Social

The big advantage of facebook like sites is that somebody can make money off of your personal data and you get only as much access so you can generate more of that valuable data (meta-data like identifying persons on the pictures, inviting friends to create networks, establish groups to promote something). Really. If you think about that what would be facebook without the candy that should attract more fresh data for the industry to chew on ? It would be basically the same as it ever was. You would have:

* a blog to publish your thoughts and let others (preferably friends) comment on them.
* a gallery with photos to show off your whatever (to preferably friends).
* a rss reader to know when something happened on the pages of (preferably friends).

simply something like a distributed network of blogs/photos connected by rss readers.

Advantages would be:
* your data would be your data (your resolution, your tags, your privacy, your rules)

Disadvantages would be
* your data couldn't be searched and analyzed (without granted access) and since it would be only your data, nobody would give … ehm … probably be interested (besides friends).
* no central register to search for you
* you would need to finance the whole thing (setup, hosting, bandwidth) and care for it
* no huge data centers with jobs, no overwhelming bandwidth with more jobs attached to it.
* you won't be informed about the next big thing (over and over again).
* no wonderful games to stimulate your brain
* … and probably many more.

Personal information of a single person has less price (of course there are always exceptions, but we are speaking about the average Joe here). Accumulated information of single persons is priceless (still talking about the average Joes here).

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