we go with the walled gardens again :-)

    These apps (Facebook, Xing, etc) will become the modern business card when they are no longer walled gardens. But they are businesses and they see more value being a walled garden than an open one. If we were to find an analogy with software we’d know that “walled” (propietary, closed) is not necessarily better.

    So yeah I hesitate. I have my world somewhere else, and I’m not comfortable every time I get a message alerting me that I need to go to my FB account to see/read/check something out. Just like you might feel if you’ve got messages from LinkedIn, Xing, Orkut or Ryze…

  15. Actually I did get you confused with someone else, sorry about that. Rich Levin is who I was thinking of.

    I’m still on Orkut too. Just in case. :-)

    I think you all are focusing too much on the wall and not enough on the garden. But that’s cool.

    Actually, having a little wall makes for a better experience. And it’s not like I need more friends. In fact, I’m about to hit a real wall there: Facebook can only accept 5,000 friends and I have about 4,800.

    I’m still waiting for the ultimate “open” social network. I’m on Plaxo, too.

    But the problem with that is that as someone gets more open all Facebook has to do is match them and they still win.

  16. Actually I did get you confused with someone else, sorry about that. Rich Levin is who I was thinking of.

    I’m still on Orkut too. Just in case. :-)

    I think you all are focusing too much on the wall and not enough on the garden. But that’s cool.

    Actually, having a little wall makes for a better experience. And it’s not like I need more friends. In fact, I’m about to hit a real wall there: Facebook can only accept 5,000 friends and I have about 4,800.

    I’m still waiting for the ultimate “open” social network. I’m on Plaxo, too.

    But the problem with that is that as someone gets more open all Facebook has to do is match them and they still win.

  17. I work in the hotel and tech industry – I could definitely see the potential for this. Most large hotel groups are highly focussed on guest profiles and the more info they have the better. What I could see working is a facebook third party API from someone like marriott or intercontinental which could link some of your facebook data to your guest profile – now that would be very valuable to hotels!

  18. I work in the hotel and tech industry – I could definitely see the potential for this. Most large hotel groups are highly focussed on guest profiles and the more info they have the better. What I could see working is a facebook third party API from someone like marriott or intercontinental which could link some of your facebook data to your guest profile – now that would be very valuable to hotels!

  19. Robert,

    Do you think that Facebook (as a platform built to be closed) will be able to open up to match a platform built to be open (and close up depending on the user’s preference/context)?

    ~biff~

  20. Robert,

    Do you think that Facebook (as a platform built to be closed) will be able to open up to match a platform built to be open (and close up depending on the user’s preference/context)?

    ~biff~

  21. Naked: yes. Because Facebook really isn’t that closed if you look at it the right way. The wall around the garden is only a foot high.

    So, if someone comes in without a wall at all (which might actually bring a lot of spam/noise/etc, if done wrong) then it wouldn’t be hard for Facebook to turn on API’s for the stuff that they aren’t sharing yet (like the status message).

  22. Naked: yes. Because Facebook really isn’t that closed if you look at it the right way. The wall around the garden is only a foot high.

    So, if someone comes in without a wall at all (which might actually bring a lot of spam/noise/etc, if done wrong) then it wouldn’t be hard for Facebook to turn on API’s for the stuff that they aren’t sharing yet (like the status message).

  23. What happens if everything and everyone people think or know they need, is actually in the walled garden?

    The majority of people I observe using Facebook are non-tech Europeans who simply see it as a cool way to keep in touch, and a majority of them didn’t engage with Facebook, Virb or even Instant Messaging.

    They don’t have a need for multiple sites for different purposes, or to aggregate a number of RSS feeds.

    In an entirely open world, people will build social and physical barriers to entry to separate themselves, just as they did in early towns and spaces.

  24. What happens if everything and everyone people think or know they need, is actually in the walled garden?

    The majority of people I observe using Facebook are non-tech Europeans who simply see it as a cool way to keep in touch, and a majority of them didn’t engage with Facebook, Virb or even Instant Messaging.

    They don’t have a need for multiple sites for different purposes, or to aggregate a number of RSS feeds.

    In an entirely open world, people will build social and physical barriers to entry to separate themselves, just as they did in early towns and spaces.

  25. No doubt – These web 2 media companies have to think out of spectrum as they are struggling to define revenue model. and Hotel / Casino can be good idea but time to think about policing social circle for the good of socializer.

  26. No doubt – These web 2 media companies have to think out of spectrum as they are struggling to define revenue model. and Hotel / Casino can be good idea but time to think about policing social circle for the good of socializer.

  27. Wow, that’s such a good idea! A Facebook Hotel – customized to my every whim and intention. Brilliant as always, Scoble!

  28. On the attack thing (glad you’re back to adding value by the way)…

    You have left me with the impression there’s a line between an attack and rigorous debate. And, in the past I recall a pretty healthy discussion about default racism here at The Scobleizer. It all came down to the spirit of the thing. Either the offense was intended or it wasn’t (or some degree thereof). I don’t mind getting taken to the mat EVERY single day provided I know I’m getting a better handle on what I need to be good at and growing/learning from the situation (thinking management and building my business specifically). You seem to be similarly wired.

    The “we’re gonna tear someone up” crowd is super easy to disregard (don’t dismiss them lest you become equivalent to the default racist we discussed back in January). Remember Guy Kawasaki’s sage advice, “Don’t let the bozo’s get you down.” You guys have a really good thing going. By that I mean you and Maryam plus (obviously) you and John. Don’t let a bunch of chumps who cross the line do any more harm. We got your back man! Even from tiny little ole Tulsa… we got your back.

    And, I know lots of people feel this way… still, it’s nice to hear. Thanks! Thanks for the link blog. Thanks for the interviews and insights. Thanks for thinking of us as friends (even in a Twitter of Facebook kinda way). And, thanks as you put it for adding value. We may not always agree or see eye to eye. That’s probably not a bad thing provided we respect each other and learn something through it all.

  29. On the attack thing (glad you’re back to adding value by the way)…

    You have left me with the impression there’s a line between an attack and rigorous debate. And, in the past I recall a pretty healthy discussion about default racism here at The Scobleizer. It all came down to the spirit of the thing. Either the offense was intended or it wasn’t (or some degree thereof). I don’t mind getting taken to the mat EVERY single day provided I know I’m getting a better handle on what I need to be good at and growing/learning from the situation (thinking management and building my business specifically). You seem to be similarly wired.

    The “we’re gonna tear someone up” crowd is super easy to disregard (don’t dismiss them lest you become equivalent to the default racist we discussed back in January). Remember Guy Kawasaki’s sage advice, “Don’t let the bozo’s get you down.” You guys have a really good thing going. By that I mean you and Maryam plus (obviously) you and John. Don’t let a bunch of chumps who cross the line do any more harm. We got your back man! Even from tiny little ole Tulsa… we got your back.

    And, I know lots of people feel this way… still, it’s nice to hear. Thanks! Thanks for the link blog. Thanks for the interviews and insights. Thanks for thinking of us as friends (even in a Twitter of Facebook kinda way). And, thanks as you put it for adding value. We may not always agree or see eye to eye. That’s probably not a bad thing provided we respect each other and learn something through it all.

  30. I am waiting for clubs to employ facebook to do guestlists for clubs, a bit like events, where you can only get access through your network of friends. I think that would be cool

  31. I am waiting for clubs to employ facebook to do guestlists for clubs, a bit like events, where you can only get access through your network of friends. I think that would be cool

  32. I love facebooking. Being that I’m on the road and away from friends a lot, it’s a great way to keep up. I love that I can keep it IN my network, so not to get exposed to stuff I don’t want to know about. :) Anyway, about the hotel. Fun idea. These days, it seems we all want everything tailored to our fancy and although we know we can’t always get what we want, the “Facebook Hotel” is one way to go about it. In fact, I could tell them I have a facebook accnt. and they wouldn’t know anything about my “favorite” things. Mostly, because I haven’t filled that part of my profile out, and I’ve been facebooking for 3 years.

  33. I love facebooking. Being that I’m on the road and away from friends a lot, it’s a great way to keep up. I love that I can keep it IN my network, so not to get exposed to stuff I don’t want to know about. :) Anyway, about the hotel. Fun idea. These days, it seems we all want everything tailored to our fancy and although we know we can’t always get what we want, the “Facebook Hotel” is one way to go about it. In fact, I could tell them I have a facebook accnt. and they wouldn’t know anything about my “favorite” things. Mostly, because I haven’t filled that part of my profile out, and I’ve been facebooking for 3 years.

  34. I never thought I’d read from Scoble “… I’m starting to delete comments from people who don’t add any value here.”

    That’s the cool thing about blogging… It is the ultimate Roman Senate… But if censor the bad comments what does that say about you, the owner of the blog (censoring profaine crap, that’s another story).

  35. I never thought I’d read from Scoble “… I’m starting to delete comments from people who don’t add any value here.”

    That’s the cool thing about blogging… It is the ultimate Roman Senate… But if censor the bad comments what does that say about you, the owner of the blog (censoring profaine crap, that’s another story).

  36. I actaully thought it was an interesting concept as well. That said, from a business stand point deleing guests might not be such a good idea (as pleasant as it might feel).

  37. I actaully thought it was an interesting concept as well. That said, from a business stand point deleing guests might not be such a good idea (as pleasant as it might feel).

  38. If you don’t like Facebook, do what grownups do: Either find something you like better, or build something better yourself.

    Robert ain’t your frickin’ daddy….

  39. If you don’t like Facebook, do what grownups do: Either find something you like better, or build something better yourself.

    Robert ain’t your frickin’ daddy….

  40. Reminds me of casinos which keep track of your interests and know what you like and don’t. If you didn’t like casinos doing that, why would this be any better ? Your friends knowing about you is one thing… and while system knowing about your good friends might also be acceptable… but if the system really uses that information for anything else you don’t want it to be used for, it might be a little scary :)

    And I’m not talking about just a hotel anymore. Even if facebook sends me a “facebook visa credit card” application with my favorite band’s photograph, or with a photograph which describes my personal habits, , ethnicity or medical history it might be be deemed inappropriate.

  41. Reminds me of casinos which keep track of your interests and know what you like and don’t. If you didn’t like casinos doing that, why would this be any better ? Your friends knowing about you is one thing… and while system knowing about your good friends might also be acceptable… but if the system really uses that information for anything else you don’t want it to be used for, it might be a little scary :)

    And I’m not talking about just a hotel anymore. Even if facebook sends me a “facebook visa credit card” application with my favorite band’s photograph, or with a photograph which describes my personal habits, , ethnicity or medical history it might be be deemed inappropriate.

  42. Before to comment, I’d like to state that this is not an attack against you, Robert.
    In fact, I love you very much.

    Pushing your web site content through Facebook and all social networks is the most used technique by the weblog money makers.
    Yes, you don’t see your content in Facebook and here is the catch – the other users see it (all your 4,775 friends). Isn’t that “pushing content”?

    I doubt that you read all of your friends. You’ll notice only the most active from them. And because you are the most active of all, all of them will notice you and read you.
    Make sense, eh?

    Facebook is not a bad place especially for lonely people, but when one like Scoble is stuffing it up so hard in my nose, I start to feel like Scoble is attacking me for some reason.

    What would be that reason?

  43. Before to comment, I’d like to state that this is not an attack against you, Robert.
    In fact, I love you very much.

    Pushing your web site content through Facebook and all social networks is the most used technique by the weblog money makers.
    Yes, you don’t see your content in Facebook and here is the catch – the other users see it (all your 4,775 friends). Isn’t that “pushing content”?

    I doubt that you read all of your friends. You’ll notice only the most active from them. And because you are the most active of all, all of them will notice you and read you.
    Make sense, eh?

    Facebook is not a bad place especially for lonely people, but when one like Scoble is stuffing it up so hard in my nose, I start to feel like Scoble is attacking me for some reason.

    What would be that reason?

  44. Truden, if Scoble’s “friends” object to what you call Scoble “pushing”, they unsubscribe from Scoble with a simple click of a mouse.

    i.e. Again, they can act like grownups.

  45. Truden, if Scoble’s “friends” object to what you call Scoble “pushing”, they unsubscribe from Scoble with a simple click of a mouse.

    i.e. Again, they can act like grownups.

  46. After watching the video, this Facebook Hotel sounds positively Orwellian. Big screens that tell your data. RFID cards that automatically tell others your interests. I’ll save a few bucks and stay in a Motel 8.

  47. After watching the video, this Facebook Hotel sounds positively Orwellian. Big screens that tell your data. RFID cards that automatically tell others your interests. I’ll save a few bucks and stay in a Motel 8.

  48. “I’m starting to delete comments from people who don’t add any value here. Get your own blog if all you want to do is attack me.”

    Good decision, Robert :)

  49. “I’m starting to delete comments from people who don’t add any value here. Get your own blog if all you want to do is attack me.”

    Good decision, Robert :)

  50. @ hugh macleod:
    Yes, they can unsubscribe, if there is no hope for them that one day Scoble will notice them :D

    It is the circle of the hope, but as we know, the more you have the more you get.

  51. @ hugh macleod:
    Yes, they can unsubscribe, if there is no hope for them that one day Scoble will notice them :D

    It is the circle of the hope, but as we know, the more you have the more you get.

  52. Scoble, I like the new, longer, in-depth posts from the past couple days. The break has served you well. I much prefer comments, thoughts and analysis like this from you than short blurbs pointing out things that are going on it the tech world.

  53. Scoble, I like the new, longer, in-depth posts from the past couple days. The break has served you well. I much prefer comments, thoughts and analysis like this from you than short blurbs pointing out things that are going on it the tech world.

  54. Neat idea–the hotel. It’s also, no offense, a place that I’d never ever ever want to book a reservation at (course, carried to an extreme I probably wouldn’t even have to book the reservation, it’d just know :-)).

    The levels of customization companies can take advantage of to offer good customer service, could be amazingly useful, but it also freaks me out. I think it prevents us from exposure to the dangerous, possibly thought and preference-changing, elements of the unknown.

    I mean, I both need and want to hear new music in order to be able to ever list it as a “like.” Sometimes I hear that new music from friends, sometimes playing in a store, or even a hotel lobby.

    I don’t want my hotel room to automatically be showing me my photos on digital displays. If it did, they risk becoming mundane and boring, rather than important and dear. Let me live out my trip to wherever, experiencing the new as opposed to the known.

    The great sadness in molding experience to predefined customer preferences is that we seal ourselves into some time passed, that was captured in memory and tastes, and we discourage growing beyond that.

    (by the way, although I’m no fan of advertising, it peeves me that when I look at a British web site, I get exposed to Canadian ads because it detects where I’m surfing from–I want to know what’s going on in England, that’s why I went to the English site).

  55. Neat idea–the hotel. It’s also, no offense, a place that I’d never ever ever want to book a reservation at (course, carried to an extreme I probably wouldn’t even have to book the reservation, it’d just know :-)).

    The levels of customization companies can take advantage of to offer good customer service, could be amazingly useful, but it also freaks me out. I think it prevents us from exposure to the dangerous, possibly thought and preference-changing, elements of the unknown.

    I mean, I both need and want to hear new music in order to be able to ever list it as a “like.” Sometimes I hear that new music from friends, sometimes playing in a store, or even a hotel lobby.

    I don’t want my hotel room to automatically be showing me my photos on digital displays. If it did, they risk becoming mundane and boring, rather than important and dear. Let me live out my trip to wherever, experiencing the new as opposed to the known.

    The great sadness in molding experience to predefined customer preferences is that we seal ourselves into some time passed, that was captured in memory and tastes, and we discourage growing beyond that.

    (by the way, although I’m no fan of advertising, it peeves me that when I look at a British web site, I get exposed to Canadian ads because it detects where I’m surfing from–I want to know what’s going on in England, that’s why I went to the English site).

  56. Facebook and blogging are two separate phenomenas. Facebook is a virtual “third place” and blogs are “personal magazines”. I love both vehicles for self-expression. This notion that Facebook is not for pushing content is silly. If you are not trying to present something about yourself to someone else, what are you doing? If you don’t want to present yourself to the world, then you can pull content from a Google search, and no one will know you are there.
    I like Facebook for the same reasons you suggest Scoble. It is a way to stay in touch with other people, and them with me. I’ve been Facebooking (verb?) for a couple months. I’ve had more contact with some old friends in those few weeks than I have had in more than a decade. What I’ve come to realize is that Facebook serves a population that blogging doesn’t. I know lots of people who have a Facebook site, but never read blogs. And if they add the Blog Friends application, they don’t need a RSS reader, all they need is to see what their friends are reading, and connect from there. It this sense Facebook acts as a portal, where blogs don’t. Both have their value, it is just different. What also interests me is how different Facebook is to MySpace. Now if there is a social networking site that is about pushing content, then MySpace is the king, not Facebook.

  57. Facebook and blogging are two separate phenomenas. Facebook is a virtual “third place” and blogs are “personal magazines”. I love both vehicles for self-expression. This notion that Facebook is not for pushing content is silly. If you are not trying to present something about yourself to someone else, what are you doing? If you don’t want to present yourself to the world, then you can pull content from a Google search, and no one will know you are there.
    I like Facebook for the same reasons you suggest Scoble. It is a way to stay in touch with other people, and them with me. I’ve been Facebooking (verb?) for a couple months. I’ve had more contact with some old friends in those few weeks than I have had in more than a decade. What I’ve come to realize is that Facebook serves a population that blogging doesn’t. I know lots of people who have a Facebook site, but never read blogs. And if they add the Blog Friends application, they don’t need a RSS reader, all they need is to see what their friends are reading, and connect from there. It this sense Facebook acts as a portal, where blogs don’t. Both have their value, it is just different. What also interests me is how different Facebook is to MySpace. Now if there is a social networking site that is about pushing content, then MySpace is the king, not Facebook.

  58. The idealistic side of me says, yah that’d be a super cool hotel, but the realist in me is saying, would people seriously want a hotel to know their friends, and everything about them? I’m worried about even giving my phone number to Canadian Tire or BestBuy when I make a return for fear of being added to some consumer calling-list. When I travel, I like to remain somewhat anonymous and take out my own experiences. I know privacy is so 20th century!!! ps. YummyFriends.com a Facebook for grown-ups.

  59. The idealistic side of me says, yah that’d be a super cool hotel, but the realist in me is saying, would people seriously want a hotel to know their friends, and everything about them? I’m worried about even giving my phone number to Canadian Tire or BestBuy when I make a return for fear of being added to some consumer calling-list. When I travel, I like to remain somewhat anonymous and take out my own experiences. I know privacy is so 20th century!!! ps. YummyFriends.com a Facebook for grown-ups.

  60. scraping facebook feeds: bernard is right! :) he would need to scrape the feed (off of the main news-feeds) the ones that facebook already provides are status updates and notifications. I think facebook might probably try to block something like this tough.

    RBA: the fact that most facebook apps work “inside” facebook is a design or implementation choice, not a requirement of the platform. i.e. having the app display inside fb saves a lot of developer time (design/seesion tracking/fbml). I’m pretty sure however we will start seeing many external sites using the FB platform soon.

  61. scraping facebook feeds: bernard is right! :) he would need to scrape the feed (off of the main news-feeds) the ones that facebook already provides are status updates and notifications. I think facebook might probably try to block something like this tough.

    RBA: the fact that most facebook apps work “inside” facebook is a design or implementation choice, not a requirement of the platform. i.e. having the app display inside fb saves a lot of developer time (design/seesion tracking/fbml). I’m pretty sure however we will start seeing many external sites using the FB platform soon.

  62. Why Don’t Search Startups Share Data, Part 2

    I mentioned in an earlier post that search startups ought to look into a divide and conquer approach when crawling the web.  After all, one of the biggest complaints about a lot of interesting search services is they don’t find as much as Google…

  63. The hotel problem has little to do with Facebook — it’s a open authentication + shared profile problem. Facebook at the moment solves neither and is not positioned to solve either.

    The hard part isn’t the authentication or the tracking, it’s guarding the profile data and building confidence with the users to allow them to share that data with trusted third parties approved by the user.

    I see you’ve forgotten Hailstorm? Six and a half years ago:

    [[ "HailStorm" services will allow unprecedented collaboration and integration between the users' devices, their software and their personal data. With "HailStorm", users will have even greater and more specific control over what people, businesses and technologies have access to their personal information. ]]

    Perhaps give Lucovsky a call? Google has far more users and far more valuable profile data than Facebook does… and it ain’t comin’ from Orkut.

  64. The hotel problem has little to do with Facebook — it’s a open authentication + shared profile problem. Facebook at the moment solves neither and is not positioned to solve either.

    The hard part isn’t the authentication or the tracking, it’s guarding the profile data and building confidence with the users to allow them to share that data with trusted third parties approved by the user.

    I see you’ve forgotten Hailstorm? Six and a half years ago:

    [[ "HailStorm" services will allow unprecedented collaboration and integration between the users' devices, their software and their personal data. With "HailStorm", users will have even greater and more specific control over what people, businesses and technologies have access to their personal information. ]]

    Perhaps give Lucovsky a call? Google has far more users and far more valuable profile data than Facebook does… and it ain’t comin’ from Orkut.

  65. meanguy: Google doesn’t know my favorite music. It doesn’t know my favorite activities. It doesn’t know my favorite friends. It doesn’t know a lot of things that Facebook does.

    Truden: if my Facebook friends aren’t getting enough out of the relationship I’d expect them to unsubscribe.

    But, you don’t have a clue how Facebook works. I get brought a lot of stuff from people I’ve never heard of before, not just the most “active,” either.

  66. meanguy: Google doesn’t know my favorite music. It doesn’t know my favorite activities. It doesn’t know my favorite friends. It doesn’t know a lot of things that Facebook does.

    Truden: if my Facebook friends aren’t getting enough out of the relationship I’d expect them to unsubscribe.

    But, you don’t have a clue how Facebook works. I get brought a lot of stuff from people I’ve never heard of before, not just the most “active,” either.

  67. That’s why I love you, Scoble, your tongue speaks your emotions :D
    I have some clue about the way Facebook works, but I won’t argue with expert like you ;)

  68. That’s why I love you, Scoble, your tongue speaks your emotions :D
    I have some clue about the way Facebook works, but I won’t argue with expert like you ;)

  69. Let’s see, Google knows every person I have sent or received email from for the last three years.

    Google knows just about every place I have visited by car.

    Google knows where I have traveled, where I stayed when I was there, what sites I planned on visiting, and where I intended to eat.

    Google can guess when I am about to buy a new car, household appliance, phone, television, computer, etc. It can surmise which car, phone, or camera I decided to purchase by my queries for a service departments phone number and what accessories I research.

    Google knows what events I attend, which blogs I find interesting and which I don’t, what news I read, what issues I find important. Google probably knows what political party I support and who I will vote for next November.

    Google can guess what ailments my friends or family are suffer from. Google can guess when a close friend or family member dies.

    Google knows a lot about me.

  70. Let’s see, Google knows every person I have sent or received email from for the last three years.

    Google knows just about every place I have visited by car.

    Google knows where I have traveled, where I stayed when I was there, what sites I planned on visiting, and where I intended to eat.

    Google can guess when I am about to buy a new car, household appliance, phone, television, computer, etc. It can surmise which car, phone, or camera I decided to purchase by my queries for a service departments phone number and what accessories I research.

    Google knows what events I attend, which blogs I find interesting and which I don’t, what news I read, what issues I find important. Google probably knows what political party I support and who I will vote for next November.

    Google can guess what ailments my friends or family are suffer from. Google can guess when a close friend or family member dies.

    Google knows a lot about me.

  71. Robert,

    Perhaps you are right that some people just do not get facebook. Count me in on that crowd. I like a personal touch when interacting with my friends. For instance after my trip overseas I had a bunch of photos to share with a lot of my friends. i could have just posted them up on Facebook and then asked everyone to join facebook to see my pictures. No instead I customized each email to each friend based upon what I knew they would like the most. Each friend recieved an individualized treatment and was not forced to read an aggregator of my life. I know what each and every one of my friends prefer and try to cater to that need. I do not believe you can do this with facebook. Am I missing something? I am not trying to be confrontational here I am just curious if is possible to customize what each friend sees. If that is not possible then I would rather spend the time to make sure each friend was treated differently because each one is different. When a social utility allows me to give a personal touch then I will understand this social utility sites. Otherwise it is old fashioned email and good time spent on each friend.

    So I guess I do not get facebook. I think my friends are thankful for that though.

  72. Robert,

    Perhaps you are right that some people just do not get facebook. Count me in on that crowd. I like a personal touch when interacting with my friends. For instance after my trip overseas I had a bunch of photos to share with a lot of my friends. i could have just posted them up on Facebook and then asked everyone to join facebook to see my pictures. No instead I customized each email to each friend based upon what I knew they would like the most. Each friend recieved an individualized treatment and was not forced to read an aggregator of my life. I know what each and every one of my friends prefer and try to cater to that need. I do not believe you can do this with facebook. Am I missing something? I am not trying to be confrontational here I am just curious if is possible to customize what each friend sees. If that is not possible then I would rather spend the time to make sure each friend was treated differently because each one is different. When a social utility allows me to give a personal touch then I will understand this social utility sites. Otherwise it is old fashioned email and good time spent on each friend.

    So I guess I do not get facebook. I think my friends are thankful for that though.

  73. Richard: email is great until you have too much. Then you’ll start getting pushback.

    Glad you have so much time to personally email all your friends. I find I have too many friends (even if you count just the “real ones” that I’ve had a beer with as a friend) to do this.

    I’m hitting this big time in about a week or two with the birth of my son.

    I will not have time to email 100 people individually and deal with all that. Email sucks, personally.

    Instead I’ll put up a private Facebook group and invite people into it that I want to have see the photos. This way I can hit 100 friends and family instantly without doing much work.

    No, if you need to customize what each friend sees, email is more appropriate. But generally that isn’t the case.

    It bugs me when I get photos sent to me in email, by the way. It fills up my storage space, if you do it wrong, and it clutters up my space that’s for real communication with other people. Not to mention it might get thrown into junk folder, so I’d miss it.

  74. Richard: email is great until you have too much. Then you’ll start getting pushback.

    Glad you have so much time to personally email all your friends. I find I have too many friends (even if you count just the “real ones” that I’ve had a beer with as a friend) to do this.

    I’m hitting this big time in about a week or two with the birth of my son.

    I will not have time to email 100 people individually and deal with all that. Email sucks, personally.

    Instead I’ll put up a private Facebook group and invite people into it that I want to have see the photos. This way I can hit 100 friends and family instantly without doing much work.

    No, if you need to customize what each friend sees, email is more appropriate. But generally that isn’t the case.

    It bugs me when I get photos sent to me in email, by the way. It fills up my storage space, if you do it wrong, and it clutters up my space that’s for real communication with other people. Not to mention it might get thrown into junk folder, so I’d miss it.

  75. @34 Josh has a good point Save for business travel, we find that the majority of people go to hotels to escape from their known world. The last thing they want is to be reminded from whence they came. What most people want from a hotel is for them to give them great service. Remember the type of room they like, the type of bedding and amenities. And most hotels that could afford to provide the service you describe, Robert seem to already have frequent guest offerings where they track your preferences. I would also think a hotel that would provide the services you describe would likely be one of the most expensive hotels around, given what they would need in place to provide and manage that.

  76. @34 Josh has a good point Save for business travel, we find that the majority of people go to hotels to escape from their known world. The last thing they want is to be reminded from whence they came. What most people want from a hotel is for them to give them great service. Remember the type of room they like, the type of bedding and amenities. And most hotels that could afford to provide the service you describe, Robert seem to already have frequent guest offerings where they track your preferences. I would also think a hotel that would provide the services you describe would likely be one of the most expensive hotels around, given what they would need in place to provide and manage that.

  77. Robert,

    Thanks for the reply. I do have a few close friends not like you who has friends in the 100′s. I guess that makes a difference. It would be nice though to have more customization on a social utility app but then again it would be complicated to manage on both ends.

    By the way I never send photos but links to files containing the photos. That way they do not get marked as spam or placed in the junk folder.

    Personal touches count even in this web 2.0 world and it would be nice if these apps allowed for more of that.

  78. Robert,

    Thanks for the reply. I do have a few close friends not like you who has friends in the 100′s. I guess that makes a difference. It would be nice though to have more customization on a social utility app but then again it would be complicated to manage on both ends.

    By the way I never send photos but links to files containing the photos. That way they do not get marked as spam or placed in the junk folder.

    Personal touches count even in this web 2.0 world and it would be nice if these apps allowed for more of that.

  79. Interesting to know that posting on someoene’s Wall increases mutual visibility on the Feed. It also appears that even closer relationships, involving, e.g., poking and messaging, do not have the same effect. We have messaged a number of times, yet I rarely see your activity on my home page. But, like you, I have tons of ‘friends’ on there so, unlike some of your friends who complain, your stuff gets drowned out by the activity of hundreds of others I know there.

  80. Interesting to know that posting on someoene’s Wall increases mutual visibility on the Feed. It also appears that even closer relationships, involving, e.g., poking and messaging, do not have the same effect. We have messaged a number of times, yet I rarely see your activity on my home page. But, like you, I have tons of ‘friends’ on there so, unlike some of your friends who complain, your stuff gets drowned out by the activity of hundreds of others I know there.

  81. I accept facebook is not a one way medium and also i don't find anything i published myself… To show that face book is not a one way the examples which you have denoted is correct and it makes the point valid..
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