PC World recently released their list of the 15 biggest disappointments of 2007. Two of the items on that list didn't surprise me, but two other items were shocking to see on the list but in reflection absolutely true.
I wasn't surprised to see that both Apple's "Leopard" OS 10.5 (#8) and Microsoft's Windows Vista (#1) on the list. I've been talking about my disappointment on the state of the computer desktop for sometime now. I'm just glad to see others have noticed the problem so I don't look like Mr. Glum to everyone.
However, I was surprised to see two content management system related items that made the list.
On PC World's 15 disappointment list were Web 2.0 Woes: Social Networks (#13) and The Anti-Social Network: Facebook Beacon (#3). At first I protested, but PC World does put it in the right perspective when it says:
We got it. Making connections between friends is cool. Sharing photos and videos, even cooler. But it's all so... 2006. Haven't you got anything new to show us?
Here's a safe bet: Two years from now, 90 percent of these networks will be gone and their founders will
be back working at Starbucks. I'll have a double mocha frappucino, please.
I think it's important to note that the need to social network or the need for Web applications to have social networking features isn't going away. Many content management systems will likely continue to exhibit social networking features in their application. What PC World is predicting though is that many of the social networking-only sites are likely to be phased out as social networking alone will not likely catch the attention (and ad revenue) that they now enjoy.
So how best can a social networking enthusiast protect themselves if or when a social network like Facebook or MySpace falls? As I've said in the past and will continue to say in the future...
- Get yourself a domain name and your own Web hosting account
- Install a CMS that meets your own needs (any listed to the left under CMS Focus would be a good start).
Until you control the applications that you do your own social networking, I think you will continue to be disappointed in this whole Web 2.0 experience. I have yet to understand why someone would put personal information of a site that they don't control or own. Take some control by managing your own site and then you'll begin enjoying what the Internet is really about.