The future of social networks is in (user-controlled) openness

Watching the Facebook IPO hype
In these minutes I am monitoring the IPO of the Facebook Inc. – it is not only hyped, but actually it is a huge step in the history of online social networks. And it is made a “developing story” on mass media like e.g. CNN.

CNN tv covering the IPO of Facebook

Business genius Mark Zuckerberg digitized and industrialized our Social Capital
Translated into “the industrialisation of friendship” this headline sounds quite a bit offending. The problem with this truth is, that our social graph is something yery private by definition. And so is our interest graph: If we share the books, movies, politiicians we like, if we publish our favorite quote etc., then we become more and more transparent to the people we are sharing this with. But much more problematic is the transparency for a commercial structure like Facebook. The personal data have to be monetized – after the IPO the pressure is much higher now.

Remember what happend to the walled garden of AOL some years ago
Maybe the Facebook IPO is marking the peak of monetizing social network dynamics. Technology is progressing. The same could happen to Facebook, what happened to walled garden models like AOL. There are concepts around to have open and federated social networks. Think about having a mail client program – no one controlling with whom you connect – no one trying to make money out of your mail communication. “Liberated” social networks might look like this usage scenario – all is under your personal control.

Mark Zuckerberg, planet thinking and the Nobel Peace Prize
However controversial Mark Zuckerberg (and his team) is until today – concerning his stance to privacy, I like this guy and the attitude to hack business forward. He did not only see the epochal business opportunity, but he created something really great, a platform for around 1,000,000,000 users, connecting people beyond geographical borders, connecting and syncing people during the Arab Spring, catalyzing the generation of real social capital around the world, building trust, feeding the spirit of collaboration.
He is not alone of course with this tech-based gift of felt borderlessness, there is Skype and Google contributing their tools to this experience too. I would not be surprised to see Mark Zuckerberg and his likeminded business hackers and business model inventors as contenders of the Nobel Peace Prize (see last year’s news). I personally see them (whether they intend this or not) in the light of an emergent “planet thinking”, the spirit of global collaboration – after hyper-competition the next phase of globalisation, hopefully.

Update 2012-05-18: Adding the image to the text, adding a link, correcting various paragraphs.

Update 2012-05-18 18:35 CEST

Interesting tweet from 5:29 PM – 18 May 12

Update 2012-07-31

Improved the title from
“The future of social networks is in (self-controlled) openness” to
“The future of social networks is in (user-controlled) openness”


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