18 Apr 2009

The trouble with OURBOOK

Yesterday A announced that it was time for her join Facebook. She had not been a member of any networking site till now. Never felt the need for it. So here all my friends were declaring their relationship status with their other half on Facebook and I was “married” but to whom no one knew.

But the timing is all wrong. Just when I was getting bored with the site, A is ready to jump into the networking game. The past month there has been much debate on the nature of the site and who owns the content and NOW-my-life-is-going-to-a-open- book kind of chest beating on the Net.

The entire thing turned me off. For one Facebook was trying to be silly and try to own data which was generated by users. Seems like this had been their business plan all the time. What is the point trying to pretend that you were going to just be happy with the traffic and the ads on the site. No they wanted to sell details like what book you like to read in the loo and how what is the profile of members in the group “I support the ban on yellow coloured SUVs” to the highest bidder. Anyway they reversed their decision and things were back to normal.

By which I mean we continued to share photographs of last week (or ten years ago) party at a farmhouse or join a group which was going to march to Delhi and ask some serious questions (they were still trying to figure where to meet and whom to ask these questions !).

I am not sure whether the problem lay only with Facebook owners. Yes the whole idea of making money out of gory details of my life is wrong but what’s the idea of putting all these silly details of your life and feeling “hurt” when someone wants to “sell” it. Do you really care? OK if Facebook were to agree to share the profits with you would you agree?

Looking at it practically, I am not sure if I decide to shut down my account whether it would be possible to remove all references to my name or where I appear. My name might still be attached to " What kind of a dog are you?" or " Are you the most popular friend of all time?".

Since 99.9999999999% of stuff on Facebook is created by the users, they should use this “crisis” to look at what is their idea of a networking site. What would we like to do with it? How can we contribute and make it better?

Once they can stop "poking" or sending "kisses" to each other.

Cartoon : Blast Media

1 comment:

Life@60 said...

Same with me. Never understood the use of facebook. Are we so short of social life ? Or do we prefer only friends on the net? We take them out at our convenience.