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Posts Tagged ‘Social Networks

Social Websites Cracking Under Corporate Pressures

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diggdeadSeems these days that the more successful the Web 2.0 company is the more like they are to put their collective feet into it at every turn.

Whether it’s Facebook’s continued Faceplants on what should be relatively simple and easy decisions to make or not make or community sites like DIGG that are having a difficult time convincing visitors and users alike that it (DIGG) is really a user-driven, community website.

DIGG recently admitted after months of denial that they did employ an auto-bury figure which automatically buries content which DIGG management deem objectionable. Doesn’t sound very social or user-driven now does it.

I think was is happening is these social experiments are suffering under the weight of white shirts and ties. Sure the public heads of these companies appear in public like clones of that annoying Mac guy but in reality these websites are businesses. As businesses they MUST make money and more importantly they MUST avoid litigation. Here in lies the problem.

User-driven social experiments like DIGG and Facebook are only successful as long as they are honest with their users. Once users start to feel like they are not in control or that their interests are merely being pandered to they will abandon them. En mass. What sites like DIGG, Facebook and MySpace will have to learn is eventually the users will call the shots not baord of directors.

It now appears that sites like DIGG and Facebook are increasingly being managed by lawyers, risk managers and accountants which would explain recent public stumbles. And while these websites may have enjoyed a free and unrestrained past, they are now struggling to retain that free and loose style (if only in appearance) and not to loose their user base while trying to ensure their corporate under skin doesn’t start flaking off for lack of profit.

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Written by mattliving

February 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Facebook Does Another Face Plant

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faceplantsmBBC: The founder of Facebook says the social network will return to its previous terms of service regarding user data.

In a blog post Mark Zuckerberg said the move was temporary “while we resolve the issues that people have raised”.

Users had complained after new terms of service seemed to suggest Facebook would retain personal data even if someone deleted their account.

Originally defending the changes, Mr Zuckerberg had said it was to better reflect how people used the site.

bspcommentFacebook continues to struggle with how they are going to monetize their user base without selling out their users. Of course “quietly” changing the Terms of Service on a site with over 150 million users without announcing it is just plain STUPID. Which leads me to the important point in this story. Why would anyone trust a company like Facebook when they don’t respect their usrs enough to tell them upfront in clear, plain english (or language of choice) that they want to own everything you post on Facebook.

Written by mattliving

February 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm