Thursday, January 20, 2011

Which Digital Tool Will Facebook Annihilate First?

Which will Facebook annihilate first? Email? Websites? Databases? Consider the facts.

Facebook is swallowing up the digital universe, fostering cozy relationships with Yahoo, Bing-aka-Microsoft, Verizon, Skype, MySpace….

Indeed, Facebook may squash websites as we’ve come to know and love them. Have you noticed that many companies now cite their Facebook presence in TV and print ads? All of corporate America is sending customers to Facebook! Even the government is inviting people to face the book (for example, the State of Maryland). How did this happen?

With the advent of Facebook messaging and email addresses early last year, some observers worried that the giant would gobble up our inboxes. Others disagreed. The jury is out, but there’s another potential takeover on the horizon. Facebook just might replace proprietary databases, becoming the largest database in human history.

And then there are the photographs. As this Public Radio International article noted, “Some believe Facebook is now the largest photo collection in the world.”

Millions seem immune to privacy invasion, as we learn to shrug off the published sharing of more and more personal information among several hundred of our very best friends in the whole wide world.

Various Facebook advances do cause brief flurries of outrage and speculation when they launch. The recent disclosure that Facebook was giving developers access to users’ addresses and mobile phone numbers caused a brouhaha. But apparently this vital part of the lives of over 500 million subscribers has, somehow, become too powerful to stop or even control.

So why write about it? Because "eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty." And because, so far, I have the right to say I don't like it.

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

p.s. A side note: I use Google Chrome to surf. When I attempted to check the latest subscriber statistics, the very anti-Google Facebook wouldn’t allow me to access the site. I was told “You are using an incompatible web browser. Sorry, we're not cool enough to support your browser. Please keep it real with one of the following browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer.” Smirky sons of a gun, aren't they?

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