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Facebook IPO. Is FB the new MySpace?....... (5 reasons why FB is Jumping the Shark)

I've been called a "pro Facebooker". It's not the worst I've heard.

Seriously, in the beginning no one loved Facebook more than I did.  At AspenSpin we love to point & shoot, then post & share our photos.  Facebook gave Aspen Spin a worldwide platform to do just that. 

When I matriculated at The Wharton School I received my first facebook, an actual book of faces that everybody called "the pig book".  I spent hours studying it and memorizing everyone's photo, undergrad school, major and hometown. I felt like it gave me an edge because I knew where they came from, where they went to school and it helped me remember everybody's name.  "Hey-- you're the guy from SF who went to Williams". People thought I was friendly....and also weird because I knew all their stats.

When Zuckerberg's Facebook was just reaching the adults, my teenage cousin asked me " do you have a facebook page?" I responded "f#%K facebook, I have my own BIG time website to worry about".  The same day I received an e-mail from Aspen Mountain Ski Patroler and helicopter pilot  "Chopper" Cohen inviting me to join Facebook.  I knew Chopper was legit so I jumped in. I put my cartoon-style avatar up and a few sick pix. It was so user friendly.  Chopper had created a Monster??  Next thing I knew I was connecting with kids from my elementary school class, getting friend requests from strangers and learning way more info than I needed to know.  The epic ski season of 07/08 was about to end and I was heading West to San Francisco without a plan.

I loved Facebook.   The pure simplicity of it was fabulous.  It was clean, it was intuitive and it was easy to connect to people from all over the world. Instead of scribbling down someone's name and e-mail for AspenSpin, I could just "facebook em".  And it was easy to post the sick pix.

Carmelo and I took the scenic route to SF, through Lake Tahoe and posted a few pix.  People liked them, even before you could "like" them.  Everybody I met in SF kept asking me "are you on FB"?   I was hooked.  Through connections I met on FB I started going to social media events with the "traveling 400".  Pete Cashmore from Mashable, Brian Solis, Guy Kawasaki and others...in real life.   Mostly people half my age.  I was there when the "geeks merged with the rest of the people".  Then I started tweeting ...really?  Yeah really, I was the "first to tweet in Aspen".  Social Media was just getting started....and I got an early, first hand look at it. 

Facebook has grown up a lot since then.  900,000,000 users and still growing.  They are about to offer shares to the public.  The 337 million share IPO will be led by Morgan Stanley (my former employer).  Price talk is $28-35 per share and values the company at nearly $100 billion.  The shares will trade on NASDAQ under the symbol FB.  Zuckerberg will sell 30.2 million shares, but retain 58.8% voting control.  I have not read the prospectus, but I'm luke-warm on the deal.

Dear FB please don't turn off my account.  It's just a blog post.


1) Privacy:  Privacy is the new black.   Privacy replaces "self expression" as the new black".  Facebook has made controlling what you share and who you share it with much more difficult.    The rules seem to change "whenever??",  and many people can't figure out how to adjust their own privacy features.  I predict people will eventually get tired of publicly sharing their every move.  "BillyBob is watching porn" on SocialCam.  Maybe I'm wrong here...but its my website.

2) The Simplicity is gone.  As mentioned above, Facebook used to be so clean, basic, simple and USER FRIENDLY.  Status Updates and Photos...that was about it.  Now it's pages, groups, lists and everything you click gets shared through an ap. on your timeline.  I'm taking Viddy, Social Cam, Washington Post, Yahoo etc etc.   Sure its cool to see what everyone else is reading...but only if everyone else is reading something interesting.  There is so much irrelevant B.S. to sift through to get the nuggets of info that interest you.

3) The Algorithm Mentality.  I get it...these kids are smart. Google is smart. Zuck is smart. But I want to control my own content.  I don't really care what's "trending" or what the algorithm thinks I want to see.   FB was much better when the user had more control of what popped up on their feed.

4) Advertising.   You think those trending stories aren't ads?  You're wrong.  Go ahead, join a contest or play a game on FB...give your personal information directly to advertisers.  The amount of information that people willingly and unwilling give-up is vast.   Do you click on ads? Me neither... I didn't think so.   There are more and more of them...and they are being disguised as content, and you're clicking on them without even knowing it.  It's getting sneaky.  Plus...I know I shouldn't talk...but everyone is a promoter now???  It's getting tired.

5) Identity Theft (and other cyber related crime).  This a BIG problem and getting bigger.  Facebook isn't the only offender here, but it's not helping.  Go ahead...post your SSN...I dare you.

Thats it.  Thats my take.

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