There’s a pretty interesting debate going on over at Steve Rubel’s Posterous stream. It revolves around his moving his stream (sorry, guys of a certain age) to Facebook. He’ll continue at Posterous but feels Facebook gives him more visibility, a bigger audience and a richer discussion.
Mr. Rubel initially moved to Posterous because it was a place for him to aggregate his musings. Plus it was an easy and elegant interface. (The aesthete in me likes the Posterous look better than the templatized Facebook frame.) Sequestering most of his business and digital observations on Posterous and moving everything else — business, personal, real time — to Facebook seems like a good strategy. But is it? Time will tell.
In America and countries that look to America for tech and taste, specificity rules the day. No one ever became president (of anything) being a generalist. Let’s leave Mr. Rubel for a moment and use Ms. X as an example. Say you’ve never met Ms. X but you think she’s a brilliant marketing mind. She may be a lousy partner, driver, dancer and cook but she can really mesmerize a room filled with marketers. You may be marginally interested in her meatball recipe but it is certainly not the driver of her attention. The more meatball recipes in her stream, the less likely she is to be unique. By mixing all of her postings into one stream, Ms. X is not managing her brand very well. Her fame is diluted.
Moving Toward the Middle.
This is another example – common a couple of years ago when social computing companies were all trying to match each other’s feature sets – where everyone is moving toward the middle. It should not be. LinkedIn is about business relationships. Twitter is about real time info and immediacy. Facebook is about friends and self and entertainment. As Facebook moves to the middle, attempting to be all things to all people (brand fan pages included), it becomes like fruit cocktail — that can of fruit in the back of the cabinet where everything tastes like peaches. As quickly as Facebook is growing, I’m afraid it will mirror Google and turn into nothing more than an amazing advertising platform. (And then divest.) Peace!