Monday, September 20, 2010

Facebook or something else?

My last post was about diaspora and why I think it will fail. I got a lot of reaction mostly at work and via email. Some agreed, some did not. Some corrected me, some gave me more details.

I can't wait till i can be a member of diaspora to see if it will be better, but so far I can't be. I only find their blog and some screenshots and news that they are live since September 15th, but where?

Reading as much as I can about diaspora, in news, Facebook and github it is still not clear for me if these guys want to build framework for other social networks or their own social network. I will ending up to install diaspora to see how it works.

In the mean time I did research anti Facebook movements to see how much the interest is to move to another social network. First bigger article against Facebook was in January 2008 (an article in the UK times). Since then there have been many anti Facebook blogs or news. The biggest blog I could found is there might be better once but i could not find.
Sickfacebook is claiming that 60% of Facebook users would move to another social network (A poll survey conducted by IT security company, Sophos, revealed that almost two third of facebook users are considering leaving and 16% claiming to have already stopped using Facebook.)I could not find the source of this report.

Even on Facebook itself are some anti Facebook pages. Most of them have a few thousands followers the most. The biggest group is joindiaspora with almost 44,000 followers. I really did not find much on facebook. One group which is not against facebook but against changing Facebook layout has over 50.000 followers.
Maybe Facebook is hiding anti Facebook movements.

But the thing I found (which diaspora could be the big winner) is the very bad search on facebook. First of all with my iPad the search field gets cleared after hitting search. Second of all it does not handle typos. No alternative is offered as we are used from leading search engines.
This is so annoying I had to rewrite my search phrase a couple of times. Try yourself with some small typos like "fscebook" and see if you get results.
At least not with the iPad.

Finding an application is almost not possible. I did want to move my blog into facebook but was not able to find something better than "notes". This is another part where diaspora can be better. Maybe when diaspora tries to keep the good stuff of facebook and makes the bad stuff better then there is a chance.

Once Microsoft got very big and a lot of people did not like it. Linux came as open source and had a chance to change the world. But it did not worked out. Microsoft has still over 80% market share.

Then there came and Microsoft and yahoo (which is older than google and was once leading search engine) tried to fight against but google is still number 1 with over 72% of market share.

Neither Microsoft had the first OS nor google was the first search engine.
But both had found a new way to get the majority of users.
Same with facebook, it was not the first social network, but they did something better. At a time when myspace was market leader, Facebook did recognize that user have to use their real name was the big winner. For google was how they changed the search methodology with page rank and word distance relevance.

Once they all get enough critical mass it is hard to create something to take over. Windows might not be the best OS, google might not be the best search engine and Facebook might even not be the best social network, but with a market share of over 70% and a reach of hundred of million people (google is used by a billion users, Facebook has over 500 million members and Microsoft Windows is on over 750 million PCs and servers) it is hard to compete. To beat this - an alternative product most be not only better, but the leading company must miss something which makes the competition much better. Just being as good or slightly better would not give enough momentum.

Back to facebook and diaspora. If I would count all unique anti Facebook results and posts together, then I don't get more than a group of people together which is not bigger than 3% of the Facebook population. An average brand has more complains.

Diaspora might have a chance if their idea works that people can take their friends from facebook to diaspora with one click and if they have some major improvements of things which are not so good in facebook but more than just better privacy settings (if they are working).

Side note:
As we know Microsoft has some shares in Facebook and Facebook is using bing as a search engine for web search results on their page.
During my research I found something interesting, I searched at bing "Anti facebook" and then I searched for the same at google. Bing gave me 941,000 results and google had 216,000,000, this 229 times more. Not implying anything but interesting.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

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