Well it seems facebook can’t quite seem to make their model work (or they’re getting greedy) so today, it was announced that FB has released new privacy defaults to ‘twitterize’ it.

(Note that the screen doesn’t *quite* tell you that information will make the WW web). Full article here: http://tinyurl.com/yk5rhl7).

Business Problem

Seems to me one of the initial business problems facebook had (and still does), is the squishy road to having their own personality and purpose;  FB was about friends connecting with each other, including those you were out of touch with on a social level. It was nice and simple. And it really was about connecting with friends and family in a more robust environment, all in one place with media elements that enhanced that connection. 

Over time, it’s become less interesting, more cluttered, far less private and far less relevant. In addition, it feels like (and looks like) FB is becoming twitter with photos, apps and video. Oh, and it’s all over the web if you don’t change your settings.

Privacy Issue

If you allow friends of friends to see your personal information (posts, photos, phone number, etc.) and those friends of friends are allowing public info, then there you are. Maybe you don’t really care if all that information is out there; I’m guessing if you have 500 friends, you don’t. (Really? 500 friends? wow).

And, BTW, if you have had it with facebook, here’s a new way to create your own “facebook death”. http://tinyurl.com/ybz79mu

Clogging, duplicate and less relevant information

At some point, media started telling you that the more friends you have, the more fans you have, the more valuable you are. Well, that’s probably another post and I personally don’t associate value to those ‘metrics’ but what I do care about, is the resulting ‘clog’ of information.

Clearly social media continues to pave the way for a new level of communication and connecting; that’s the point. But at what point, does too much information become invaluable? Boy, it’s messy out there.

The good news is that the situation creates opportunities; we need smarter and more relevant search, we need consolidated results based on what we’re looking for, in at least less than 10 places. We need tools to sort out the duplicate RT’s, tinyurls, overpostings, etc., that take even more time to wade through than it did 3 years ago. This is the real business problem; if everyone looks the same, what is their unique value? Facebook has this problem, twitter has this problem, and even linkedin has this problem.

The solution?

There are some interesting solutions out there that enable you to streamline receiving the information you care about; they’re in a relative state of infancy, but going in the right direction. There are also tools that enable you to post one message to multiple social sites; a bit counter-productive to the first. It’s an interesting push-pull challenge.

In any case, I’ll be the first customer of anyone who can solve the social channel problem of too much information that I don’t care about, and duplicated information I get weary of sorting through. Keep me posted on that, would you? 🙂