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Thursday, 27th May 2010

Facebook and Its CEO Continue To Take Some Hits

While most of what we read after the new Facebook privacy tools were announced yesterday was for the most part positive, issues still exist. We have links to several posts with reviews and comments at the bottom of this page along with a few comments of our own focusing on the ease of use of the new privacy tools.

This morning two well-known writers, Robert X. Cringely and Marshall Kirkpatrick have some not so positive things to say about the Facebook service and its CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. If you have an interest in Facebook and to some degree social networking in general both are more than worthy of your time.

Cringley's post is titled, "Let's Get Small" and points out that the amount of members Facebook has is not the problem.

The problem is that my Facebook friends list is too long and so is yours. I have 809 Facebook friends...I wouldnít know because Iím only on Facebook once or twice a week for a few minutes. But even thatís enough to know my friend list is too long.

Cringley notes:

1) Fans are being abused by violating user privacy

2) "If Facebook goes under it will be because of its own success.""

3) Cringley concludes by saying Facebook should kick out users of the service that don't make it money and be very nice to the ones they keep.

An hysterical concept that makes you laugh out loud and think about what's being said at the same time. After kicking out users from that point on users must prove themselves worthy of being a valuable asset to whatever Facebook's goal is a that time.

Moving On.

Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb writes a post titled, "The Half Truths of Mark Zuckerberg."

In this case it's not about the privacy changes that were announced yesterday. Kirkpatrick says the changes are good for those concerned with privacy. What struck Kirkpatrick was the "odd tone" Zuckerberg had and some point, "seemed of questionable...truth."

We think Kirkpatrick does an excellent job (independent of the issue itself) of organizing and dividing the post into three sections and then backing up each point with past coverage. His reporting of the telephone news conference itself is easy to read and straightforward.

The third section of the article, "The Facebook Thought Process" is in my opinion the most interesting. If you only have time for one section this should be it.

Here's a Few Thoughts After reading Marshall Kirkpatrick's post.

1. Facebook is growing so quickly and/or internal communication is poor. In other words, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

2. It appears that Facebook, including it's CEO, have trouble making decisions and then sticking with them. It would be interesting to hear the message given to advertisers, investors, etc.

3. Zuckerberg, obviously a very intelligent person, has issues getting his points across clearly and remembering what he said the time before. We don't think this is uncommon and can be easily remedied with a few days of training perhaps by a current or former journalist. Some might call it learning to speak in sound bites.

4) However, we do think the primary problem comes from incredibly rapid growth, a well planned and executed mission and plan (and the ability stick to it), a potentially poor internal communications, managers who like to tell executives including Mr. Zuckerberg what they want to hear vs. what's actually going on, and potentially dealing with the belief that with somewhere near 500 million users that whatever and whenever they make a decision it's the right one. Said a different way, the world is revolving around Facebook and not Facebook revolving around its users and advertisers without being poked and prodded for several weeks.

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