Rushkoff on "The Great Facebook Land Grab of Aught-Nine"

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50 Responses to “Rushkoff on "The Great Facebook Land Grab of Aught-Nine"”

  1. Anonymous says:

    @43: Literate Facebook users know how to hide applications.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I see more value in remaining anonymous, than I do with sharing all that info, anyway…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think G. Park is dead-on with his analysis that this is Facebook’s attempt to BUY being your *first* online persona – linked in for you as a person, not as a worker or a careerist or anything.

    I think it’s going to be a clusterf*ck…

  4. sum.zero says:

    i can see the value!*

    *if i was interested in matching real names to formerly anonymous nyms for the purpose of data-mining the net, that is.

  5. DaveP says:

    this is more of a nonissue than y2k.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I just used a Facebook app that said only 2 other people have my name so the competition shouldn’t be too fierce.

  7. jeremyhogan says:

    #25

    So… is Facebook dead? Or my social life?

  8. Rick. says:

    “Many of my sons’ college-age friends laugh at anyone with a fakebook page.”

    They sound like a bunch of pretentious assholes. And I bet they ALL have Facebook pages.

  9. StRevAlex says:

    Facebook is SOOOO two years ago.

  10. Redmond Cooper says:

    I fail to see how this is a game changer in any way whatsoever…
    Ooh you can have facebook.com/user
    Because Myspace and every other user based webservice have totally never had this feature…
    The only amusing thing this has generated is all the illiterate facebookers whining on the facebook blog…

  11. Anonymous says:

    @25: Kills my what now?

  12. zuzu says:

    how to keep one’s name in a lawless, unbounded and infinitely expanding continuum?

    Are you referring to Internet Relay Chat (IRC)?

  13. milovoo says:

    I don’t agree with the AOL metaphor, facebook is not a gateway it’s an aggregator. Sure everyone has a blog, but it’s a lot faster to skim through their facebook entries or tweets than it is to individually load everyone’s different blog pages with their unique interfaces and various annoying quirks. Facebook is a consistant centralized way to get the same information quickly.

  14. FreakCitySF says:

    I remember seeing people buying and trading celebrity screen names. I don’t know if any of them were actually used but weird insight into celebritydom. I for one will be desperately trying to register Paris Hilton as my facebook name.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I for one will be desperately trying to register Paris Hilton as my facebook name.

      Ms. Hilton is trying to gain exclusive rights to the phrase “That’s huge”, so you may be in for a world of pain.

  15. Crashproof says:

    My prediction: either this will be no big deal, or Facebook servers will go down and turn it into no big deal.

  16. Takuan says:

    naw, IRC required basic literacy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Some of us knew AOL was always only an ISP. Don’t drink the kool-aid!

  18. arlopickens says:

    What’s Facebook?

  19. Xeni Jardin says:

    @freakcitysf,

    I, Barack Hussein Obama, will be at the ready.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The thing people who use facebook and like it like about it is that it is an easy way to hook up with and organize your contacts with friends, family and contacts. It’s not the best way perhaps but it’s the closest thing many of us have to a public square in our disjointed lives. In my own life it has brought back correspondence between myself and friends that would otherwise not have happened, because we simply lost track of each other. All of the applications I find are like board games or coffee table books at a party, they are conversation pieces that’s all.

    I think the domain name thing is irrelevant it doesn’t change what people use fb for.

  21. W. James Au says:

    Rushkoff’s analysis is factually wrong: AOL started losing subscribers not when it opened up the walled garden, but after it bought Time-Warner in 2000:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aol_subscribers_Q201-Q407.png

    If anything, opening up AOL to the wider Net *increased* its subscriber base.

    And I totally don’t get the AOL analogy. Facebook was first adopted by tech savvy college kids, and then by tech savvy web users (especially in Silicon Valley), and *then* the mainstream market came in. Exactly the opposite pattern from AOL.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Someone just told me that the Facebook “land grab” is actually limited to users who have 1000 or more followers? I do not have a FB account. Confirm/Deny/Abort?

  23. BdgBill says:

    Facebook will die soon. It’s already so saturated with “which Gossip Girl are you?” quizzes and similar drivel that the literate are being driven away in droves.

  24. Anonymous says:

    F’Book RIP :(

  25. Takuan says:

    how to keep one’s name in a lawless, unbounded and infinitely expanding continuum? Better have a flavour.

  26. sworm says:

    @47: was that a veiled insult at everyone i know on facebook?

  27. jeremyhogan says:

    The AOL comparison is specious at best. Facebook numbers *dwarf* AOL numbers at it’s peak, and already is a household name. One might argue that Facebook, by moving from techie students to my mom and your gramma, already has addressed the lowest common denominator on the web.

    Allowing me a name/URL that makes more sense than ?u=76876458734 isn’t going to create a flood of n00bs, and it isn’t going to create sentience in the n00bs already there, who will now going stomping about on your precious n00b free webverse.

    Like they’d say “Wow, I could get myname.com and then attract 200 million users to find out what my pirate name should be”?

  28. Lagged2Death says:

    milovoo: …facebook is not a gateway it’s an aggregator. Sure everyone has a blog, but it’s a lot faster to skim through their facebook entries or tweets than it is to individually load everyone’s different blog pages with their unique interfaces and various annoying quirks.

    This is an interesting point, but then again, there are a lot of other open blogging communities (LiveJournal, Blogger, Vox, etc) which FaceBook will now be competing with much more directly.

    And there’s RSS/Atom, which just flattens everything.

  29. Lagged2Death says:

    W. James Au: Rushkoff’s analysis is factually wrong: AOL started losing subscribers not when it opened up the walled garden, but after it bought Time-Warner in 2000…

    The article doesn’t say that opening up to the internet caused subscriptions to fall; it says that opening up to the internet revealed AOL’s irrelevance to its subscribers. The unfiltered internet was a better AOL than AOL was.

    And eventually, subscriptions did fall.

  30. saragorn says:

    Not to be another college student saying “I had facebook before you did” but for all the non college students out there…well, I did.

    The allure of facebook to me 4 years ago was the college exclusivity to it. You could only register with a university email address, which made me feel SO COOL when I was preparing to go to school. I friended everyone in my classes (a feature they should have kept) and felt like I had made best friends. Which obviously never happened, and as soon as I got to campus all the people I had been chatting with all summer and I completely ignored each other.

    I do agree that the use of facebook has completely changed since its conception. I think everybody knows that. This new name thing may be another thing that people complain about, create groups that threaten to leave facebook, and then never do it.

  31. mackenzi says:

    An e-mail login is a unique name. Try it. All kinds of info can be found by googling a user’s e-mail login.

  32. jeremyhogan says:

    #10

    Good point, and let’s not also forget that the rest of the internet sucked rocks for the average user and AOL was valuable in guiding them. It was when the Internet caught up, with friendly UI, intuitive http://www.domainnames.com that users demanded AOL make it easier to hop the gate. It was a perfect storm.

  33. Joe says:

    Facebook is likely to crash under the load at midnight EDT Friday night, under the load of everyone trying to get the names they want, all at once (since it’s first-come first-serve).

  34. g.park says:

    Facebook wants to be your online identity hub, like chi.mp is also trying. In order to effectively do that, however, they need to give easily memorable, business-card ready URL’s to users.

    This seems reasonably useful to me, as I’d really like a centralized service that told me where my friends ALSO are on the net- when I recently joined last.fm, the last thing I wanted to do was search for each friend, one by one.

    Facebook’s figured out the front door to my online identity, but they’re still giving me piss-poor tools to filter access. Chi.mp lets me show a very different face to different groups that I define, but Facebook still isn’t very good at letting me show one face to my professional contacts, one face to my family, one face to my friends, and one face to “everyone else.”

    To be a useful net “hub,” Facebook’s got to get their access filtering under control, and let me create different profiles for different viewers.

  35. heeso says:

    I am not real excellent with English but I find this very leisurely to translate.

  36. Brainspore says:

    AOL -> Yahoo -> MySpace -> Facebook -> ?

  37. Anonymous says:

    thank god my handle is awesomely not in use by anyone else on the net

    posted anonymously for anonymity.

  38. highlyverbal says:

    I often enjoy Rushkoff’s thoughts, but on this issue I find myself diverging a little bit.

    A brief moment of irony is in order… I thought the days of land grabs were long past! This article puts the property back into Intellectual Property. The digital world eliminated scarcity, right? Except usernames, I guess.

    Land grab is in itself a weird analogy… I think only a small fraction of participants will be attempting to ‘over-reserve’ — grab more than their share of usernames. Sure, I want the 2-3 that I juggle to manage my social networking. But Paris Hilton? Meh.

    Finally, the AOL analogy has been debunked a bit, but not enough… I really don’t believe that Facebook users are newbie/clueless like the days of the AOL exodus. Rushkoff needs to talk to more teens.

    I counter-predict: Facebook will be consigned to the dustbin only when its successor appears.

  39. Chorske says:

    Pff. I already have a unique user name.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I miss the “college exclusivity” of Arpanet, myself.

    AOL definitely lowered the quality of Usenet. Facebook to many of us lowers the quality as well. Many of my sons’ college-age friends laugh at anyone with a fakebook page.

  41. Anonymous says:

    To this day, old usenet dragons refer to the date as “September Xst, 1994″, where X is the number of days since August 31, 1994.

    So, ferinstance, today would be September 5763rd, 1994.

    they do this because, traditionally, September was associated with an influx of ‘noobs’ – when AOL joined in, there was a permanent influx of ‘noobs’, and thus a permanent September.

  42. Incarnadine says:

    I’m severely annoyed by this, as I’ll be on a plane to Switzerland at 12:01 Saturday morning, with no internet access. By the time I get to my eventual destination in Stuttgart, Germany, I’ll be resigned to InkaR|\|aD1n3.94839. Sigh.

  43. artbot says:

    Panic much?

    Agreed with #1: The AOL metaphor is way off base. I can see the servers getting overloaded and people panicking over nothing. Don’t think this will affect FB’s standing one way or the other, especially once people realize it’s much ado over nothing. This is just another case of yelling fire in a crowded theater.

  44. Anonymous says:

    It reminds me of the moment that AOL, formerly a completely closed network with its own content, allowed its users onto the greater Internet for the first time. Internet USENET boards were filled with what we called “newbies” wandering around and asking anyone they could find how to download pornography.

    Me too!!!!

    (If you laughed at that, you were there.)

  45. sworm says:

    OH NO!

    If i don’t get a unique name, people will have to google me! THE HORROR!

    Besides, who cares. Facebook is dead. It kills your social life.

  46. gths says:

    It’s more to have something a little more memorable that ?171437821 or however the current default schema goes.

    I don’t really care what teens think of Facebook because they’re all stupid (I was a stupid teen once too!) and, anyway, the less of them on Facebook the better.

    I also reckon the Canter & Siegel spam (or whatever those jerks were called) marked the end of the so-called “golden age” of Usenet as much as The September That Never Ended.

  47. milovoo says:

    Lagged2Death: …, there are a lot of other open blogging communities (LiveJournal, Blogger, Vox, etc) which FaceBook will now be competing with much more directly.

    And there’s RSS/Atom, which just flattens everything..

    … and for every new blog community I start reading I have to: add them to NoScript so they work right, sort out how to access archives if I missed something, create a username so I can comment non-anonymously, etc. I prefer to have a single unified consistent interface.

    Also the same reason I don’t use RSS for casual browsing, it’s just kind of ugly. I probably could smarten it up and organize it, but to what end. Facebook already works the way I want.

  48. thequickbrownfox says:

    Fakebook is so lame.

    OMG, I can haz presence on teh interwebz!

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