Thoughts on Chris Hughes’ call to break up Facebook by Nitin Khanna (Nitin Khanna)

I took my own sweet time to read this story, collecting some of my ideas and publishing them here. I’ve already had a lot of online and offline conversations around the topic, but posting these thoughts here for posterity and discussion makes sense to me.

Nitin, I enjoyed the article. I can see that you put careful thought into his writing.

I would have liked for you to expound on this one point.

Just recently an Instagram replacement was kickstarted. It took a long while to get it to the bare minimum it needed to fund successfully.

I think you were referring to Bokeh, which has 229 backers and barely raised the minimum funds required. Why, if we (a collective we) believe that the multitudes are looking for an alternative, was it so hard to raise money?

In contrast, the Peak Design travel tripod Kickstarter has 14,493 backers and raised ten times their funding. Presumably, a travel tripod for helping photographers create images is more important to more people than an alternative social media platform for sharing those images.

3 thoughts on “Perhaps it’s good enough

  1. Hey Khurt! Yes, I mentioned Bokeh only in passing because as much as I see it as an interesting experiment, I don’t see a future for these kinds of services yet. That’s part of our (collective Internet) cynicism about any new social networks. It should not be so, but it is. I think part of it is also because of companies like Path, that came and went and were not able to monetize or gamify paid, private social networks.

    I see people retreating into newsletters a lot these days and perhaps those work for people, but I’m from the email-loathing generation, so I’m not sure that’s where I stand either.

    Here’s hoping not everyone is as cynical about things as I am!

    • Email always feels like work so I loath newsletter subscriptions.

      For many people, social means connecting to random strangers online. Not for me. That would be like going to weddings and parties that I am not invited to. Or going to a bar and walking around introducing myself to strangers and then talking politics, religion, etc. Who does that?

      I had a Path account. No one in my family or circle of friends had an account. I had a Facebook account several years before anyone else in my family. My Facebook contacts numbered in the handful until 2010. No one in my family had a Google+ account.

      A social network works for me if the people I want to connect to are on that network. That’s why I have an Instagram and Twitter accounts. To connect to the fascinating local photographers that I have come to know over the years from meetups and photo walks. It’s also a way to connect to local businesses whose owners I know personally.

      Who you are as a person is an essential piece of context in how to judge information. If you’re walking on the street and a random stranger asks to have a coffee, you interpret it very differently from when your partner walking next to you asks you the same thing. We are all walking information filters, our brains are very well used to doing that. So what I know socially about you helps me interpret what you share, as it will be coloured by who you are. Let’s call this social filtering.Feed Reading by Social Distance

      I want to connect to people who I already know or with whom I have an affinity — my friends and family who are far away. I want to see photos of their kids and family vacations. I can’t always get on the phone with them or visit them in person, so Facebook provides value to me.

      That’s why attacks on Facebook bother me so much. Just because someone’s friends and family are total dicks does not mean mone are; or that Facebook needs to be dismantled. I want to say, “Sorry your experience sucks. Delete your account. These are not the droids you are looking for.”

      If I don’t like Facebook’s/Instagram/Google’s policies and tactics, then I could DELETE MY ACCOUNT.

      I have all the power. I can delete my account!

      I think the reason that Bokeh got so little attention is that Instagram, EyeEm, VSCO etc. already meet their needs. Very few people care outside of Silicon Valley and East Coast digerati elite “give a fuck” to put it bluntly.

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