The Decline and Fall of Facebook

Roger McNamee is a smart guy and a very successful investor as a co-founder of Elevation Partners. He made a breakfast presentation last month at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles that is well worth watching. I could probably get half a dozen columns out of this one speech, but the part I want to concentrate on here is McNamee’s claim that when it comes to social media, Facebook (in which he was an early investor) has already won. I’m not here to say Roger is wrong, just that I am not exactly sure what Facebook is winning.

The core of McNamee’s speech didn’t have to do so much with Facebook as with Microsoft, Apple, Google, and […]

By |July 20th, 2011|2011|204 Comments

Metternich and Mubarak

There is supposed to be something of an Internet revolution going on right now in Egypt, but have you noticed that the Internet isn’t directly involved? Oh there’s plenty of Twittering going-on, but it is all about the demonstrations and civil unrest in Cairo — not from those crowds. The Internet was turned off, you say, along with the mobile phone networks, but that misses my point. I think the Internet component of this social movement is being overblown. While it may be easy for a reporter to say that the Internet or texting or Facebook or Twitter is at the heart of what appears to be a multinational revolutionary juggernaut, I don’t think that’s […]

By |February 2nd, 2011|2011|64 Comments

2011 prediction #5: Facebook forks

Facebook now claims more than 500 million members. Facebook is too big. Already we’re seeing Facebook defections by, well, me. And others, there are other people than me who are put-off by the simple fact that this social network is becoming as ubiquitous as bad breath in dogs.

LinkedIn, at only 80 million members, is already having success with its branding as the working professional’s Facebook. Well the real Facebook can’t allow that, can they?

So expect this year a Facebook fork with the social network offering premium services to get back all those high earners over at LinkedIn. We may see several Facebook channels in fact. How else can Zuckerberg appeal to those of us who, like Groucho Marx, “refuse to join any club that […]

By |January 4th, 2011|2011|28 Comments

Change of Life

second-lifeWhat happened to Second Life?  The 3-D virtual world from Linden Lab is still very much around but I don’t spend much time there, do you? Second Life has peaked.  And there is something to be learned from this transition.

Facebook is hot right now and Second Life is not, and some of that comes down to the difference between fantasy and reality.  Second Life is a fantasy environment  — an EverQuest without the quest — and that’s the problem.  It has the heavy processing requirements of a game without the rich textural depth of a Tolkein or even of […]

By |September 4th, 2009|Uncategorized|73 Comments

Don't be a Facebook whore

Facebook AdvertisingJust in case you ever sue me, you should know that I have every e-mail I have ever sent or received since 1992. That’s crazy from a legal standpoint, I know, but I can’t help myself. I’m obsessive-compulsive that way. But having a clear view of 16+ years of mail amounting to more than four gigabytes of mainly ascii text gives me a sobering sense of how poorly e-mail does the job lately compared to its glory days of, say, 1999.

More than ninety percent of my mail today by volume is spam. Back in 1999 spam was about 15 percent of my mail. Of course I am in large part to […]

By |December 28th, 2008|Uncategorized|168 Comments