Home > 1. technology > Party like it’s 1993

Party like it’s 1993

February 6th, 2009

Nathaniel and I just had breakfast with John McCrea of Plaxo. His thesis: Facebook is the AOL of the social internet. The key similarities: both Facebook and AOL were walled gardens in their early days. Since the open Internet eventually beat the walled garden Internet, he concludes that Facebook must continue to open up, radically, or face a similar fate as AOL.

I think that the analogy has some validity. Yet, there are important differences. As I pointed out in our conversation, social relationships can generate interactions and collaborative artifacts among people. Who controls those things? There is no analogy for these social interactions and artifacts on the traditional client/server Internet.

So, cruise on over to his blog to follow an advocate of the open social Internet. And time will tell if his bold prediction comes to pass!

1. technology , , ,

  1. February 19th, 2009 at 07:49 | #1

    One addition piece of color: Facebook sees this too, and is going open. In fact, the company's moves in that direction keep getting bigger and bolder. So, anyone who bases their business strategy in 2009 on an assumption that Facebook is not going going even more open will be making a big mistake.

  2. February 19th, 2009 at 18:28 | #2

    Hi John! Thanks for the comment. I think it is important to see how Facebook is trying to learn from the mistakes of AOL and avoid repeating them. Whatever the motivation, the drive that they have to be open is amazing and driving a lot of the energy in the creation of the social internet.

    Kudos again to you for leading the open social bandwagon and getting FB to come for the ride too!

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Olark Livehelp