Cory Doctorow, of BoingBoing fame, and author of such short stories as Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, has an article about the inane things we hear from various media writers and pundits. Here is my favorite:
Facebook will blow over in a year and something else will be along
Totally correct, but this is a feature, not a bug. The technology that underpins social media is changing fast, and social media companies’ bone-deep intuitions about what it should and shouldn’t do are made obsolete every 18 months or so. Most of these companies won’t be able to adapt. They will die, and be replaced by a new generation of social media companies who have better, more contemporary sensibilities.
Only ancient, clueless dinosaurs like Rupert Murdoch are dumb enough to pay hundreds of millions for social media companies with the belief that they will grow to be immortal giants. Only lazy, fat media execs from firms that endured for decades without having to remake themselves from top to bottom think that a complete turnover in the corporate landscape is a failure.
There are plenty of things to worry about when it comes to social media.
They are Skinner boxes designed to condition us to undervalue our privacy and to disclose personal information. They have opaque governance structures. They are walled gardens that violate the innovative spirit of the internet. But to deride them for being social, experimental and personal is to sound like a total fool.
Not so sure about the time frame of a year (it seems Facebook is keeping up, but like all mega-popular services, the relative tech illiteracy of the majority of its users will hold it back on some fronts. ISTM that the sheer volume of their user data and endless stream of API rollouts will keep it on the front page.
As for me, I have added Doctorow to my â€œFollowingâ€ list. Boing!