Facebook: Social Network Domination?


There’s mounting evidence that Facebook is becoming not just the preeminent social network, but a platform through which the rest of the web is viewed.

Take Robert Scoble’s view, who sees Facebook as a ‘data black hole’:

I added the WordPress Facebook Application a few days ago. Now my blog, and your comments, are showing up on my Facebook Profile Page. Along with my Twitters. My Flickr photos. My Google Reader items. My Kyte videos. And a bunch of other things.

Jeremiah Owyang is sitting here with me and he’s the one who said it’s a black hole after seeing how Facebook is becoming the new portal for all information you post around the Web.

It’s now becoming an important action for any online community to get onto Facebook – whether it is the main hub of the network or not. Once David Wilcox and Simon Berry decided to take the Open Innovation Exchange bid community and turn it into something bigger, better and more open, Facebook was the first place they turned.

Why do this? After all, the OIE network already has a perfectly good communication and collaboration platform, running on Drupal, which allows community members to blog, comment and share files, ideas and media. But it doesn’t have the tremendous reach of Facebook, where people can be contacted and invited to join through a couple of clicks. Suddenly a lot more people are aware of OIE and what it is about. Suddenly, there are quite a few of us feeling a lot less lonely.


The latest news is that Facebook has aquired Parakey. Parakey is a project founded by Blake Ross, one of the key guys behind FireFox, which acts as a kind of web operating system that straddles the online and offline world.

Parakey’s own introduction describes is as:

…a platform for building applications that merge the best of the desktop and the Web. Like desktop applications, these applications work offline, offer more privacy than pure websites, run quickly, and integrate with your computer and its devices. But like Web applications, they are also more creative, visually alluring, accessible from anywhere and potentially accessible by anyone. In short, Parakey apps are designed to be both useful and social, a combination that is too rare today.

So Facebook might become more than just the number 1 online social environment, and could become accessible offline too. When you bear in mind how much of your online information – as well as that of your friends and colleagues –  could be processed through Facebook, the potential of this becomes clear.

Exchanging Innovation, Openly

David Wilcox in a post called Developing the New Media Open Innovation Exchange opens upthe site and the community that developed around it to become a network of social media collaborators, dedicated to producing services and platforms for social benefit. He’s even created a Facebook group.

This fits in perfectly with my vision for Change2. All the sites I have developed provide services using Web2.0 and social media technology for free to the people who will make use of them.

Easily my most successful is LGSearch which clearly filled a yawning gap for people wanting to be able to run searches for information within the UK public sector.

The Open Innovation Exchange is currently lacking a logo. I’ve put the following two efforts up for consideration.

Oie1 Oie2

In the meantime, my focus is clearly shifting away from local government specific stuff, and more into the wider non-profit sector, and specifically, I think, into the gaps between the two. I’ll need to decide how much longer LGNewMedia is to last – especially as there is a chance I won’t be working in the sector by the end of the year.

Facebook Application Spam


I like FaceBook, though I don’t log in nearly as often as I ought to, so as to make the most of the service.

One of the reasons that I don’t, though, are the tonnes of invitations I get to have some application or other added to my profile. I know that the thir party developers are what makes Facebook cool, and some of the apps are really useful (or just fun, like the Graffiti one).

But having to wade through the invites and the interminable options that follow them really does get me down, and turns me off the platform to a certain extent.


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LGSpace – coming soon!


Am currently beavering away on my latest project in the LG* stable. Let me know in the comments if you would like to be involved in development testing, or would just like to know more!