June 29, 2007
Facebook platform second thoughts

After the initial wow a couple of posts are appearing that aren't so happy with the Facebook platform. In regular snarky form Valleywag suggests that the recently emerged long tail of Facebook apps is surprising/disappointing. Which of course it isn't. More interestingly, Kottke echoes earlier concerns that Facebook is the new AOL, the über-silo in a great reversion to the walled online gardens of the paleo-web.
The AOL comparison seems only half true - as explained here (video here) by Brewster Kahle: As long as the contract between Facebook and developers is that everybody's welcome and they don't charge an eyeball-tax, half of the problem isn't there.
Implicit in the Valleywag piece is the notion that this new audience is much more fickle than the one you get when you build your own silo. But that's also the beauty of it - the facebook apps are what I have just recently started to call casual social networks, an analogy to casual games. The apps aren't immersive total experiences of their own - they're used occasionally and offhand. Which is a good thing. We need more of those and less silos.
I would love for every Moveable Type and Wordpress installation to be an Open ID server with a little social sauce added on so we could do the same thing on the greater web. It seems these kinds of ideas end up suggesting a trusted center anyway - and we already had one company suggesting this and nobody seemed to like that particular hegemony.

Posted by Claus at June 29, 2007 09:27 AM | TrackBack (0)
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