Facebook went public last week. You might have heard about it. They sold some stock or something.
In the big lead-up to the big let-down, I wrote a piece for CNN.com about why I’m staying on Facebook and why people should just accept that the kingdom of Zuckerberg is just a fact of life and that people should just get used to it.
Of course, every time Facebook has shown vulnerability or made a bad decision in the past, they’ve found a way to sidestep criticism and come roaring back. This stock market thing shows a much deeper, perhaps more fundamental weakness in the company that we really haven’t seen before.
And since was a column that was meant to be a little contrarian in the first place, I find myself wondering if it’s going to be a piece of writing that I’ll come to regret in a few short years. We’ll see, won’t we? I certainly was anticipating the flurry of negative comments this time around and was able to enjoy them from backstage, twirling my mustache and saying to myself, “Job well done, villain.”
What I wasn’t expecting was for CNN to slap it on the front page center with my name out there for the world to see. That was pretty amazing-cool, but also terrifying at the same time. I felt like I’d been called out by my own words, made to stand before a crowd and justify my opinion. Lucky for me, I have a lot of opinions about Facebook, even if they’re not even always consistent or right.
Another big piece I wrote that ran this week was in the Statesman and it was about ambient/serendipity apps like “Highlight” that pair you up with people nearby, social network-like, even when you’re not actively using them. The piece evolved into an article about the line between convenient and creepy and how future apps are going to have to overcome that label.
I had some great conversations in the interviews I did for the article and as usual it was just a lot of material that needed to be condensed into one good-sized story. I hope it didn’t lose too much in that process and that it made enough sense to people who don’t follow this kind of tech.
I’ve had a weird thing lately, just the last few days, where I’m getting a little tired and bored with the whole social media thing. It’s not that I’m not posting; I still do that. But I’ve also found myself not posting a lot when in the past I would have responded to something or had a thought I wanted to share. Some of it may be that I’ve been writing so much about social media lately that I’m a little burned out on thinking about it, but some of it is also that I know that if I respond to certain posts that I’m going to get into a whole conversation with someone and of late, I’ve been so pressed for time that I’d rather just not even get into it, you know?
A guy I know, Loren Feldman, is working on a documentary about social media and I’m dying to see how it turns out because he and I have a very similar view on a lot of what’s going on, only he’s able to say a lot of the things I can’t in ways that I don’t. We both feel the bubble is close to bursting and that in a few short years, people will have moved on to something else, even if it’s just faster/more efficient ways of doing what we’re doing now.
Or it could just be that I get bored of hearing my own voice (typed, rather, and online) and that I get the sense a lot of other people are chirping along with very little to say, too, at times. It gets boring sometimes, doesn’t it? That can’t just be me that feels it, right?
Another theory: summer is here (we get it early in New Braunfels) and I’d rather just be outside, swimming or tubing. That’s probably it, honestly.