Social Networking? Distribute Thyself!

This is a slight, ok not so slight, departure from the themes I have been meaning to write about.

As I write this Facebook is down. At first chat was “down for maintenance” (maybe it is, and maybe it’s not) and then the site logged me out completely. Now I can’t get back in. Relax, it’s not the end of the world. I don’t use Facebook for anything serious. But many people do.

More and more people are transferring both their business and social selves into The Cloud. I believe in that model, but I’ve been worried about too much reliance on one site. Obviously Facebook, listing about 1/14th of the population of Planet Earth, with desires to be the be-all and end-all of our online lives – or lives, period – is a standout example of that One Site philosophy. But right now, due to “maintenance”, or a DOS attack, or roll-over failure in some data centre or another due to a minor bug, 500 million people (I would guess) have been disconnected from their online selves.

The really smart thing about the Internet is the wisdom with which it was constructed in a distributed manner. Perhaps not so much constructed as just came together. It’s that randomness that makes it stable and resilient. And that’s what you’ll be missing by putting all your eggs in a single virtual basket.

There’s another wonderful resilient and tested system out there that can bring people and businesses together. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought and work. Maybe I can talk more openly about it soon.

Update – I’m not the only one who thinks so:


2 thoughts on “Social Networking? Distribute Thyself!

  1. Quick update: the Facebook outage was due to a deliberate takedown of the chat service by the company because of a security breach. This doesn’t change my thinking that you shouldn’t put all your online faith in only one company, it only strengthens the argument.

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