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smycynek said in June 29th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

My thoughts on a Facebook killer?

I’d like to see:

* Less focus on games and gimmicks, especially ones that invade your screen real estate and email unless you manually track down settings to stop them.

* Less UI clutter and overall, genuine simplicity. Don’t make things complicated (super excessive customization, etc…) in an attempt to make them simpler.

* Reduction of “friend hoarding” (Perhaps friends need to be renewed every 6 months manually if no activity between the two is detected).

* Option for an intranet/closed system LAN/WAN option for businesses, especially businesses with sensitive data.

* More support for more traditional applications:

* Education / virtual classrooms (homework assign/handin, grades, course registration)
* Business apps (spreadsheets, desktop publishing…Google docs already has an edge here…)
* Shopping cart sites (eBay, Amazon, or electric bill, right from your social media account…)
* Admnistrative apps (work schedules, time cards, work order requests/assignments)

I’m not saying FaceBook can’t do these things right now, but a site that provided more of a promotion and framework for these activities could usher in a new type of social media that went beyond tagging pictures of friends at bars and could let us work, shop, learn, and manage our schedules using a universally loved interface with a low learning curve.

Going a bit more general, I’d like a FaceBook killer to have an overall usage philosophy that makes social media a much healthier staple in our lives rather than the invasive timewaste many of its naysayers claim it is. FaceBook is the ice cream of the computing experience. I love ice cream, and I love FaceBook, but a Facebook killer could nail every item in the computing food pyramid.

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James Morgan said in June 29th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Kill – probably not, a little indigestion on both sides could be a good thing though ;-)

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Matt Williams said in June 29th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Yeah, just like Google Buzz was going to kill Twitter.

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Michael Smith said in June 29th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

MySpace is still around.. if it can’t be killed, nothing online can.. well other than Geocities, but that took more than a decade of running it into the ground.

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Rima said in June 29th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

smycynek: Those are some great ideas. If Facebook can expand into other services (intranets powered by Facebook, educational resources, shopping cart sites, etc.), they could give Google a run for their money in so many other realms beyond social networking. Who’s to say that they won’t try to fight back with these concepts?

Everyone else: The way I see it, no one’s going to develop a site that will turn the bustling Facebook into a ghost town overnight. More likely, they (Google or whoever) will create something cool and innovative, and people will flock there slowly. Over time, the more useful and user-friendly of the two sites will win out and people will either migrate to the new site (just like MySpace -> Facebook) or, they’ll abandon their accounts and stick with what works (just like when people sign up for Friendster, only to never use it because everyone they know only cares about Faceebook).

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Brianna W. said in June 29th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Good luck, Google. Hope it goes better than your “killing” of the iPhone and Microsoft office. Vaya con dios.

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James Morgan said in June 29th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

@Brianna – MSOffice is a toughie (anyways 20%-ish is a win!) but dismissing iOS is going swimmingly ;-)

@Rima – Hmm, well, find something that needs google-gobs of data/computation in socialNetSpace that nobody else is doing – simple :~/

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Dana J. said in June 29th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Google really seems to be over diversifying to me. But unless they want to start paying out dividends to their stockholders, I guess they’re pretty much forced to. It’s going to be hard for anyone around today to stay relevant 2 or 3 years from now. Google doesn’t provide any really essential products, or products where the cost of switching is burdensome. The only real reason why MS survived the past 10 years is because that’s exactly what they had. They locked up the OS market and could afford to fail a lot when they over-diversified and tried getting into software as a service. Google is now in the same boat. I think they might end up being the lumbering giant that MS has become.

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Brianna W. said in June 29th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

^^ I really agree with this. Ultimately, Google is an ad business. They seem to be moving too far from their core competency.

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