Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What if tomorrow Facebook disappeared?

Anyone who has read my past blog know I am a big, no huge, champion of social media, but also one of privacy and ethics. That I rail against Facebook for it's weaselly treatment of its users and how they try so hard to exploit them for monetary gain, vs investing in them and charging them for use of a great network. I have also explained the horrible business model they have, and lastly the fact that another network will arise that takes them down eventually.

So I ask you. What if tomorrow everyone jumped ship to a private network that excluded brands? No fan pages. Nothing public. Every comment, photo etc is private within a network that is closed to even Google and Bing searches?

What would Brands do? Would it affect Brands in any way in terms of sales, customers etc? What would happen to Agencies that only do Social, and Community Building? What about all the Journalists? If Facebook was gone tomorrow what would you do? Not personally, I mean for Business. You? You just join the new network and get comfy with your friends and family again.
I have my thoughts I want yours.


  1. Ahh the hypothetical, but its a great question. Reminds me of a post I saw in the late 90's about "if you think the Internet is irrelevant see what happens when you pull the plug on the mail server".

    If the hypothetical were really to happen I think brands would still try to get involved in social media because they know that it remains a powerful platform to attract eyeballs and build word of mouth engagement. So it would probably end up being something like network by network "bzzagents", a whole lot of work that would be difficult to measure.

    Ultimately, and escaping the hypothetical bounds, no self-respecting "private" network is going to want to lose out on potential dollars so look for some sort of aggregated, anonymous tracking tool that would measure clicks, pass alongs and even "likes".

    The bigger question is if Facebook users really want that level of privacy. My guess is that some do and some don't and we'll find out the answer soon enough.

  2. Dan that you! You are my first commenter on this new blog! I agree with you. The reason this came up is recent discussions on the death of the corp website. Since I know something will replace Facebook, is it smart to move to the cloud all your stuff vs just using it as a tool and preparing for Social 2.0

    I also thought maybe some more traditional media channels might get a boost from this. I don't think Brand would give up on Social.

    You have some great observations! - Howie