Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Bubble Boys and Girls of Facebook

First, it were common users like my friend Ajit who got tired of friend requests (and assorted others) on social networks such as Myspace. This time it is the turn of one of Silicon Valley A-listers who tirelessly promote Facebook to concede defeat.

Jason Calacanis, formerly of Weblogsinc and now CEO of human-powered search startup Mahalo, declares that he is fed up and tired of responding to the numerous friends requests and other requests from people he did not know before.

Conceding 'Facebook Bankruptcy' Calacanis says:

I can't keep up with the friend requests, the requests to confirm how we know each other, the requests to tell you I like you, the requests to tell you I want your to tell me what movies you want to tell me about, etc.

More importantly, Calacanis drives a point into the viability of the much-hyped Facebook Platform. Eternal Web 2.0 PiedPiper Michael Arrington writes about application developer creating platforms inside the Facebook platforms, noting with satisfaction that a Facebook user is worth at least $0.30.

Calacanis however, goes on to punch a hole in all that Platform hype, comparing Facebook's Walled Garden to AOL , just as Jason Kottke did some time back. Calacanis writes,

Frankly, I don't understand why all of these startups are spending all their time trying to build inside of Facebook's walled garden.... well, I guess I do understand it: they like the quick hit of watching the apps #s run up. However, it makes no sense to me to build inside of someone else's platform when you have the wide open internet out there to develop on. I guess if you look at Facebook applications as free marketing maybe. Feels like everyone who is doing this is the Web 2.0 version of old IPs (information partners) at AOL in the pre-web days.... except there is no $4.95 an hour fee to split with Facebook! Time and the open internet has told us that model isn't sustainable. Closed gives to open.... eventually.
When I think of all these eager developers playing inside Facebook, I am reminded of the Bubble boy in "Seinfeld".

Bubble Boys and Girls of Facebook?
I have been here before.

And here: When a Facebook user Got a ...

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