Friday, June 20, 2008

I want a Facebook app...

...that aggregates the notifications and "feeds" from the other, crappy, can't-be-bothered-to-try social networks I'm still on. Actually what I really want is for that functionality to be built in to the Facebook iPhone app. Because I still have a bunch of non-technical friends who joined networks like MySpace or iWiW (in Hungary) back before those networks threw their hands up and stopped caring, and I still want to know what they're up to, but I don't want to log on to those train-wreck sites to find out. (I'm lookin' at you, iWiW, selling out your home culture, and I don't mean the sale to T-Mobile. Sajnálom, de ezek a programmozók rossz gyerekek. Az üzletemberek is. You can't just screw your friends when you get a little money.) I still love LinkedIn but mostly because I like the idea of keeping business networking and social networking separate. I'm one of the few people who can see the logic of their recent $1B valuation, but they're still very vulnerable. Their viability as a business essentially depends on Facebook considering that market too small to be worth the distraction. So that's my main wish. Social networks want to be monopolies, and since we know (or think we know) that's bad for the economy we'll settle for a short list of them. My money's on Facebook, LinkedIn, and a revived Orkut (since Google can just spend its way to innovation). Meanwhile, memo to Zuck: let me give you ad feedback. I'll do it for free, just to not see ads I dislike; and I don't need to explain to you how much more valuable it will make your ad space. On behalf of everyone over 30 on Facebook, I swear this will work. Because anyone who knows me knows the following ad was a complete and utter waste, in fact borderline offensive to my sensibility. And yet I spend bushels of money online every year, much of it on random things "gaming pros" would find trivial, like books and clothes and (no, really) tennis racquets. All they need is a "this is stupid" button to motivate me (not a "close" link which is passive and will be ignored) -- and boom, you make more money. Mine is the generation of participatory permission marketing. I know how the game works, I know the technology, I know the business - and I'm willing to spend a little of my time helping you win, because I believe that better ad targeting systems are in my best interest as well. (For the record: I'm not against making a buck on video games, and I have friends who do. I'm against pretending it's something other than a simple entertainment business. Memo to head office: you're not the new Film.)

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