The social

I went through my older posts today, and was reminded of the Facebook kerfuffle that even had luminaries like Robert Scoble* & Rodney Rumford engage the points I put forth (and Dare Obesanjo do a concern-troll boo-hoo drive-by, without contributing anything of value either way).

I feel spectacularly vindicated.

I said it then, and I’ll say it now: Facebook is not a paradigm shift.

What was the biggest Facebook issue in the past year? People should not be allowed to play Scrabble on it. No, really. I could care less one way or the other, and there might be an interesting legal dust-up over this, not to mention a “change-it-just-enough-to-not-get-sued” campaign on the part of the developers… but in the end, it is all vindicating my basic points:

  • Nobody cares.
  • Scrabble is your biggest draw?
  • Who the hell is sufficiently boring to play Scrabble online?
  • How is this better than, oh, Yahoo! Games?
  • Nobody cares.
  • How many people do you know on Facebook? I’m at a grand total of 0.
  • What does Facebook do that I cannot do through e-mail, MySpace and IM?
  • Nobody cares.
  • Where’s the there?
  • Why should I be on Facebook (or Twitter, for that matter)?
  • What does it do for me?
  • Nobody cares.

There have been no moneymakers, no new penetrating apps, no new killer apps, just molasses-like expansion into the original demographic.

Yawn. And then? Who is making money? Off of what? And how?

You know what a paradigm shift is? Microsoft allowing XNA games on Live Arcade. It’s a game-changer. It truly changes the rules of the game. That does not necessarily mean good will come of it, but it does change things. It allows people to do things that were impossible before… in the case of XNA games on XBLA, it’s “hello 15,000,000 users… download the demo of my well-reviewed-by-peers game that will cost you nothing to try and, hey, pick it, $8 to download”. If I were, oh, PopCap, I’d be freaking out. And not in a good way.


Speaking of nostalgia: I would KILL for the issue of Kijk (somewhere between 1991 and 1994, I know it was a June issue) that has my original 50-line GW-BASIC version of Tetris in it… heck, even a scan of the relevant page. Anyone helping me to obtain that issue will have an unlimited tab the next time I visit The Netherlands. Oh, Nico Baaijens… where art thou?


* Dude, change your font. Times New Roman makes the baby Jesus cry. I’ll write the CSS for you if need be, if only to stop my eyes from bleeding.


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