Hey Mark, I read your piece about Facebook, and think you’re right about one thing and wrong about another.
1. You’re right to be appalled that Facebook does not show your updates to all your followers. They are breaking a trust. You promoted Facebook to your customers for free, and not only don’t they reciprocate — by finding you new followers — they don’t even fulfill their side of the deal, by showing your updates to the people who signed up for them.
- Yes, I know Facebook disclaims this. But we all thought that updates went to all followers, before discovering the hard way, that they didn’t. Cuban is a smart guy. If he was surprised by this, imagine how surprised the less-savvy execs at other companies are going to be.
2. However, your response, to diversify to other social networks is wrong. Why would you think they would do it any differently than Facebook? What have they agreed to do for you in return? If you’re just using their normal TOS, they’re agreeing to do nothing for you.
Last night I was watching football on one of the big networks. It was a boring game so my mind drifted. I noticed that when they show the name of someone speaking on camera they also show their Twitter handle. I wondered if their lawyers had reviewed this decision. Had they read Twitter’s user agreement? Had they advised their client on how one-sided it is? That made me wonder if Twitter does special deals with big media conglomerates? I wonder what they look like? I follow Twitter pretty closely and I have no idea.
Back to Mark — hope you’re still reading.
You’re so smart about tech, why are you so dumb about this!
We need to use the Internet itself as social media. Then you won’t have to worry about Facebook putting their finger on the scale. Let’s create the software you need to license. You can run it on your own servers, or let’s start a company to run the service for media companies like the Dallas Mavericks and the NBA. Being at the mercy of tech startups like this is not smart. They are not your friends, or even good business partners.
Update: Mark Cuban did read this, and responded.