Friday, 28 August 2009

Part 1 of Why Web 2.0 Failed: Companies Can't Make Communities

I am going to present a series of articles about why Web 2.0 was an utter failure. I am going to argue over the next couple of weeks that Web 2.0 is not even less than a buzz world, that the entire promise of Web 2.0 failed from a number of reasons. Today I look at the tragic joke of "Social Communities". Flickr is probably the worst case of what happens when a company tries to run a community. Heather Champ is Flickr's primary censor who 5 years ago implemented a policy of mass censorship of all content on Flickr site. At the time some of us, myself I am proud to add, very openly complained on Flickr's community forums about the impact of a policy of censorship and comment deletes.

My comments were all ignored.

The problem with companies is simple, in companies its okay to lie, and you can even fire people for not lying or not going by with lies. Lying is a key feature of Capitalism and the political structures these Social Networks create have no more code to tell the truth to their users.

Without a basic moral code beyond TUS contracts you can't build a community: Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter and any other will never be more than a effort to harvest free contact and expose users to marketing messages. No global state has been effective in building a Public Social Networks, and since Capitalist entities can not, by their nature, provide these services unregulated people can not trust the Social Spaces that exist on line.

Sow there is no Public community anywhere on the Internet.

Flickr cited copyright concerns over the Time magazine image. It also stated that it couldn’t discuss specifics due to its policy on customer privacy and blah, blah, blah.
The company, it seems, didn’t want its customers talking about it either. Flickr not only deleted the comments that accompanied the image, it shut down threads discussing the removal of both. Why? ‘Cause that’s how Flickr rolls.

Now comes the part where we all start cryin’ “free speech” and “censorship” and la, la, la …but guess what, kids? It’s Flickr’s ball and the law says Flickr gets to make the rules. Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, digital civil rights advocates, confirms the law favors Flickr. “It actually implicates the First Amendment rights of who's running the forum,” he said.

Jarring, huh? Once again we are reminded that online entities that advertise themselves as “communities” are nothing of the sort. Flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever, are private companies. We’re not citizens, we don’t have an invested share in the sites so commonly mistaken for town squares. We all clicked and agreed to a contract that governs our behavior on these sites, and signed away a lot of our rights and ownership as well.

Hey Flickr ... why so censorious? - Technotica-

Community is not a buzz word passed by an MBA. No community has ever been built in a for profit model. States require Constitutional settlements. These Common Spaces of Community underpin society. Business can use them, but can not create them. Actually business uses these social communities a resource to production, and destroy them in the process. In Social Communities companies will never make Constitutional arrangements, they will only make sales and transactions. Companies can't make constitutions, and force is still held by states.