It’s nice to imagine a world joined in cyber friendliness and everyone getting along. There’s a vision there that even I like, of borders fading and of people learning to accept diversity and other lifestyles.
But the recent hullaballoo with Twitter and Facebook… especially Facebook… should teach us that The Web isn’t altruistic. It takes resources to operate a Web presence (I’m not so sure that Web “site” is a valid term with the way these things cross boundaries, but that’s subject matter for another post). It’s not enough to have 10,000 followers on Twitter or 1,000 friends on Facebook. Now you’ve got them. Now what?
That’s not an easy question to answer, is it? Twitter’s been offered money by people wanting to be listed on its homepage. Facebook wants to use your profile information in its ads… even if you don’t want to be part of Facebook anymore. It’s time to find the business model that makes these presences viable, for the long haul. Unless we’re ready for a virtual bubble to burst.