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The Era of Facebook Is an Anomaly

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the let's-get-back-to-business-as-usual dept.

Facebook 260

An anonymous reader writes "Speaking to The Verge, author and Microsoft Researcher Danah Boyd put words to a feeling I've had about Facebook and other social networking sites for a while, now: 'The era of Facebook is an anomaly.' She continues, 'The idea of everybody going to one site is just weird. Give me one other part of history where everybody shows up to the same social space. Fragmentation is a more natural state of being. Is your social dynamic interest-driven or is it friendship-driven? Are you going there because there's this place where other folks are really into anime, or is this the place you're going because it's where your pals from school are hanging out? That first [question] is a driving function.' Personally, I hope this idea continues to propagate — it's always seemed odd that our social network identities are locked into certain websites. Imagine being a Comcast customer and being unable to email somebody using Time Warner, or a T-Mobile subscriber who can't call somebody who's on Verizon. Why do we allow this with our social networks?"

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260 comments

Laughable (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496247)

"None ever used this thing that wasn't available before, therefore (loads of rationalizations)"

FACEBOOK SUCKS GOATSEX BALL SEXSUCK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496289)

nt

Re:Laughable (4, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 4 months ago | (#46496789)

The basic premise, that it is an anomaly for us to come together into a common social space, is so ridiculous that I have to wonder what her agenda is for making such a blatantly false claim.

People came together from their community to the marketplace to socialize. People came together at church every single Sunday.

Beyond the reaches of the individual community, people of almost every faith used to come together for pilgrimage, allowing them to socialize with other members of their faith from far away places and become more worldly and less ignorant. This was considered a moral duty.

The point isn't to go where people who are your friends are, or to go to places where people who are into the same hobbies. The point is to grow as a human being by leaving your comfort zone.

The real anomaly is in the walls that keep us from knowing each other. It keeps us weak, powerless and under control.

It's called (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496259)

Lack of options. And no, G+ doesn't cut it.

Re:It's called (4, Interesting)

danomatika (1977210) | about 4 months ago | (#46496273)

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

Re:It's called (2)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496469)

A social network is only relevant if it is "relevant" (aka if it appeases your social needs). Usually this requires a clear market winner. That's how we got CD vs DAT, VHS vs BetaMax and BluRay vs HD-DVD.

Re:It's called (1)

mindpivot (3571411) | about 4 months ago | (#46496325)

no current system/application/internet thing exists to make the experience of 'you and all of your friends visiting the same varying virtual destinations a social experience' is the disconnect. Facebook only offers you your info for sale, and a way to consistently communicate in recognizable patterns globally through a single identity, not a real social experience. modern research (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brain-electric-field/ - not the original link i read on this but the first i was able to find quickly) has shown that individual's brain's electrical fields when in proximity. If Vegas would give me odds, I'd be willing to bet that what our brains are currently tuned to interpret as a truly "social" experience is reliant on proximity and some sort of interaction of the electrical fields. or... or... i shouldn't post slashdot comments on St. Patty's Day.

Re:It's called (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496519)

no current system/application/internet thing exists to make the experience of 'you and all of your friends visiting the same varying virtual destinations a social experience'

Where the f*** did you read that in my comment?

Facebook only offers you your info for sale, and a way to consistently communicate in recognizable patterns globally through a single identity, not a real social experience

So does your provider, and everybody else. What do I care that my music listening preferences are blasted into the world and data mined? Do you know what trends are? They are data-mined :). And as "social experience", I choose to have a life offline. Like most users do.

modern research (http://www.scientificamerican.com/

I'd argue that scientific american is neither a modern and an acccurate reference when talking about social networks. But I get a bit bitchy about details.

I'd be willing to bet that what our brains are currently tuned to interpret as a truly "social"

Brains process patterns. Proximity (specially multi-sensorial) is a pattern, much more fullfilling than online experiences.

i shouldn't post slashdot comments on St. Patty's Day.

Waaaay ahead of you :D Happy St Patrick's day from Portugal ;)

Re: It's called (2)

AudioEfex (637163) | about 4 months ago | (#46496829)

"Brains process patterns. Proximity (specially multi-sensorial) is a pattern, much more fullfilling than online experiences..."

I wouldn't be so sure about assigning fulfillment levels there. Recent studies have shown that folks get the same "brain happy" from regularly watching the same TV shows with familiar characters as they do from spending time with friends in real life. Us assigning greater benefit to doing so with real people as opposed to television characters is purely a societal imposition, not inherent in our brain chemistry.

That said, because such a large potion of folks use Facebook, anyone who tries to peg it a certain way or interpret it to present one point of view to "understand" simply is grasping at straws. Facebook is a platform, used in many different ways. It's like generalizing people who "go to the shopping mall". Businesses use it to advertise. People use it for social mini blogging. To a large number, it's simply the 21st century equivalent of what people used to keep address books for. If you want to stay in contact with someone, it's far easier to find them on Facebook than share other (often transient) information like cell phone numbers, addresses, even emails. It's also a way to control access - if you use the tools FB gives you to do so.

I don't go on Facebook every day, or even every week sometimes. But I know how to find the people in my life, many of whom - particularly from high school, college, and former workplaces - I likely would have never known how to contact again when I was thinking of them and wanted to say hello. Or ask a question. Or any number of things that people reach out for. It's not the medium, it's the capability to have a master list of everyone you know (or care to keep connected with). That's it's staying power - and other little services come and go, but it's doubtful any other single entity will be able to hit the right time like FB did and capture this kind of audience again.

Re:It's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496359)

Lack of options.

You realize that people were talking online and sharing pictures, personal updates, etc, on the internet long, long before Facebook ever existed, right? And that none of the tools they used to do that have gone away?

Of course there are options. Refusal to use them is not the same as not having them.

Re:It's called (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | about 4 months ago | (#46496379)

Right. I remember those days. It was back when everyone was on Yahoo! What made Yahoo! chat rooms work was that you could go there and find people. What makes Facebook work is that is where everyone is now. I could (and do) use google+, but I get almost nothing out of it because nobody is there. This is called "network effect".

Re:It's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496405)

Right. I remember those days. It was back when everyone was on Yahoo!

No, not yahoo. People were doing those things on the internet before the marketing companies inserted themselves in the middle of everything.

Re:It's called (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496529)

Lol. No one is on Google+? All of my friends are. You clearly aren't hipster enough to socialize with the avant-garde. I stopped using Facebook when it stopped being underground.

Re:It's called (2)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496579)

Right. I remember those days. It was back when everyone was on Yahoo!What made Yahoo! chat rooms work was that you could go there and find people

I really doubt that. Newsgroups are as old as the internet itself. And talkd and IRC are also quite old. Waaaay before Yahoo.

What makes Facebook work is that is where everyone is now.

True.

This is called "network effect"

This is EXACTLY what you want from a social network. Or you'd have skype, google talk and the remaining crap to talk with people. A niche network - the shit G+ was catering to when it was launched (by arrogant nerds for nerds) - will not fly. Internet IS NOT for the elite. And Facebook understands that.

Re:It's called (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496559)

ou realize that people were talking online and sharing pictures, personal updates, etc, on the internet long, long before Facebook ever existed, right?

Yeah. Except geocities, gopher, thematic webrings, personal home pages, personal gnome pages (wink wink gifs) and whatnot. And all of that required a browser, some html knowledge, a domain name (optional), some blink tags and the actual content. So you could congratulate your colleague in his newborn son (6 months old by the time you find out) as he's leaving the company (that's how you found out, he has a own domain email!). That appeals to the working class, why not? "Here, have some tech - in 6 months, you'll be able to barely update your friends on your cat pictures AND your cooking recipes by installing this 25 pieces of software"

Refusal to use them is not the same as not having them.

I'd assume that you, AC, are followed with utter relevance.

Re:It's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496753)

Lack of options.

Real life is an option for those of us who are intelligent well rounded humans.

Oh yes yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496263)

but we're all supposed to have the same OS though right?

Talking outta ass (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 months ago | (#46496277)

God damn internet is anomaly. Facebook won't last long anyways.

Re:Talking outta ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496417)

You underestimate the stupidity of most humans.

Re:Talking outta ass (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46496505)

And I guess you overestimate their attention span. FB will be "lame" sooner or later. Give it 2-5 years and everyone will be jumping on that next best thing.

Re:Talking outta ass (3, Insightful)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496587)

FB will be "lame" sooner or later. Give it 2-5 years and everyone will be jumping on that next best thing.

I'd generally agree with this, but I was the guy saying that 5 years ago. Everything has a peak, but it seems to be too soon to tell.

Re:Talking outta ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496699)

I'd generally agree with this, but I was the guy saying that 5 years ago. Everything has a peak, but it seems to be too soon to tell.

You're pretty much on target then.

Kids, upon the whole, do not use Facebook. There's limited growth to be had in other demographics. The writing's on the wall.

Happened to MySpace. Happened to every other not-quite-social network. Happened to AltaVista. Happened to every MMO you can think of. Happened to various M*s.

When new user ingress dies off, your social network/website/search engine/game is done. The only question is how much money you can bilk out of the die-hard crowd.

Re:Talking outta ass (1)

Hylandr (813770) | about 4 months ago | (#46496775)

" Kids, upon the whole, do not use Facebook. "

Citation required.

Re:Talking outta ass (3, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#46496797)

kids have already jumped ship. once their parents started 'fb-ing' they figured it was time to find something else.

they won't last in the spotlight forever. the whole social networking thing is like a swarm and swarms never stay in one place forever. another will pop up and the swarm will go there (or a few places).

the thing that annoys me the most is that webmasters seem to feel compelled to put up those stupid F and T icons and to join in that nonsense. if you are a company, you 'have' to be on both of those mindless services.

I'd like to see some icons that proudly state 'I'm NOT on fb or tw. I have no icons and nothing for you to follow me on'. I'd have more respect for the business if they put THAT on their website.

An icon that says "Kiss my RSS, Facebook" (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#46496805)

I'd like to see some icons that proudly state 'I'm NOT on fb or tw. I have no icons and nothing for you to follow me on'.

A big orange RSS icon should work well for that. "If you want to follow me, go ahead and follow me using your browser."

Re:Talking outta ass (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496475)

That is a long living anomaly, no?

Re:Talking outta ass (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 months ago | (#46496571)

Well, internet is a progress/milestone. FB? I don't know what that is, nor do I care much.

Give me one other part of history where everybody (4, Insightful)

bigdavex (155746) | about 4 months ago | (#46496287)

Phone system?

Re:Give me one other part of history where everybo (1)

klevin (11545) | about 4 months ago | (#46496295)

In this argument, the phone system is analogous to the Internet, as a whole. When you're connected to the phone system, you can contact anyone else who's on the phone system, regardless of their local provider. Granted, you may have to may some sort of toll, if they don't use the same provider, or are geographically distant (depending on your provider). However, they're still accessible.

Re:Give me one other part of history where everybo (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#46496305)

No, the phone system is a network of compatible and standardized endpoints. No one really cares how they are connected, just like no one would care if Facebook didn't use the internet. I think the phone system is a pretty good example.

Re:Give me one other part of history where everybo (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | about 4 months ago | (#46496401)

No, actually, its like AT&T has 98% of the market share, and someone is whining, "why doesn't everyone start up their own independent telephone network space". Like I want to use the yellow phone to talk to people about baking, and the green phone for talking about movies. Not gonna happen.

Re:Give me one other part of history where everybo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496513)

A better example is the phone book.

Facebook is simply the modern version of the phone book, with additional information, and more control for the end user. There will always need to be a directory by which one registers to interact with other people.\

Most of my friends have no more interaction with FB other than to be registered so that they can be found. FB may lose people for other reasons, and may not be the way of interacting in the way some people use it today, but that assumes that that is the key function ...

Re:Give me one other part of history where everybo (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#46496611)

terrible analogy. facebook is so much more destructive to social interaction than a paper book that's basically a large rolodex.

Social network API (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496301)

Why can't there be an API for social networks? Kind of like email, where everyone follows the same set of rules? In the future, each household would 'rent' a social network server access (analogous to buying email access), and then others can connect to their profile page and view pics, request permission to view pics, etc. There'd have to be a bunch of security designed into the protocol, of course. It will be different from diaspora, because its just a public protocol, not a specific implementation.

Re:Social network API (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 4 months ago | (#46496313)

You mean how everyone just uses Gmail for their mail now?

Re:Social network API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496339)

You mean how everyone just uses Gmail for their mail now?

Except the people who use hotmail, yahoo, or apple's .mac/.me/.whatever email.

Re:Social network API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496577)

Lol, they don't count as people. I can't video conference with them via Google Hangouts so they might as well not exist.

Re:Social network API (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | about 4 months ago | (#46496429)

No, not really. If I use gmail and you use yahoo there is nothing lost in our email conversations. If I use facebook, and you use google+, then logging into facebook doesn't show me your stuff. I'd have to go to your system to see your stuff. If i had 20 friends all on facebook, its easy. If they were on 20 different systems, I have to have 20 tabs open. To make it similar to email, then if you post on Facebook, or on google+, then I'd see it in my "aggregator system", and it'd be like I was simultaneously on both. So whose Ads do I see? If I built it, I wouldn't see any. So why would they let me scrape their sites? I don't know, why would they?

Re:Social network API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496471)

Forget scraping their sites. Just start a new social network off the public social network API. Nobody cares about the social network history, in the long run, anyways.

Who would host the ads? Perhaps the 'provider of the social network server' would inject the ads into a marked area of the page. The provider would also provide the social network client interface (ie, analogous to the email client, ie Gmail or Hotmail).

This would give incentive for different servers to provide free access and bandwidth for hosting.

Re:Social network API (1)

Visarga (1071662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496769)

I think the greatest advantage the Internet has given us is total interconnectivity. I am just one click away, one network packet away from any site or person, no matter where it is. Borders and physical space have become meaningless. We all form one global village. But then come the bad guys and start destroying this high degree of integration by carving up artificial borders: GeoIP walls, pay walls (I'm looking at you, JSTOR), closed garden communities starting with AOL, the instant messengers and ending with FB. Aaron fought against this. It's a cancer to our Internet. It should not exist.

Re:Social network API (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 4 months ago | (#46496333)

Why can't there be an API for social networks? Kind of like email, where everyone follows the same set of rules?

Because there's no money on sharing information.

All the customer's activities generates data that are stored and cross analysed with other people's interactions. How exactly this data is useful it's beyond me, but I guess Facebook is full of smarter guys that know what to do with it.

Sharing this information will allow third partners to take access to some (if not all) of these data, and then Facebook will lose its monopoly on such data.

Re:Social network API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496347)

OP here. I totally get your meaning and point. It is true that social networking data presents much more sellable data and analysable data than email data. However, your argument could have been applied to email (to a point), too. If everyone had said that, then we wouldn't have had email. Yes, I know - text is tiny and infinitely cheaper than hosting images and the complexity involved in supporting 'newsfeeds', etc. But still...

Re:Social network API (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 4 months ago | (#46496741)

Email is harder to mine.

There's no reliable cross-linking, there's no "Like" button. You cant count how many times it was read.

And, moreover, you can't prevent third parties to read it (and do the same you are doing) once the sender clicks on the send button.

Data is important and valuable, but it can only be sell if nobody else's have it.

Re:Social network API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496745)

Email was developed before this form of data-monetization was considered and with the intent that it would be used by serious researchers rather than idiot consumers.

We can see now that big money doesn't want such a decentralized, relatively private system to exist, hence the development of systems like Gmail which works much differently from the original email system design.

Re:Social network API (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46496531)

How this information could be useful? Just imagine you could have predicted any of the youth trends of the past. Pick any one. Still no idea how you could profit from that in some way?

Re:Social network API (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496607)

Because there's no money on sharing information.

No, its about perception of cost. People see value in having an email. Providers like google see value in crawling user's emails (eg. to know the reach of certain promotions, key products, ordering info, etc - the kind of suff that makes sense once you're collecting data with Google Analytics, and convincing companies to spend money on AdWords).

Sharing this information will allow third partners to take access to some (if not all) of these data, and then Facebook will lose its monopoly on such data.

So you're saying that Facebook loses when sells the daily answer to "what are guys between 20-25yr old that are male caucasian and like hot girls are buying"?

Re:Social network API (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 4 months ago | (#46496727)

So you're saying that Facebook loses when sells the daily answer to "what are guys between 20-25yr old that are male caucasian and like hot girls are buying"?

No. I'm saying Facebook would loose money it provides an API that allow any third party to miner the database to answer that question. Please read the GP.

Re:Social network API (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46496523)

You are aware that the basic idea behind creating such a social network is harvesting personal information about the users and how they interact with each other, yes? Then who in their sane mind would WANT to create an API to decentralize that?

Re:Social network API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496541)

Very good point, thank you. Maybe altruistic purposes? "Liberalizing information" purposes? The same people who would spend a lifetime donating their time to do the public good? People who would work for the EFF, Stallman types, Linus types?

Re:Social network API (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 4 months ago | (#46496697)

Then who in their sane mind would WANT to create an API to decentralize that?

Why the users of course!

Re: Social network API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496535)

I think buddycloud is working on getting these kinds of things into the XMPP standard. I tried some quick stuff in python with their HTTP API and it seems kind of cool

Re: Social network API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496597)

Ok maybe I spoke too soon. I can't see where I thought they were trying to get it into the XMPP standard itself. But they have an API build on top of XMPP that they are standardizing.

Re:Social network API (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#46496637)

Who is going to pay for the services? No one is gong to pay for this sort of thing, so AD revenue is what pay for places like Facebook. If you bypass it the money slowly dries up and the service goes away.

Even if people did pay, you wont see the amount of money being made, so less incentive for it to happen. Advertisements is the only way its going to happen.

it's a fad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496319)

I was one of the early adopters back when facebook just came out and it was only for select university students. Back then, people made fun of me for using facebook and it was considered a very nerdy thing to do. I was an engineering major and it was commonly used to find other students in the same class as you and collaborate on homework and studying. It was a corner of the internet just for geeks. If so many people thought it was uncool back then, then things can easily turn around again.

Re:it's a fad (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46496545)

Odd. What you describe sounds like my early adoption of internet usage. Everyone made fun of me using that slowpoke, expensive pastime that could never compete with "normal" computer use, since you could barely transfer text sensibly when GUIs already ruled the computer world and 3D graphics were approaching the gaming world. And here I was, that nerdy little idiot, watching text trickle down my phone line and being happy about communicating with someone via text when I could simply have called him (and considering the amount of time and effort it took it would probably have been cheaper, too)...

Facebook provides online identity, not just social (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496341)

Facebook is much more than a place to share your status. It's the de-facto way to verify your identity -- log into websites, etc.

Re:Facebook provides online identity, not just soc (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | about 4 months ago | (#46496441)

Agreed. Many people follow news sites from facebook. Facebook has become their portal to the rest of the internet.

Re:Facebook provides online identity, not just soc (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#46496453)

Yeah, just what we all want..an online identity tied to our real info that can track us as we move across domains.. I'll pass..

Re:Facebook provides online identity, not just soc (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46496555)

And why would I want to verify my identity? Last time I checked I was pretty sure that I was myself, no need to verify anything.

HuffPost and Answers (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#46496773)

And why would I want to verify my identity?

To gain access to forums and comment sections whose operator requires a verified identity as a measure against griefing. Posting a comment to an article on The Huffington Post requires a Facebook account that has been "verified" (associated to a globally unique mobile phone number). Posting to Answers.com requires a Facebook account (or a legacy account which it is no longer possible to create).

Simplicity (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#46496351)

Right or wrong, the reason a large site like Facebook stays large as most people dont want to have to go different places to do what amounts to the same thing.

Would you rather go to 10 friends house each week for 30 minutes each, or everyone hang out at one for the afternoon? Most people would not choose all the running around.

Re:Simplicity (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#46496497)

Actually, a more apt analogy would include the stipulation that a government agent would be there watching you all for the afternoon, recording all of your conversations, taking pictures/video, and storing them for possible future criminal cases involving one or more of you. In that case, I'd pick the 30 minutes option, or just find somewhere else to be for the afternoon.

Re:Simplicity (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#46496723)

I think i see your tinfoil slipping.

Re:Simplicity (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 4 months ago | (#46496651)

Yeah, the researcher doesn't get it at all. The so called "interest group" is friends and family. It's one spot I can go to to find out what's up. I certainly wouldn't go there to satisfy an anime addiction but she needs to realize there are different kinds of groups and they don't all fit into her very limited definition of what a group is. It's sad that I get this and I'm not a fb fan and I almost never post.

Correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496357)

Why do you think they buy up all the new sites that come along just to kill them? They know its a limited time deal. Think Netscape, remember them?

Monopoly (1)

strack (1051390) | about 4 months ago | (#46496363)

It appears that MS disapproves of monopolies and lock-in in proprietary systems when there not the ones doing it. Worlds tiniest violin etc. etc.

don't confuse the connection with who you connect (0)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about 4 months ago | (#46496371)

don't confuse the connection with who you connect, and how you connect.
Facebook is overwhelming, annoying, all consuming. And people let it
The same thing was said about myspace. whatever happened to them. the good news for facebook is they're almost too big fail. Too many people use them, though they could.
Google, Apple, even Microsoft, too big to fail. The downside is difficult. Facebook wants to get there.
y'know, it's good for the shareholders.

one of my regrets is not spending everything I had on Google's IPO

Re:don't confuse the connection with who you conne (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496623)

Facebook is overwhelming, annoying, all consuming. And people let it

I could say the same about programming. or life itself.

Facebook is AOL. (1)

jddj (1085169) | about 4 months ago | (#46496377)

Srsly. Don't get all exercised about it. It'll pass.

I'm actually kinda surprised FB aren't blanketing the nation with CD-ROMs.

Re:Facebook is AOL. (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 4 months ago | (#46496445)

SHHHHH!

Asshole, They were kids when that happened, Now it's gonna freaking happen again!

I'm gonna have to go buy a garage sale microwave now to deal with the upcoming facebook cd slam.. //crawls into corner and whimpers

Re:Facebook is AOL. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46496561)

I think it's about time they do that. My AOL coasters ain't in any shape anymore to be presentable, I need replacements!

Re:Facebook is AOL. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#46496575)

yes! cool idea.

bring back the coasters and start a new service called silverbook !

yeah, it has 'book' in it, so you can assume the US based corp attorneys will be all over that. "you used OUR word. we own that. stop it!". sigh.

It's the other way around: AOL is Facebook (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#46496779)

To post a comment to an article on The Huffington Post, you need to create a Facebook account, "verify" the account by receiving a code in a text message sent to a unique mobile phone number on a supported carrier, and link your Facebook account to your account on The Huffington Post.

you may call anyone, The FCC says so (1)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about 4 months ago | (#46496411)

don't worry, as long as a "phone" is involved no obstruction may be made by the carrier.
Failing to follow that rule will bankrupt Verison, Comcast, or AT&T in a day.

Re:you may call anyone, The FCC says so (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#46496635)

don't worry, as long as a "phone" is involved no obstruction may be made by the carrier.

The FCC's new plan is to move phone service to VoIP. The phone will be over the internet and not the other way around. They won't obstruct anything within your sip tunnel. Woo hooo.

It's Totally False (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#46496415)

Society naturally gravitates towards monopolies.

Why: A default answer is easy, because it requires no decision making.

Fragmentation has never been the natural state of anything just like "nature abhors a vacuum".

This is why your electric company, gas company, phone company, cable company are one monopolies.

Also think of E-Bay (what is alternative?), Amazon.com (what is alternative?), or how companies standardize on Microsoft Office and Windows and how schools standardize around iPads.

I am more offended by the idea of someone working at Microsoft trying to have a cultural thought --- from a place devoid of the concept of higher cultural thought and beauty.

Re:It's Totally False (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 4 months ago | (#46496643)

This is why your electric company, gas company, phone company, cable company are one monopolies.

Not where I live. You have a free market - at least an illusion of one.

Also think of E-Bay (what is alternative?), Amazon.com (what is alternative?)

Both Amazon & Ebay are not the top companies on their respective fields (TaoBao is bigger than both combined). Amazon's alternative is to skip the marketplace and buy on your local retailer (if available). If not, buy on a clone (Jumia, Lazada, Linio, etc). E-Bay alternatives start offline (newspapers).

AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy (2)

Jmstuckman (561420) | about 4 months ago | (#46496439)

Imagine being a subscriber of AOL, PC-Link, Compuserve, Prodigy, Delphi, or GEnie, and not being able to send messages to customers of other services.

It has already happened once, and we are repeating it.

The Internet Changes Everything (1)

Froggels (1724218) | about 4 months ago | (#46496449)

It wasn't all that long ago when the only way people were able to "come together" was to actually meet face to face. Before the likes to Facebook and Myspace... the only way to have any contact with lost former acquaintances was to do a lot or research or travel "back home" to find them. With services such as Facebook what would have been long lost acquaintances now bombard our news feeds with useless information 24-7. Fragmentation may have been the norm in the past, and Facebook may be a fad today, but social networking is here to stay. And I am over 45 years old. Now get off my lawn.

Lack of history... (1)

Eristone (146133) | about 4 months ago | (#46496457)

Facebook is the same anomaly as AOL was -- critical mass and everyone was there that most people wanted to talk to / find. And MySpace was the same animal for a while.

What about operating systems? (1)

seyyah (986027) | about 4 months ago | (#46496479)

... Microsoft Researcher Danah Boyd put words to a feeling
"The idea of everybody going to one site is just weird. Give me one other part of history where everybody shows up to the same social space. Fragmentation is a more natural state of being....

I wonder if she believes that the same should hold true for operating systems.

Re:What about operating systems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496659)

Of course. That's why they give us a choice between Windows 8.1 and Windows RT.

Misunderstanding Facebook (4, Insightful)

cstacy (534252) | about 4 months ago | (#46496493)

Facebook is not a place that everyone goes to. It is merely a hosting platform where people create zillions (of partially overlapping) "places" that they go to. Those millions of people are not on your Friends list. Facebook is millions of "places", not one. (However, George Takei's page is indeed the one single place in the world where everyone goes. But just for his stuff; nobody reads the comments.) As for Facebook "bombarding your news feed with useless information 24x7", ummm, that doesn't happen to me. Get a life?

they're called "social circles". Facebook 2011 (3)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#46496503)

> Is your social dynamic interest-driven or is it friendship-driven? Are you going there because there's this place where other folks are really into anime, or is this the place you're going because it's where your pals from school are hanging out?

I believe those different groups are called "social circles", and Facebook started supporting the concept in 2011, after Google+ made it central to their interface. Facebook is the MEDIUM for different grugroups to communicate. Facebook is not the group.

Yes, it would be weird if every group gathered at the same physical location. It would not be weird if they all drove in cars to get there. Facebook isn't a physical space that crams everyone together. It's a method of getting to different groups a person belongs to.

Re:they're called "social circles". Facebook 2011 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496795)

I believe those different groups are called "social circles", and Facebook started supporting the concept in 2011

Facebook had custom friend lists at least as early as 2009, before there even was a Google+. They also had "private groups" at least as far back as 2005. They gave the "organize your friends" slightly more prominence by suggesting automatic groupings after the G+ launch, but nothing has fundamentally changed about the platform.

Re:they're called "social circles". Facebook 2011 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496821)

Yes, it would be weird if every group gathered at the same physical location. It would not be weird if they all drove in cars to get there. Facebook isn't a physical space that crams everyone together. It's a method of getting to different groups a person belongs to.

I think the point of the article is say you have a group of friends that you want to update (e.g. "status update"), some are on facebook, so you have to do an update there, some are on g+ so you have to do an update there, some are on twitter so you have to do an update there, etc.
However, contrary to the author's main thesis, it is not an anomoly, it is the norm. See also: IRC vs email vs SMS vs AIM vs Jabber vs ICQ vs Skype, etc.
FWIW, I think it's kind of annoying that they are all separate too...but it has been the norm for all of humanity... it's INTERNETs that are still a relatively new concept.

Last time in a month — and probably forever (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 4 months ago | (#46496507)

Just logged in to FB for the first time in a month or two.

It hasn't been chronological in a while. FB chooses whose posts I see at the top. Do they know me better than I do?

FB has been over for quite a while. Teenagers do not want to be "FB friends" with their grandma.

Last week, I received an invite to an event through email! Think of it. Email is just the same as FB, without inviting FB to be the middle-man (and NSA toady).

Bless this week. My friends are finally realizing that FB is just a mirror that records your every movement, and are finally returning to normal communication methods. Finally!

FB filters spam better than some email providers (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#46496799)

Email is just the same as FB, without inviting FB to be the middle-man

And that's the problem. Internet mail became less useful to people when spammers learned how to defeat Bayesian filters. Facebook has the resources to filter spam centrally and apply an effective death penalty [catb.org] to repeat offenders because making and verifying a new Facebook account means getting a new cell phone number.

Lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496515)

I was hooked on some crappy FB games for a while and it has taught me a valuable lesson. It's a lot easier to accept friend request than removing them once you quit a game. Superhero City and the need for gifts landed me 5000 people very fast, but once I started trying to remove them it proved extremely tedious, I got the blocked add/remove friend messages for 3-7 days each time and now I have 4600, but only because I gave up on it lol.

F, FBook in the F'ing Face for not letting me fix my space. :(

Anomaly? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 4 months ago | (#46496521)

Seriously? How old and culturally blind is this person?

There are still towns in mexico where EVERYBODY goes to the town square because that is where everything happens.

Back in my day that social space was called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496585)

The MALL.

Imagine a world (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about 4 months ago | (#46496627)

>"author and Microsoft Researcher Danah Boyd [...] Imagine being a Comcast customer and being unable to email somebody using Time Warner, or a T-Mobile subscriber who can't call somebody who's on Verizon. Why do we allow this with our social networks?"

That's a good question, Ms. "Microsoft researcher". Perhaps you can imagine a world where people can exchange documents freely and accurately without proprietary software like MS-Word. Or a world where consumers can put any OS they want on any computer without MS working with vendors to try and block them at the BIOS level. Or imagine people sharing calendar events easily without using MS's Exchange/Outlook formats. MS tried to hijack the web with IE (and did so successfully for years), and lied about their competitors to prevent diversity, locked out vendors from including Linux or other FOSS on machines, corrupted exported filters to make sure files to/from competitors would be partially broken. And the list goes on and on. Microsoft has been responsible for more lock-in and anti-compatibility than any other tech company, so perhaps I find it ironic that someone from Microsoft would ask us to imagine any kind of world of incompatibility.

network effect iff vendor lockin (3, Insightful)

markhahn (122033) | about 4 months ago | (#46496629)

lockin/networkeffect is so much easier a business model than competing based on excellence.

it's an interesting question to ponder: at what level of clue do customers begin to care? does the mass market ever reach that level? implicitly, sure - a service won't succeed which can't interoperate at least well enough. but how many customers really understand the concept of protocol or API - understand it well enough to realize that it permits vendor-independent services?

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496645)

Geeks don't understand the popularity of FB, they don't exactly socialise like other people.

Network effect. (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 4 months ago | (#46496681)

It's called the network effect: the benefits of all going to one single place outweigh the costs. Same as for going to the supermarket, using MS Office, speaking the same language... Facebook is mainly a blank slate, you put on it what you want (subdivided between audiences if you want) and link with whomever you want. Plus I'm not sure what the cost of going to FB is ? I don't do social networking, but if I did, I'd go to Facebook. Why bother with anything else when it's free, everybody's there, and there doesn't seem to be anything better around (G+ is a disgrace, the last few times I checked my "home" was mostly hangouts logs, which you can't turn off ?)

You need to subscribe to cellular service (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#46496813)

Plus I'm not sure what the cost of going to FB is ?

To verify your account [facebook.com] , you need a mobile phone that can receive SMS.

Because Microsoft engages in lock-in .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496709)

"'The era of Facebook is an anomaly .. The idea of everybody going to one site is just weird .. Why do we allow this with our social networks?"

This was not always the case, this is a more recent phenomenon and it's because companies such as Microsoft engage in customer lock-in. Like you can't make a phone call to a Skype user if you're on a different network ..

Not really a sensible analysis (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 4 months ago | (#46496759)

Facebook isn't a social meeting place, it's a communications platform that also happens to let you hang a sign on the door that everyone can see.

That's why they bought whatsapp, that's why they have all of the various tools to send and archive messages and to let you carve up the 'social space' of who you talk to.

There are lots of shady things they are up to as well,

>Why do we allow this with our social networks?"

Whey do we let countries control their TLD's and phone exchanges and physical mail system? You don't have to use facebook to talk to anybody, there are other forms of communication. But if you want to use the facebook communication system then you have to use Facebook. If it becomes big enough, important enough and persistent enough then the government will step in to regulate it. But it's also possible facebook will go the way of the dodo bird in a couple of years when people get sick of all the stuff facebook ends up doing to try and make money.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46496783)

"The idea of one service tying all your friends together is an anomaly" is followed by the example of email?

What the actual fuck?

Email is exactly an example of something that "ties everybody together" - it can be provided in a decentralized fashion, but email's ENTIRE relevance and utility is tied to the fact that "everybody's there."

What Facebook has done is simply provide enough functionality easily to be able to entice "everybody" to join up and participate, making their social offering a strong "network effect" than G+, Myspace, etc. Is it replaceable? Sure. Will it be replaced? Sure, as soon as somebody offers a compelling alternative that causes enough people to stop using it.

Facebook already has an API (1)

genner (694963) | about 4 months ago | (#46496825)

Facebook has had an APi for a long time. You get info into and off Facebook from your own website. You just have to get past the terms and conditions screen. So it is like a phone. You can call it from other websites without a problem.
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