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Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bill Gates quits Facebook, should you too?

Bill Gates

Just a couple of months after splashing US$ 240 million on Facebook shares, Bill Gates has decided to abandon his personal Facebook account.

The reason? 8,000 friend requests a day and no way to bulk accept, set "limited profile" and "Skip this step" all of them at one go. If you take (internet connection speed-permitting) 10 seconds to add one friend, Bill'll spend nearly a day (22.22 hours) just to accept those 8,000 friends. And there's plenty more where that came from, you can be sure.

We've probably come to a cross-roads, then, as far as social networking is concerned. With MSNBC reporting Myspace users are spending 14% less time on the social network this month, it seems social networks as we know it now need a drastic re-design to keep people on them.

I'm sure some interface re-designing will help, but I also think we're ready for the next big social network after Friendster, MySpace and Facebook have all had their day.

I'm wishing Social Network 3.0 will be an open platform that's seamless across all my devices (meaning PDA, mobile device, desktop and laptop). Something that's a bit of Microsoft Outlook mashed up with Facebook where with a single update to my contacts in Outlook whilst at work, I can easily sync up with that same address book at home and on my N95.

I know this sounds a bit like Open Social, but I think it should go beyond the web and onto the applications you use everyday (Thunderbird, this could be a great opp to one-up Microsoft!). It's kind of how Flock integrates the web-browser with Facebook, Flickr and all your favourite Social Networking sites, only with a much, much higher level of integration.

Next, it'd be great if I could easily arrange people into groups, so only contacts I actually know will show up on my phonebook or email list whilst the "rest of the world" "friends" are kept on a "social only" page - on my desktop, laptop, PDA and mobile device. Perhaps make a work version and "life" version of virtual desktops to suit the time so different views appear at different times and switching is seamless at the click of a button.

Finally, can we just have ONE social network for everyone to be on? Or at least, have OpenID and Open Social succeed to the extent where we can be on different networks, but I'll have all the same connections to my friends regardless of social network, offline client, or platform (desktop, laptop, mobile device).

So, maybe this is why Microsoft splashed US$240 million for...So Facebook could integrate with MS Outlook? It's possible.

3 comments:

keemanxp said...

oh well....am starting to get annoyed with the Facebook invites as well.
On average i get 40 invites per day!!! And no options to mass reject/ignore. My Profile just cannot fit all those apps.

davidlian said...

Yes. wait till your mailbox starts to fill up everytime someone uses their zombie to bite you. Then you know.

Peter said...

Actually this is the reason I stopped facebooking too. Too much time wasted to clear everything. If I'm at home. I'd rather spend more time playing games or painting my orks :D