In today's "New York Times," the op-ed columnist Bill Keller begins his column this way:
"What's the difference, I asked a tech-writer friend, between the billionaire media mogul Mark Zuckerberg and the billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch?
"When Rupert invades your privacy, my friend e-mailed back, it’s against the law. When Mark does, it’s the future."
More damning to my mind is the op-ed three time Pulitzer-winner, Thomas Friedman, wrote in Sunday's "Times."
Friedman's column is about the failure of the Arab Spring. You remember the Arab Spring, don'tcha. It was, to the Williamsburg cognoscenti, proof of the great power of Twitter and Facebook. It was a revolution spread by tweets, likes and posts.
Friedman writes: "To be sure, Facebook, Twitter and blogging are truly revolutionary tools of communication and expression that have brought so many new and compelling voices to light. At their best, they’re changing the nature of political communication and news. But, at their worst, they can become addictive substitutes for real action. How often have you heard lately: “Oh, I tweeted about that.” Or “I posted that on my Facebook page.” Really? In most cases, that’s about as impactful as firing a mortar into the Milky Way galaxy. Unless you get out of Facebook and into someone’s face, you really have not acted. And, as Syria’s vicious regime is also reminding us: “bang-bang” beats “tweet-tweet” every day of the week."
Friedman's view is something few marketers have understood--though it was one of those adages people of my generation certainly grew up with. Talk (as in tweets, posts, likes) is cheap.
When you actually have to do something, that's where the rubber meets the road.
P.S. My guess is Facebook all but disappears by 2017.