The blogosphere, media, and the rest of us are all focusing on the wrong set of Facebook problems. The fact that Zuck thinks society is becoming more public (which it isn’t) isn’t the real problem.
The real problem is that social networks (such as Facebook, MySpace, Tagged, etc) are all failing to achieve the most fundamental goal that should be justifying their existence.
They are miserably failing to answer the THREE most important questions any member of society tries to answer in the real world:
* Who should I start a company with?
* Who should I hang out with?
* Who should I make babies with?
All Facebook (and most other social networks) are today is a free service that wants me to brain dump as much information as possible, so that they can pimp it to Google and any other Ad-agency willing to pay for it.
We need to solve the actual problem
All is not lost.
Facebook has done a great thing by building a social graph. It’s up to us (internet entrepreneurs) to utilize that and solve real problems — because it just doesn’t seem Facebook’s values are aligned to make any real impact at this point.
Not to jump to any solutions on how to solve my problem, but here are just a few off the top of my head:
Tap into the social graph. Tell me which friends of friends I should be dating (this is obviously theoretical, I’m married).
Tap into the social graph, tell me which friends, or friends of friends, tend to like the same type of articles, or work in the same type of industry — if this person is a friend of a friend, its more likely that my values will be aligned with his.
Tell me which friends, or friends of friends tend to hang out at the same spots in my town.
If a certain person also loves to get work done at the cafe, and is also friends with a random array of my close friends, chances are I should be hanging out with this person too.
They’re thinking hard about this already; they want to help people have private and meaningful conversations, only with the people that matter.