I am a relatively careless surfer.
I use the web to make me smarter. I don’t really mind (yet) that Companies are getting smarter as well. They should. That should make the whole experience better over the long run.
Most of you that read this blog do so for financial and market trends, but when I am not writing about stocks I am writing about the Social Web.
This last week, Mike Arrington had a series of posts on the Social Gaming System…entitled ‘Scamville’ . It’s an incredible series of posts and has led to many quick and decisive actions by many of the parties involved/accused. Today, Zynga said they will remove ALL in game ads .
It’ a stretch of course to compare Facebook and Tobacco companies, but hear me out.
Facebook and Tobacco are both addictive products.
There are TWO big differences. The first… Facebook knows EVERYTHING about you and Philip Morris needs to know NOTHING about you – you will come find them. The second – tobacco has a clear and insane profit model.
They both have pretty big responsibilities and they need to be accountable. Both need to come with warnings though as it relates to minors. It has taken 40 years to put some half decent warnings on tobacco products and we should not wait four more months for them to be seen on Facebook where minors, MY CREDIT Card and offers meet.
My kids are not on Facebook yet, but I do not want to get things charged to my credit card while they surf and play. I am pretty sure that I don’t live in a bubble/utopia so I understand that it is unlikely for my wish to come true. That said, I want my kids to be told pretty clearly that:
‘If you click here, YOUR DAD will be [email protected]#!king pissed’ so find him and ask him.
I don’t play Social games and I don’t smoke. If you are an adult and have the time, knock yourself out on both.
I have written many times that the valuations thrust on Twitter and Facebook make me nervous. The Scamville series from Mike Arrington are exactly why.
Facebook has investors to please and I dont trust them at all. Twitter’s $1 billion valuation is now a serious pressure to perform financially no matter what insiders say.
If the main way for Social Networks to profitability and valuation is through these sleazy offers, put me in the camp for paying a monthly fee and removing all ads to me and my family.
And make that choice upfront before I use your product the first time.
Tobacco is 100 percent long-term evil, Google is ‘not evil’ (ya right) and Facebook and Twitter fit somewhere in between. They should be able to get pretty close to zero.