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Comments

Peter Kazanjy

Scott,

Interesting post, but I would very much love to know how you back up this claim: "Strangely, many young facebookizens aren't very net savvy (facebook *is* their internet) & they have little desire to go beyond the walled garden -- just like the old AOL users."

Most of the people I know on Facebook (granted, I run in a pretty techy circle, and most of my Facebook friends I got at Stanford when Facebook first launched, thus they became "net aware" outside of Facebook) would *NOT* reflect that description.

Facebook just happens to be very well designed web-based software for doing things that you can already do, in kludgier, less compelling way across the web, "in the wild" so to speak.

Yes, app developers should probably be "careful," but I think they're largely rational, and know the tradeoffs involved here: they're gaining the huge distribution benefit of being on the Facebook platform, while becoming dependent on Facebook, should there ever be an issue down the line.

Maybe a better word than "careful," which implies some sort of certain danger, would be "aware" or "fully educated."

Dependency issues are a reality for anyone who relies on a third party for distribution, whether musician, bricklayer, artist, what have you.

mike lewis

AOL did have Rainman and if they allowed any company to develop for it, i think they may have been better off.

I'm curious what you see as the big danger? Is it that FB controls their destiny? Well, if a company comes to rely on facebook as their only point of distribution, they should understand that it comes at this price.

That said, it's an open and non-discriminatory platform and it sounds MUCH better than anything AOL offered the web community.

jeremy liew

In the mid to late 90s, distro deals with AOL, Y! etc exposed new internet users to whole new classes of web apps - Preview/Travelocity leapt to leadership in the online travel agent space, Google got its start that way, etc. Some overpaid for the distro, but there isn't much risk of that in Facebook since its free to get into their directory...

There is a risk that FB commoditizes the "social network" and "Friending" part of social networks, which I think is real, and implies that you've got to add real value on top of the relationshio map then just enable communication.

But net-net, I think FB platform is a great opportunity for startups. I blogged a bit about how distribution and open platforms are mirror images of each other at the Lightspeed blog - click on my name if you're interested in reading it

Prabha

Thanx man for the insight..
Dump FaceBook...

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