How frequently can someone screw up? How badly can someone wreck something that coulda been a contender? I think that Marc Zuckerberg and company are dedicated to finding out the answer to this incredibly stupid set of questions - and they are passionate about it. Its getting to be old news when its news - Facebook Screws Up Again! The headlines don't even scream it out anymore. Its more like, "hey dude, Facebook f----ed up again, ja hear?" "Yeah, ja hear that Tina and I are getting back together?" "NO WAY!" "Way." Or this text message: U hr Fbk f-ed up? K. TTUL. That's how commonplace their major league screw ups have been. Look, I get it. They want to turn a buck or two in revenue and a half a buck or so in profit. Been around, have 60 million "assets" a.k.a. friends a.k.a. profiles that should be MONEY (in all ways you can translate that). But they keep forgetting that their social network has evolved to the point that there are "rules of conduct" and there are "privacy concerns." Thats spelled p-r-i-v-a-c-y, Facebook moguls. That they may be masters of their Facebook universe but they are slaves to its behaviors. They have no way out. Yet, even after the Beacon fiasco of a few months ago, they seemed to have not learned ANYTHING. On Friday, an op. ed. appeared in the Washington Post by staffer Catherine Rampell called "What Facebook Knows That You Don't." The piece highlights a series of recent articles that say:
- The social network is responsible for providing a reasonable expectation of privacy for each and every member of the network. That means that the individual who provides the profile retains ownership of the profile and is, in effect, licensing the use of that profile in a limited way.
- That the terms of the "license" must be mutually agreeable and always transparent. There are no hidden or undue uses of the profile by the social network.
- The social network is must do what it has to so that it is trusted AS A PEER by the individual members of the social network. This one is the most important and is critical to all businesses now. I'll be elaborating on this in future entries. For now, suffice to say, the social network can't be seen as an abstract entity by the individual members. It MUST be seen as a "trusted peer" to be successful.