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Douglas Rushkoff on Facebook's fatal error

June 12, 2009 _ 10:04 / Digital Nation Team / comments (0)

rushkoffbiosm.jpgThe countdown has started. Tonight, at 12:01am EDT, Facebook users will be able to choose a username on a first-come, first-serve basis that will replace the current numeric IDs in the URLs for their profile pages. The goal is "to make it easier for people to find and connect with you" by allowing your friends "to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser." It sounds superficial, but in our correspondent Douglas Rushkoff's latest column for The Daily Beast, he speculates that the ensuing landrush for Facebook vanity URLs may mark the beginning of the end for the world's largest social-networking site:

Facebook must be hoping the name change will not only make the site more user friendly, but also get people to start thinking of their Facebook pages as their public faces for both personal and business activities: true home pages.
That's a problem. Facebook's relative detachment from the Internet is not a bug, but a feature. Its only competitive advantage in the Internet space--its only reason for being--was that it was more personal, more closed off, and arguably more private than the Internet itself. Even then, the biggest problem has never been how to get people to find you, but how to not friend many of those who do.

Read the entire piece at The Daily Beast.



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posted February 2, 2010

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