Reasons Why Facebook is like Bingo

Bingo Card

Don’t you just love Facebook!

I don’t. I’m going to compare the Facebook platform to a Bingo Hall. Here goes:

Facebook is like a Bingo Hall because no matter how many friends, neighbors and random people sign up and join in the fun, everybody is still holding the same boring square game boards. Sure, you can arrange the chips in different ways (some arrangements will even be winners), but in the end, everybody’s got the same board and chips.

Oh, and get this: when the game is over, you’ve got to give it all back to the Bingo Hall, your boards and your piles of chips. Game over.

Since this blog is about domains and web architecture, this is what I’m refering to:

  • The Bingo Hall == facebook.com
  • The Bingo Chips == Facebook applications
  • The Fun you had while playing == EVERYTHING you do while on Facebook: upload photos, write on walls, application data, etc…

Facebook is NOT Personal Publishing

Under ConstructionThe first WWW saw an explosion of human creativity. Everybody threw any kind of content onto their static pages. There were no standards of style, design, best practices or human factors (except that little digger icon 🙂 ). And, very importantly: everyone had their own domain name.

Blogs and Wikis have since come along and have organized our personal publishing, our experience and expectations of it. Standard styles have emerged and we find it easy to recognize them (WordPress themes are viral!). I consider Blogs and Wikis as the UR-Types of the present cultural forms we see today in personal publishing on the web.

But here’s the fact: Facebook is NOT personal publishing. Facebook is ANTI-personal. They own your content and the database it sits in. They can grow and be successful or plummet out of the sky and take you with them. They own your experience (exclusively at facebook.com). This is how Facebook is different than the wild WWW, the one we all grew up with.

The Next WWW Explosion

The next real WWW exposition has YET to happen, and it will happen at a deeper level using links, feeds, machines understanding machines better, etc… It might evolve out of Blogs or from something else, but it will happen just as the original WWW exposition did: with everybody having their own domain name.

WordPress and other blogging platforms are the pre-cursors to this. They can be deployed on YOUR domain for free and provide a format to which ANY person, developer or organization can contribute to. This is where to look for the Next Web: Technology that empowers individuals, enhances personal publishing and of course a multitude of Domain Names!

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