It’s interesting to follow the storm of debate around Facebook’s proposed Terms of Service. To believe the reports, Facebook is the Borg (“Your content will be assimilated, your stuff is now ours. Resistance is futile.”) But is this hysteria justified?
– Facebook has now reverted to their previous version of the Terms of Service, which obviously was satisfactory for everyone who is complaining. But how many of them have read those original TOS? (Can you find them on your Facebook site?)
– Lawyers write contracts and agreements to primarily cover their client’s backside (not necessarily to protect the client’s clients). When was the last time you read the fine print of your cell phone contract, insurance contract, internet provider contract, blog provider, bank terms of service, etc… even the computer operating system you are using? I’m sure you will find plenty to gripe about!
– Something Facebook has done really well: they have opened this whole issue to a general discussion. (Facebook page: http://is.gd/jVZn ) Conversations build trust, and trust is the main currency of social networks. I wish more companies would do this.
– This shows how “closed” a social network Facebook is (and other platforms are). I read someone saying that “Facebook is the new AOL”. Facebook is not the internet, it’s a private playground and by stepping into it, you play by their rules.
– Facebook still has a bias towards partying college students (obvious when I set up events: no way to identify networking events or teleclasses or seminars, etc, but a dozen ways to describe a party!) So they have some growing up to do, in order to adapt to their new, older and more serious audience.
– All this said, I am a big proponent of Facebook. It is a great place to connect with people, exchange ideas, build a tribe. It is one of the most stable and popular social media platforms out there. If you are a solopreneur and not yet on Facebook and Twitter, I highly recommend that you jump in now!