Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saying "sorry" via Facebook

Yesterday morning when I got into the office (having walked through the crowds in Martin Place) I made my own personal 'sorry' declaration on Facebook via Twitter (I appreciate doing that achieves nothing in a practical sense but yesterday was all about the symbolism, right?).
When I next checked back at the end of the day I found lot of my friends had done the same. I can't recall having seen that happen before and I thought it was an interesting outcome of on-line social networks. I wondered how many others did the same.
Perhaps in the future we'll no longer need to ask our friends the 'where were you on that the day X happened?' question around significant events -- because we'll already know.
Update: Looks like Chloe Lake over at News had the same idea.
Update 2: Here's an interesting counterpoint: Radio callers outraged: I'm disgusted, says one. My reading of on-line opinion (after all blogs etc are now another way people share their views en-mass, talk back radio is no longer alone there) suggests many were supportive.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Social Apps Will Thrive In A Recession?

To echo Josh Bernoff's disclaimer, I'm not an economist, but I'm pretty sure I don't agree with his reasoning in this Groundswell post (and I may be wrong but I think the Tech Wreck was well underway before September 11).
I do agree some things are different now -- one key point Josh doesn't mention is that on-line advertising is far more mature now, and so capable of demonstrating value, than it was in 2000.
But it looks to me like Josh is asking the wrong question. It's not whether or not Facebook etc will do well in a (US) recession but whether investors will continue to put money in at the same pace.
People didn't stop using email after 2000 and I suspect they wont stop using social networking tools now (incidentally, Mark Jones at Filtered had a great post about what's next, Email 3.0.)
But venture capital funding did become harder to get for Web businesses after the Tech Wreck and businesses did slow spending on new IT projects tools for a while afterwards.
In my view that's the challenge the social networking micro-economy is going to face if the US enters a recession -- a rapidly growing customer base at the same time sources of funding are becoming more risk averse.
And that's a recipe for currently those independant outfits being accquired by large IT and media companies I think-- just like after 2000 -- as they seek the protection of more finanically stable parents (witness the recent rumours re Digg).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Google and Microsoft: lawyers at ten paces over Yahoo

Since I'm now with a law firm I'm watching with new interest as lawyers David Drummond at Google and Brad Smith at Microsoft trade barbs over the latter's proposal to buy Yahoo.
If Google is successful I suspect we'll start to see more large firm's senior lawyers engaging in public debate -- though not if the Economist's speculation over MS's motives turns out to be right.