Social Media Strategy

Is Mark Zuckerberg Drinking the Social Kool-Aid?

December 3, 2009

Facebook Open Letter

Is Mark Zuckerberg opening up and drinking the proverbial social Kool-Aid finally? I saw something earlier for the first time that I can ever remember since becoming a Facebook member – a prominent message/open letter from the Facebook founder explaining some upcoming changes to the service BEFORE they are implemented. How many times have we seen Facebook implement changes unexpectedly only to watch the entire community go into a meltdown over it? Is Facebook finally getting the fact that if they involve the community during the stages leading up to a change, they will likely encounter a lot less resistance? I sure hope so.

FB-Open-Letter-LikeThis is one of the things that I think MySpace did a better job of, frankly. I remember quite often seeing notices from Tom on my home page explaining changes to the service or feature set. There was some comfort in knowing that we were all connected and even the founder of the site had an open discussion with the community. In some respects Facebook has operated more like Apple and less like Google or Dell in that respect – you’ll take what we give you and like it, dammit! 😉 Luckily, like Apple, Facebook usually gets it right in the end. But it is nice to see a different approach being taken. I’m sure we all remember many a fiasco when Facebook made unexpected changes in the past. Beacon comes to mind. So does the News Feed actually. And of course, the debacle over the rights to content on the site.

Bottom line – by keeping the community up to speed and making it prominent on the home page, they are sending a signal that they are listening and adapting to the reality that the huge user base is not to be taken for granted. As Brian Solis points out in his latest blog entry, there are signs that some of the crowd that were early adopters of Facebook are losing interest and spending less time on the site. Facebook must pay attention to this and respect the changing needs and desires of this dynamic audience. If you have a couple of minutes, I recommend you check out Brian’s post – there is a lot to chew on in the post and in the comments. This is a great topic for Marketers as they look forward to 2010.

What do you think? Does the open letter signal a shift in Mark Zuckerberg’s attitude toward engaging the community?

6 Comments

  • Reply Twitted by Brandon101 December 3, 2009 at 1:10 am

    […] This post was Twitted by Brandon101 […]

  • Reply harryhallman December 3, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Great post Brandon. I do think it is a sign that he actual does beleive in a more open environment. After all, he is getting older. 24 or something :-).

  • Reply Brandon101 December 3, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks Harry. I almost titled the post 'you CAN teach a new dog new tricks' but decided against it at the last minute. 😉 It's weird – I have very little sense of his personality, which seems odd considering he is the founder of such a huge global network.

  • Reply Brandon101 December 4, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Thanks Harry. I almost titled the post 'you CAN teach a new dog new tricks' but decided against it at the last minute. 😉 It's weird – I have very little sense of his personality, which seems odd considering he is the founder of such a huge global network.

  • Reply Brandon101 December 4, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Thanks Harry. I almost titled the post 'you CAN teach a new dog new tricks' but decided against it at the last minute. 😉 It's weird – I have very little sense of his personality, which seems odd considering he is the founder of such a huge global network.

  • Reply Procrastination Destination: Don’t Miss that Connection! | Wesleying December 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    […] phenomenon has finally reached Wesleyan! Great for those who have not partaken of the Zuckerberg Kool-Aid and less depressing/trolltastic than the ACB, “I saw you Wesleyan” allows you the […]

  • Leave a Reply to Twitted by Brandon101 Cancel Reply