Facebook’s Problem = FSW Opportunity

ReadWriteWeb’s social Blog has an articule up referencing a conversation the author had with Mark Cuban about Facebook’s business model and integrity challenges.

Apparently Facebook is now going to charge brands a huge amount to reach the base of fans they have accumulated on facebook.

I’ve heard anecdotally about a huge brand that was complaining recently because it has spent four years building a following of millions of people, promoting its Facebook presence (and, by implication, Facebook itself) on expensive television ads – and now Facebook has flipped a switch and, overnight, their reach dropped by 40%.

So now they’re done. They’ve been burned, and, like Cuban, they’re looking elsewhere.

A few weeks back I as in a tweeted to a woman complaining how Facebook was shaping which of her friend’s updates she saw and even asking her to pay money to have her updates go to more of her friends. I said that when we had a federated social web she wouldn’t have this problem we would choose which of our friends we would follow and get updates from.

I attended my 3rd out of three federated social web summits last week eek it feels like last week it was 2 weeks ago just after IIW 15. Evan Prodromo pulled together an amazing group of folks working on key aspects of the challenge.

Phil Wolff and I presented about the emerging Personal Cloud offerings coming out of our community of companies (the Personal Data Ecosystem Startup Circle)

Tantek shared POSSE – Publish On your Own Site Syndicate Everywhere.

Even gave an update on where OStatus the stack of protocols that gives you twitter and facebook like functionality across services.

We learned about many other projects. too (you can see them on the wiki here).

I’m glad that folks like Mark Cuban are waking up to the fact there is an issue with Facebook and they should be looking elsewere. Facebook is to social what AOL and Compuserve were to e-mail. It will be disrupted by the Open Standards based infrastructure must of it based on Open Source code. People will have their own personal node on the network – a personal cloud where they will connect to others and to organizations they want to share with, connect with and do business with.

It would be great to see some big investments in core open infrastructure that can then be leveraged to make money afterwards. This is what Doc Searls is always saying you make money because of it not with it.  We need the web to continue extending to being the type that Nobody Owns, Everyone can Use it and Anyone improve it.  Open Standards are the key to this. I argue they are more important then open source code alone (look at diaspora open source but rolled its own way of doing things…and didn’t interoperate with other projects/efforts doing similar things)

If you were to ask me what would get us to the future fastest though it is open source implementations of those open standards are invaluable and what “investors” like Mark Cuban and others who are now seeing the danger of one company “owning” the social profiles and identities of a billion people should consider funding now with no strings attached.

I was asked by an investor group that I gave a day long briefing to about the the emerging Personal Data Ecosystem. I said I would give Evan Prodromo 12 million dollars no strings attached (as in you are not seeking a return on the money with more money) the deliverable for that money would be a working federated social web in 1 year. On that web one can build a huge variety of businesses and services in new ways not possible on today’s web (or at least not possible without creepy stalking and trackers and paying middle men like facebook to talk to your “fans”).  That web itself…shouldn’t be “owned” it needs to be created though.

 

 

 

 

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