Sunday, June 28, 2009

Empoprise-BI News - 28 June 2009

Empoprise-BI News

The news letter for Empoprise-BI - An Empoprises vertical information service for business news.

Welcome to Empoprise-BI News

This is a weekly (so far) newsletter devoted to my business blog, Empoprise-BI.

Behind the Scenes

I promised last week that I would get into some behind-the-scenes stuff this week. Well, as you probably figured out at some point in the week, I was out of town. I left southern California early Sunday morning to head to the Police Security Expo in Atlantic City, New Jersey, returning back here on Thursday.

It was a successful show for my employer and for me personally, although the casinos didn't get any of my business (having gone to Vegas frequently, I had no compelling desire to lose money at the Atlantic City casinos).

I shared some pictures from my one walk down to the Boardwalk (did you catch my Monopoly joke in my first post)?).

And, of course, on my trip back I shared an additional observation on the insanity of Jim Koch, as discussed previously in this blog.

Ironically, Ed McMahon died this past week, and McMahon actually got his selling start hawking things on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

Special Features

When I wasn't talking about Atlantic City, I was having my delayed realization about parallels between today's Facebook and the AOL of the 1990s. If you missed it, here's a quote:

Although derided today, AOL used to have a HUGE mindshare. When people thought of online, they thought of AOL. In the same way that ESPN and others have a Facebook page today, companies in the 1990s made sure to have their AOL keyword....

Scoble schmoble. Oprah schmoprah. Hollywood made a whole dang MOVIE about AOL. Top that, Ev, Jack, and Biz.

I noted that this idea was unoriginal with me, and referenced a 2007 post from Jason Kottke. I didn't dig into it at the time, but Kottke focused on the proprietary nature of the environment used to create Facebook apps.

I've no doubt that Facebook is excited about their new platform (their userbase is big enough that companies feel like they have to develop for it) and it's a savvy move on their part, but I'm not so sure everyone else should be happy about it. What happens when Flickr and LinkedIn and Google and Microsoft and MySpace and YouTube and MetaFilter and Vimeo and launch their platforms that you need to develop apps for in some proprietary language that's different for each platform? That gets expensive, time-consuming, and irritating. It's difficult enough to develop for OS X, Windows, and Linux simultaneously...imagine if you had 30 different platforms to develop for.

Kottke also noted that the Internet is "more compelling than AOL was in 1994 and Facebook in 2007." But is it?

And after I wrote my Facebook post, I ran across Rob Diana's Facebook post and Jake Kuramoto's Facebook post. Remember how Steven Hodson and I previously talked about the wall that prevents people from seeing inside Facebook-land? Well, that's changing. Rob Diana:

Some people may complain that “Facebook is too closed” or “walled gardens will fail”. There was even a good conversation on FriendFeed about this. There is a very strong feeling from developers that a closed system like Facebook can not succeed. While I tend to agree that a completely closed system will have difficulties, Facebook has slowly opened up little by little to a decently open system. They still have some work to do before they become as open as Twitter, but the foundation has been started.

Kuramoto looks at this from the perspective of the Facebook user:

The Facebook experience has always been one of a controlled environment, where the symmetric follow model protected you from outsiders. Plus, they’ve always been the anti-MySpace, more private, less noisy.

So while some people want to see Facebook more open and searchable, there are some who will resist this idea and want to keep their private stuff private. It will be interesting to see how these competing philosophies war it out.


You know how some have worried about business executives making obscene amounts of money, and businesses staging obscenely lavish events? What happens when businesses listen to the criticism and the lavishness stops? I'll discuss who gets hurt in this scenario, and it's not just the executives.
blog comments powered by Disqus