Concede the Decade to Facebook?

Yes, say Mike Arrington (at TechCrunch) and Sarah Perez (at ReadWriteWeb). They say it in rather different ways. Mike is all grand and sweeping and historical.

Microsoft dominated the technology world in the 90s… Google was the champion for the last decade…

But all the momentum is behind Facebook and how they are changing the Web, and our culture…

Facebook is permeating the Web. Publishers, us included, are clamoring to organize our websites in ways that please Facebook…

Their vision of an open graph of people and things (with Facebook at the center) is becoming reality… Facebook is taking over our identity and we are going along with that happily.

Sarah’s account is more personal, relating her usage of the new instant personalization feature, and her doubts about Facebook.

By giving into Facebook’s vision for the Web, we’re ceding control of our data, our likes, our interests, our “social graph” (a.k.a who we know, who we friend) – everything – to one company. Historically, one very, very closed company. We’re definitely worried about the implications of that. You should be too.

But in the meantime, like that calorie-rich dessert we know we shouldn’t eat, we’re sampling Facebook’s Web and secretly savoring its deliciousness. Why does everything that’s so wrong have to feel so good?

I’m disturbed by the notion that the 201* years will belong to Facebook. It’s not the first time I’ve been disturbed by the pervasiveness of Facebook, and it probably won’t be the last.

The FB201* prophecy helps to bring about its own fulfillment. First, there’s the argument that: lots of people I know are on Facebook, so I need to be. That is one reason for my Facebooking. Another is my daughter’s enthusiasm for Farmville – but Farmville deserves its own post.

The second way in which FB201* is self-fulfilling is illustrated in Mike’s post: TechCrunch will be FB-friendly, as will many other sites.

I’d like a world wide web of choice and interoperability. I don’t think that the FB201* prophecy bodes well for such a web. That said, I’m not going to ignore Facebook: it is a convenient way of keeping touch, or promoting things, etc.

If we think in decades, we might turn to the questions such as: Who will be taking over the web in 2020?

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