In the March 19th print edition of the venerable The Economist, they take up the hot topic of social networking’s open future and the implications up that for Facebook. The piece, “Online Social Networks: Everywhere and nowhere,” takes up the vision recently articulated by Forrester’s Charlene Li that social networking will become a ubiquitous feature of the open Social Web:
“We will look back to 2008 and think it archaic and quaint that we had to go to a destination like Facebook or LinkedIn to be social,” says Charlene Li at Forrester Research, a consultancy. Future social networks, she thinks, “will be like air. They will be anywhere and everywhere we need and want them to be.”
Henry Blodget of Silicon Valley Insider has just written a post in response, entitled “Faceook Toast? Hot Today, Dead Tomorrow–Like AOL?” It includes reference to what he calls several “flies” in Facebook’s “ointment,” including:
Most importantly, the “walled garden” social networking model–a single site that retains all your information and relationships and forces you to do most of your business inside it–could be analogous to the 1990s AOL: Amazing industry leader for the first few years, ossified, flawed model for the rest of time.
It is such an amazing time. Since folks at Plaxo and Google and several other companies started amping the volume on this concept of opening up the Social Web just last summer, it’s gone mainstream really quickly. It’s the meme for 2008.
[For a bit of comic relief, see Fake Steve Jobs's post on Blodget's post!]