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Facebook Beacon: Kara is the Pot Calling the Kettle January 14, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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In the 60 minutes interveiw of Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg (which I thought was a puff piece) Kara Swisher is highlighted as the expert in Facebook.  Kara deserves to be on there because she has been following Facebook hard for a while.  I like Kara and read her blog.  Kara is a pro journalist, but I fell off my chair at the end of the interview on her comment on Facebook’s beacon product.  I have to call foul on this one Kara. 

Kara: I respectfully disagree with you.  First, I think that you’re wrong on your take on beacon.  You said Facebook was wrong for doing it and not explaining it.  Then you go on to basically question their judgement.  I disagree with you.  Beacon is a good thing for Facebook and for users.  I think that Facebook rolled it out the wrong way, but it was a good move for Facebook.  It’s a competitive advantage weapon for Facebook and a possible innovation lever for their user experience (and for future monetization).   Secondly, you have a relationship Google and know that Google practices the same techniques as Beacon (can we talk about gmail, data centers and toolbar among other similar data driven innovations).  By your logic Google is wrong and has bad judgement.   Competing on the value of data extraction is precisely what Google built their brand on and it is what drives their ad monetization business. 

Both Google and Facebook derive their products core value propositions from the aggregation and knowledge about data and data relationships. 

Here is the 60 minutes interview. Note: Bill Gates was 17 when he started Microsoft.

Two Parts: 

Part I

Part II

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Comments»

1. facebook_hero - January 14, 2008

I don’t understand why beacon is so evil. why do you think Kara is anti-facebook? Facebook is part of the dataportability effort is that a bad thing?

2. David Ambrose - January 14, 2008

WOW…thought the same thing when that came out of her mouth last night. i was going to write it in my post, but i wanted to focus on the genius behind barker and unanswered questions. good points. this should get pushed.

3. John Furrier - January 14, 2008

I like Kara and read her blog. She has a good read on the tech news. I just have a different opinion on Google and Facebook than she does. Also I think that her piece on 60 mins was offbase and somewhat clouded by her bias.

In the interviewshe said Facebook was dumb:
1. for doing beacon – not it was a good move
2. not explaining it – its a main platform feature – if i worked at facebook i wouldn’t explain it at all. Does google explain how much data is extracted out of the toolbar and gmail..etc
3. not backing off – again PR is different from their innovation goals

Overall I think beacon is a good platform feature with a hell of a lot of upside for users and user experience which translates directly to a new ad monetization model – which benefits Facebook. It is precisely this new user experience that will fuel a scalable ad model. It does threaten Google and good for Facebook. If Facebook can pull it off is another question.


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