Monday, July 09, 2007

Is Facebook the Promised Land?

There's no denying an exodus is underway. So far, I've seen Pat, Moshe, Alec and a host of other go over to Facebook from LinkeIn, all in the space of a week. Is it just me, or do you find this remarkable? I mean, not only for the abruptness of it, or the lemming like nature by which it's happening, but for what it says about Web 2.0 principles?

I went back and checked the original piece by Tim O'Reilly, and I found what I remembered reading :
The race is on to own certain classes of core data: location, identity, calendaring of public events, product identifiers and namespaces. In many cases, where there is significant cost to create the data, there may be an opportunity for an Intel Inside style play, with a single source for the data. In others, the winner will be the company that first reaches critical mass via user aggregation, and turns that aggregated data into a system service.
And when I read it, I remembered thinking : "Oh yes, that's part of the reason social networking is such an excellent idea. Since there's a bunch of information that exists between contacts, not simply IN the contact, there's real value in owning the data. " For instance, the service can tell you when a classmate joins the service, so that you can be connected.

Now, here's what I'm looking at. LinkedIn has something like 11 million users, and nearly all the fortune 500 is represented in that group by at least one leader. It's a big group, and it's a well known group, especially to business users. If there's a mass exodus to Facebook, doesn't it sort of suggest that the creation of these large databases of information isn't THAT hard to replicate? That the Web 2.0 promise of monetizing hard to replicate data using other people isn't as valuable as we thought? Now, if LinkedIn keeps going, and keeps going up in membership, we'll know just how valuable that data is. If not....


Dancin Forever said...

when i saw the flixster app work for the first time and watched it integrate already existing data - i upped the ante on facebook immediately.

as most of you are aware, the current linkedin app is not very exciting. what's it going to take to get these guys to collaborate and just leverage the massive amounts of data linkedin already has the potential to provide and just start focusing on innovative ways to leverage the application of that data and bring it to a whole new level?

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