Scoble flap underscores problems with social media

Alas, poor Robert Scoble. He wanted to be the most famous tech blogger on the planet, not get bounced from Facebook like a rowdy frat boy from a kegger. But at least for a day or two, he was persona non grata on one of the world’s largest social networking sites. Scoble’s crime was that he ran a script which shunted his contacts off of the service and into his control–a no-no under Facebook’s terms of service. (When he apologized and made nice, Facebook apparently reinstated him.)

As the geekier of you probably know already, Scoble is the muse behind Scobleizer, a tech blog written by the former Microsoft tech evangelist. ( He is the voice of tech fandom!   I am at his bidding!  I am not worthy!) Whoops, sorry, got a little overwhelmed by the fame and all. All joking aside, he’s in a great position to highlight a big social media scalability issue.

Truthfully, I don’t give a rat’s patoot as to what happens to the Facebook membership some former MS preacher, genial though he might be. But I am interested in knowing whether sites like Facebook honestly believe that they can survive by making themselves data islands. For God’s sake, can anybody manage their contacts these days, even without the added challenge of working within scores of social networks?

Sure, Google’s Open Social should make it possible for apps from social media to be knitted neatly together. But that still doesn’t solve the problem of how you work with contacts within these networks.  Tying together your movie quizzes across several platforms is no substitute.

In the mean time, I doubt it’s smart for Facebook et al to demand we pledge allegiance whenever want our contact information. Maybe I’m just funny that way.

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