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Written on November 19, 2007, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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Just as my most conservative and least impressable friends are finally lured into Facebook’s shiny blue garden, I’m observing a sea-change among the restless seekers and taste-makers of internet fun – people are beginning to complain of being bored, and even leave, deleting their profiles. My favourite quote (anonymous for the purposes of this blog) was the marvellous, “Facebook is currently experiencing technical difficulties”. What, that everyone’s bored of it already?”

The Terms of Service state that Facebook not only own all content you put there, but also that they will own the archive of your content, deleted or not. Add this to the fact that they will also collect data about you from “newspapers and other sources such as instant messages” (it’s the “such as” which concerns me), plus the very real CIA connections from the top down and you have the world’s most spooky social network. They have been taken to task recently by bloggers when they refused to acknowledge the right to a pseudonym – Article 15 of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Before Facebook caved in and allowed him back in (to take his place alongside 500 people named Jesus Christ), “Jon Swift” wrote:

By banning bloggers who use pseudonyms Facebook has declared war on the blogosphere. More and more bloggers have been using Facebook as a social networking tool, but how useful will it be if so many bloggers will be left out. I know a number of prominent pseudonymous bloggers who still have profiles on Facebook but apparently their days as Facebook members are numbered. I’m not going to rat them out to Facebook’s jack-booted thugs, however, even if they threaten to torture me.

Some of these prominent bloggers used to be among my more than 200 Facebook friends. I wonder if my Facebook friends have noticed yet that I am gone. I wonder how many of them have sent their zombies to bite me only to have them return unsated. Oh, how I miss being poked and being invited to join silly groups and causes and to install buggy widgets on my profile page that I then have to immediately uninstall.

This socially and politically conservative business has been hugely successful since opening itself up to people outside its orginal college constituency, and allowing third party application writers to come into the garden and make hay from its nicely manicured lawns. But in all probability, Facebook’s very popularity contains its downfall. What nobody likes to say is totally obvious – there is a limit to success, and I sense that Facebook is nearer to that limit than people currently imagine.

What happens when an exclusive, fashionable club becomes well known? As their dancefloor fills with the great unwashed, the movers and shakers move elsewhere. Unconcerned by the links with the CIA, sufficiently savvy to create plausible fictions in order to maintain discreet privacy, they are are already regrouping in places beyond the reach of Mark Zuckerberg and his latest investors, in places far more interesting, where new forms of self-expression are being enabled without fratboy rules, and new dances are being danced which will make the Facebook foxtrot soon seem very dated and ordinary.

Facebook, and others within the current spate of dazzling new media webshows, will shortly be learning the lesson that the music business, the film business, showbusiness have all known for a long time – nobody likes last year’s fashion.

Like my kind actor friend once said to me, as I shared a pint with him after a particularly good gig, “Don’t be too hot, for once your moment in the limelight has passed, you will forever struggle to recapture that sweet moment of success and popularity; and the consequent chill is very cold indeed.”

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This thing has 2 Comments

  1. Christian
    Posted 19 November, 2007 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Hi, I found this really mirrored what i am thinking right now and had written a really big comment.. then i thought.. Hng on.. I have my own blog.. so i posted there.. 🙂

    http://www.ourmaninside.com/blog/files/category-internet.php

    cheers man

  2. Twit
    Posted 20 November, 2007 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Interesting stuff.

    Success is merely confetti.
    It is not the commitment.

    Fuck ’em. ¦:¬]

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