December 03, 2007

You can learn a lot from a 23-year-old

Markzuckerberg_l Don't be evil. That's Google's informal corporate motto. And a damn fine one considering how much personal information they control.

After building up a considerable amount of good will with its members, Facebook and it's 23-year-old CEO were about to show their evil side by releasing a social ad strategy that made it all-too-easy to share personal information with other Facebook users. Then the power of the web took over, an online petition was circulated, and various articles were written and circulated in the mainstream media and blogosphere.

Facebook quickly reversed course and changed to an opt-in policy for sharing online purchase information.

Better that Facebook did this now rather than wait until shopping season heated up in December and a whole new group of members would be pissed off. The new rules of the web say it's OK to make a mistake as long as you are: 1) honest about your mistake (i.e. full disclosure), and 2) quick to rectify it.

There's a lot you can learn from a 23-year-old.     --Ken

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Comments

Do you ever get the feeling that it's only the dorks like us that really care? :) I'm guessing the average 19 year old college kid has still yet to even hear of beacon.

Even so, you're right on. The Zuck is a snap shot of what new leaders of business will do, quick to apologize.

Thanks, Bill. Just read through that Fortune article and followed some of the links too. That guy is not happy with Facebook, that's for sure, and is forecasting some things I believe are a bit too dire.

Facebook has such high switching costs for its members, so I don’t think anyone is going anywhere soon. I think the members will feel empowered that they battled back against the corporation, and will stay. Advertisers have a short-term memory and see the huge member base add lengthy interaction times and will continue to throw them their money.

They may have made a good move in reversing their strategy but Facebook is still receiving some serious attacks, now coming from the mainstream press. Check out this post from a Fortune blogger that a colleague sent me. To get a perspective on user sentiment read some of the comments posted below it.

-Bill

http://techland.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2007/12/04/rip-facebook/?cnn=yes

Addendum to this article. Just saw a posting on my How To of the Day feed entitled: "How to Block Facebook's Privacy-Compromising Beacon Feature"

http://www.wikihow.com/Block-Facebook-Beacon

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