"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Facebook and the future of electronic media history

hot dog! every since my post about quitting facebook, i've been checking QuitFacebookDay.org every morning to see if they've made progress on their commitment numbers. i've been amazed to watch its trending in the last week or so, this morning at 10 am up to 20,123 and now suddenly up to 22,284 as of 1 pm PST today! every other morning the site has seen a growth of only 1 or 2K people, but 5K wow! word is spreading!

that's because Facebook is losing a grip on its PR. just this morning On the Media ran a little story on Facebook. here's an excerpt:

RYAN SINGEL [a writer for Wired.com]: [Mark Zuckerberg’s] a really interesting character. There’s a book about to come out, by David Kirkpatrick, I believe, from Fortune magazine. The excerpts that have come out have been fascinating. For instance, Microsoft came along and told Facebook they'd be happy to buy it for 15 billion dollars, and Mark Zuckerberg said no. And then they came back and they said, we'll buy it over a period of five years, so we'll let you stay in control. He said no again.

This isn't about the money. And he really wants to sort of change the world, and he really wants that Facebook page to be the place that people define themselves to everyone else online.

On Tuesday, Facebook’s public policy director, Tim Sparapani, said something that was, I think, a bit of a slip, when he said that the personalization that Facebook has offered to all the websites on the Internet [...] he called that an “extraordinary gift to the public.” I think they really think that they're doing this amazing thing for the public and we're not thankful enough.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And the gift to the public is the fact that their information can be shared with so many vendors out there.

electronic media history is about to repeat itself. Facebook is to our web experience what the conglomeration of TV (ABC, NBC, CBS) was to television programming. with consolidation into one large corporation, rather than the diversified, differentiated offerings of multiple sites for different purposes (i.e. Flickr, blogger, Last.FM, LinkedIn, etc.) the public loses out on richness of experience. we self-impose our lack of choice. ironic, in a state where consumer choice becomes our most frequent and salient experience of democracy, we still choose convenience over variety of choice. Brooke Gladstone points out in the same piece that the average Facebook user "will choose convenience over privacy every time." the bad press, the QuitFacebook movement, and the premature buzz over alternatives such as Diaspora gives me hope that maybe we won't see history repeat itself, that we will avoid corporate control of the internet, we will reclaim net neutrality, preserve our right to privacy, and utilize the internet for its fabled purpose, of making voice and choice more readily available and exercisable by the masses.

all together now!Link

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