Let’s not forget everything Facebook has done for us. In leveraging our social curiosity and innate egomania, Mark Zuckerberg unleashed a social revolution, compelling us to share even the most mundane aspects of our lives. No longer anonymous trolls scouring the wild west of the web, we now had an online presence defined by our actual names, a virtual representation of ourselves with a perpetual audience. Suddenly, we were empowered, intoxicated even, by our constant connectedness.
And for the past eight years, Facebook has been the central neural network of the Internet’s link-sharing brain. But as the site has grown, so have our needs. Now that the company’s public, it’s crunch time, and the skeptics and haters are lining up to talk about how it might all end. One thing’s for certain: whether it’s a bang or a whimper, Facebook is not forever. How could it collapse? Let me count the ways.
FACEBOOK SCREWS UP
Since Facebook’s inception, Mark Zuckerberg has had an uncanny knack for maintaining the site’s exceptional growth, despite royally pissing off the majority of its users with shady privacy practices, monetization strategies like the Beacon fiasco, and of course, its latest incarnation, Timeline. And yet, despite all the user resentment, we’re apparently using the site more than ever before. It’s this kind of fortitude in the face of user frustration that has led some to compare Zuckerberg’s forceful genius to that of Steve Jobs.
But while Jobs always had his doubters, vocal critics, and fair share of questionable philosophies, he commanded the kind of respect that’s made Mac fanboys some of the most annoying self-described geeks around the world. His death was felt internationally, as the world mourned the passing of its greatest tech rockstar.
Zuck doesn’t have the same kind of cult following. He’s been ridiculed all over the Internet and in a million-dollar Hollywood movie. Many simply don’t trust him. Beyond the anodyne hacking talk and his “keep shipping” motto, oracle readers have had to rely on chat transcripts from years of legal cases to learn about his thinking and intentions (for instance, that he once thought of his users as “dumb fucks.”)
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