A Formidable Facebook Competitor?

Altly sets up shop solely to compete with Facebook.

Sure, it is yet another one, but hopefully this one will be the David that makes a decent sized dent in the Goliath that is Facebook.  As netizens, we should welcome everything Dmitry Shapiro has to say about why its necessary to stand up a formidable competitor to Facebook.   The problem is that 80% or more of Facebook users probably won’t bother to use it.  I will.  But most people don’t get why its important to not let Facebook try to be the Internet.  Most people are satisfied with the single payoff ( that is very non-mulitiple motivator like ) that Facebook gives its users in exchange for the data that they share.
I am well aware of the argument that destination social networks have the right to claim ownership of data that their users share.That argument is lame.   No, I don’t pay to use Facebook, or any other of the free destination social networks.  But still, the transaction should really be viewed as a lease not without contract on my data and social graph in exchange for my use of the free service.  If I don’t post anything, then the value of my data on the social network is worth all the less .  And as time goes on,  I share less and less on them because I am aware of this issue, and thus also since I have had a belly full of this aspect of the experience.    In every transaction there is always consideration.  If I lease a car, I have to turn it in when the lease is over, or I can fork over some more money to keep the car.   The transaction between me and Facebook should be treated the same.  But its not.  And the longer we let that continue, the more we allow our rights as consumers to become eroded.  This scenario is just another iteration of “the cycle” that is the theme of Tim Wu’s “Master Switch.”  Facebook is getting large enough to exert a monopolistic like stranglehold on innovation in the very space in which it exists.  We should welcome the competition and flock to it with exuberance.  As @Jason would say, “it is our giri” … if only just to take a stand as educated consumers.On a couple side notes that are somewhat related:

  1. Just this week, Internet regulation made it onto the agenda of the G8 Summit.  Mark Zuckerberg along with other Internet moguls who happen to be guardian’s of our data (more like foxes guarding the hen house) showed up and argued against government intervention.
  2. And yet another note that is still also somewhat related is a comment on HuffPo about the destination social networks response to bill SB 242 being proposed by the California state senate.

Thoughts?

Comments

  1. The Facebook monopoly is becoming larger and more dominant each day. That's why I've been watching the open source Diaspora Project (https://joindiaspora.com/) with interest.

    I have personal experience with Pinax, an open source social network platform built on Django. It's a good platform (I built a very scalable site on it) but Pinax didn't receive the fanfare that Diaspora got. Especially their well publicized seed round raised on KickStarter and subsequent articles in the NYTimes, Mashable and TechCrunch.

    I am glad that someone is talking about alternatives to FB. Thanks for this post.

    Cam
    @camcollins

  2. Really.

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