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I’ve been enjoying BBC Radio4’s ipm, in particular the intelligent coverage of Facebook. On today’s programme, online campaigner Johnny Chatterton and admin of the Support the Monks’ protest in Burma Group provided positive balance to Seamus McCauley‘s claim Facebook had jumped the shark. No news here for readers of this blog, but great to hear a clear explanation issues such as Beacon (disassembly, video) on mainstream media. I particularly liked Sean’s pointer to the not for profit kaioo.

For my part, I want to side with Johnny and think this is a glitch, something from which the young, gung-ho Facebook will learn, but like Sean can’t help but think Facebook has lost sight of what it’s selling it has created: a safe, trusted domain where people can meet. Many big companies blithely believe they have a trusted brand, forgetting how trust arises. I trust a bank over a Christmas savings club mostly thanks to regulation, but even with a bank trust is a fickle friend. It only takes one wrong move to see a run. Try to exploit an informal gathering for the benefit of sharks, the music will stop, and the party will move on. Ironically, by successfully connecting so many people, and keeping social objects such as photos and videos hidden from the Web, Facebook has made the jump to the next thing all the more easy.

The program is currently available as a podcast, with the item running for 5 minutes from 7:07 minutes in.

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