Posts with tag "Facebook"

The most important difference between Google Buzz and Facebook

Facebook is the biggest monster in the room, there’s no denying that.

It is huge and regardless of how much of an uproar there might be over the way it decides it wants things done it isn’t going anywhere. We might whine and bitch about Facebook constantly changing the rules of the game in order to suit its own ends but unfortunately there is no other social network capable of challenging it.

But perhaps it doesn’t need to be challenged. Perhaps there are alternatives out there that while not as big or all encompassing as Facebook that are just as good in their own way. After all it isn’t a requirement that we need to join, or participate, Facebook – at least not yet.

I was thinking about that today when I read a post by Louis Gray where he was talking about why Google Buzz was a better alternative for him over Facebook.

The world of social networking is not a zero-sum game. For Buzz to succeed does not mean that either of the other networks have to fail. In fact, it doesn’t even mean that Buzz has to be the biggest network on the planet. But it does mean that it should have the potential to be the best. I need a powerful aggregation tool that watches my activity on Google Reader and native blogs, but also offers the option to share photos and videos in a public way. Buzz does that. I need a powerful tool that lets me find friends’ updates from around the Web and engage with them in a central location. Buzz does that.


Our screwed up concept of privacy

If there is one really hot button topic when it comes to the Web it has to be the whole idea of privacy. From Scott McNealy to Eric Schmidt of Google to the newest statement about privacy from Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook we are being told that our abnormal concern about privacy is outmoded and stupid.

In the case of both Schmidt and Zuckerberg there is no denying that they both have ulterior reasons for wanting to get us all to be as open on the Web as possible. After all their businesses rely exclusively on us being willing to share anything and everything about ourselves on the Web.

It is equally unsurprising that there is a whole bunch of people who don’t agree with them, nor do they approve with the methods that companies like Google and Facebook will go to in order to get us to reconsider what our boundaries of privacy are. In fact some are vehemently opposed to the constant pushing of the privacy envelope that these companies will go to.

The only problem is that none of this arguing has anything to do with what real privacy is. In fact all this does is show us just how screwed up our concept of privacy is. Don’t get me wrong I am extremely bothered with the way that these companies do end up collecting and sharing the information that we give them but none of this has to do with what privacy is.


Could Google Wave actually be a great alternative to Facebook?

I’m not a fan of Facebook as I have a great number of questions about the service and its intentions. At the same time there really isn’t any alternatives – or is there?

There was a lot of talk about Google Wave when it first was announced but it didn’t last very long and the talk has been replaced by the hype over Buzz but even that is just a shadow of what Facebook brings to the table. A lot of people in the social media world have expressed the hope that Google would finally get its Social Media mojo together and actually bring us a competitor to the Facebook giant.

The thing is that we may actually looking at Wave the totally wrong way or possibly not looking at it the right way. Chris Brogan has talked often about Google Wave and has found it useful for things like¬†collaboration but I wonder if even he isn’t using it to its full potential – as a Facebook alternative.

I know I had for the most part given up on Google Wave at being something of any real use to me but then today a reader left a comment on a previous post, Getting depressed with this whole social media thing, that got me to thinking about Wave again.


Please don’t regulate Facebook

It was interesting reading Robert Scoble’s post today about why he thinks it is too late for the government to step in an regulate Facebook. On the whole he made some interesting points and no this isn’t another post that ends up ragging on Robert, rather it got me thinking about this whole regulation thing and I’ve come to a simple conclusion.

Don’t regulate Facebook. Don’t even think about regulating Facebook.

Look, right now the majority of techies and social media know-it-alls are whining and crying about how Facebook is single-handedly destroying our privacy on the web. Personally I think they are right but I also don’t think that regulating the company is the answer. In fact I think regulation could be the worse thing that could happen to our privacy on the web and do little to curtail Facebook.

Sure there might be some sense of our privacy being all important and that the government has our best interests at heart and is willing to battle Facebook on our behalf but the reality is far different. Yes Facebook might be hauled up on the carpet and told that they need to mend their ways, which they will do but in half -measures – just enough to keep the government happy.