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Turning One’s Back on Facebook

Apparently lots of lawyers and doctors are now wishing they were the geniuses behind sites like Facebook. Perhaps they should read Ben Brown’s critique first:

[I]t is great that I can inform such a wide and diverse audience about every minute change to my personal metadata, but is this something I ever really needed or wanted? And when the plugin applications came along, and then Beacon, the signal to noise ratio was thrown totally out of whack. Whispering endlessly into a room crowded with everyone I’ve ever met while simultaneously being badgered by evil robotic clone versions of those same people that insistently try to trick me into buying things from HAS NEVER BEEN SO MUCH FUN!!!

According to Brown, the “reverse network effect” is so bad he’s quitting f/b. I’m not following Brown’s lead, but I’m definitely scaling down the number of times I’m visiting the site monthly. It’s too bad the monetization strategy has to be so annoying, but I guess we can’t get something for nothing. (I know that we also tradeoff privacy for the Facebook service, but I’m reluctant to characterize the sacrifice of privacy as an economic transaction, as I’ll explain in later posts.)

Hat Tip: James Grimmelmann.