Commentary

Facebook's not forever

I spent three days in Kansas City for a conference on college honors programs last month. Before leaving for the trip, I chose a few sessions that I wanted to attend. One session stood out to me: “How to effectively use social media in honors programs.”

If you read my earlier post, you already know that the students in my program don’t want any connection between school and Facebook. This was the perfect session for me.

Let me tell you a little bit about the presentation.

A student was assigned to talk about Facebook and Twitter. After all, we are the experts, right?

She taught us (as if we didn’t already know) how to create a Facebook profile, a fan page, and a group. Everything she said made sense, but I can’t say that I learned anything from it. Twitter was next. Or was it?

There was a Twitter logo on her poster (ever heard of PowerPoint? Prezi?), but she never mentioned it. How can you talk about social media without mentioning Twitter?

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She lost any credibility she had established with one statement: “Facebook is probably your best option because it will be around forever.”

**crickets**

Am I the only person that thinks this is extremely naive? Do you remember MySpace? Me neither.

That’s my point. We’ve all heard that Facebook is the new MySpace. Sure, there’s some true to that. But look where MySpace is today. Facebook is like MySpace, which means it will eventually be nearly obsolete.

Eventually people will start to realize that these platforms aren’t invincible. Google will eventually lose market share the same way Microsoft did and athletes won’t always trash talk on Twitter.

My generation may be the most tech-savvy, but some of them clearly don’t understand the concept of change.

2 comments about "Facebook's not forever".
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  1. Thorsten Linz from FCB Chicago, December 13, 2010 at 10:16 a.m.

    Thanks Bobby. Great post! I always tell my clients the same story and ask them not to bet their entire budgets on one single platform.

    Remember CompuServe? Gone. Remember AOL? Gone. Remember MySpace? Well, almost gone! Facebook? Will be gone in the near future.

    The next big thing is just around the corner waiting to be discovered, waiting to take over from Facebook. And the story goes on....

  2. Michael Holmes from University of Cincinnati, December 13, 2010 at 10:58 a.m.

    Thorsten, I spent a lot of time on Compuserve in the late 80's and early 90's. I remember getting an email (from O'Reilly Publishing, I think) announcing the 500th Web site and encouraging recipients to get a browser. I didn't realize it at the time but it was Compuserve's death knell. The Web provided easier access to a wider variety of content and made everyone a potential publisher in a way Compuserve couldn't. BTW, does anyone younger than 50 remember Gopher? Or local BBSs? The platforms go away but the functionality endures in new and better tools.

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