June 23, 2010

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend (Today), part II

I think Facebook is starting to get out of control from a usability perspective.  This doesn’t mean it’s not a great platform and that it doesn’t have utility.  But if the platform continues on its current path, the core system runs the risk of going sideways like its various predecessors:  GeoCities, MySpace, etc.  Maybe I’ll go in there to look for something or someone, but it won’t be a place I scroll through as part of a daily or semi-daily routine. I wrote about this a year ago now, and while the site has some better tools to assign friends to groups, it doesn’t do any better job than it did a year ago about segregating information flow, either by group or by some kind of intelligence. I don’t know why my home page, news feed, RSS feed, and iPhone app can’t easily show me posts from people I care about, but if it can’t do that soon enough, I will almost entirely stop using it.  Can’t Facebook measure the strength of my connections?  Can’t it at least put my wife’s posts at the top?  My usage is already way down, and the trend is clear. And I won’t really comment […]


May 11, 2009

Five Years On

Five Years On As of this past weekend, I’ve been blogging on OnlyOnce for five years.  My main reflection as I was thinking about it during this morning’s run is that blogging is different.  I started blogging to try out what was at the time the “new, new thing” (there were almost no CEO blogs at the time), just like I have tried out lots of other new technologies or web services from time to time over the years — from Skype to Facebook to Twitter to about 50 others. You’ll never see a tweet from me about an anniversary […]


April 2, 2009

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend (Today)

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend (Today) The biggest problem with all the social networks, as far as I can tell, is that there’s no easy and obvious way for me to differentiate the people to whom I am connected either by type of person or by how closely connected we are. I have about 400 on Facebook and 600 on LinkedIn.  And I’m still adding ones as new people get on the two networks for the first time.  While it seems to people in the industry here that “everyone is on Facebook,” it’s not true yet.  Facebook is […]


November 30, 2007

Facebook and Privacy

I hate just doing linkblogs, but Fred’s thoughts this morning on Facebook and privacy around the beacon issue are spot on.  Two highlights I couldn’t agree with more: When the internet knows who you are, what you do, who your friends are, and what they do, it goes from the random bar you wander into to your favorite pub where your friends congregate and the bartender knows your drink and pours it for you when you walk in the door and These privacy backlashes do some good though. They keep big companies like Google and Facebook sensitized to the issue. […]


November 25, 2007

The Facebook Fad

The Facebook Fad I’m sure someone will shoot me for saying this, but I don’t get Facebook.  I mean, I get it, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about.  I made similar comments before about Gmail (here, here), and people told me I was an idiot at the time.  Three years later, Gmail is certainly a popular webmail service, but it’s hardly changed the world. In fact, it’s a distant fourth behind Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL.  So I don’t feel so bad about not oohing and ahhing and slobbering all over the place about Facebook. Facebook reminds […]


July 17, 2007

Why Do Companies Sell?

Why Do Companies Sell? Fred has a good post today about Facebook and why they shouldn’t sell the company now, in which he makes the assertion that companies sell “because of fear, boredom, and personal financial issues.”  He might not have meant this in such a black and white way, and while those might all be valid reasons why companies decide to sell, let me add a few others: Market timing:  As they say, buy low – sell high.  Sometimes, it’s just the right time to sell a business from the market’s perspective.  Valuations have peaks and troughs, and sometimes […]