Next comes perpetual and predictable social utility services, and that assumes homesteading more of your online data.
This includes things like your social connections, your conversational threads and any social media content shared in the public cloud.
Looked at with intellectual honesty, you would have to agree that there is a big "snail trail" that you create when you participate in social networks that is natively (naturally) interlinked with Topics and Users.
If you quit The Community, it just isn’t reasonable to assume that the substrate that you create and all of the interconnects (jointly forged with others) should magically disappear.
To build contexts, share content and create conversational ties, you need a sense of permanence and co-creation "skin in the game."
No less, you want a thriving market of developers committed to bettering your information aggregation, information filtration, player and playback experience.
If in doubt, let me present "Exhibit A," the iPhone 2.0 Platform.
From where I sit (based on experience with iPhone/iPod touch), the more integrated the better, but Facebook has also shown that they understand the importance of robust customization controls, especially where matters of personal privacy are concerned, so I would give them the benefit of the doubt that they understand the big picture.
The Reason for the Heartburn
So what is the big hullabaloo REALLY about? I would argue that the dog of this is a level of unease with the power and prominence that Facebook finds itself holding.
Facebook has made some past missteps, and at times, they can come off as immature and maybe a bit insular in terms of how they present major initiatives fully formed (with seemingly limited user feedback).
At the same time, they’ve earned whatever place they hold in our hearts by delivering material utility that doesn’t have an obvious ceiling or "gotcha" (i.e., they maintain a healthy balance between predictability, customize-ability and extend-ability without sacrificing stability).
Thus, you have to trust that Facebook’s goal isn’t to rip you off or sell your data to the lowest bidder, or you shouldn’t participate. Go where you feel you can better trust.
That said, this should be a fixable wake-up call for Facebook that they need to better establish a better bond with their community. Simply pledge to be open, honest and earnestly engaged.
One final comment. If we are truly honest with ourselves, the real tail of the Facebook TOS dog is that at least part of it was a knee-jerk "human greed" response.
In the abstract, we feel that this is our content. We created that picture, right?
If there’s money to be made by Facebook off of those great baby pics, we should get a few shekels for our contribution.
My take? You just have to get over the fact that when you plug your personal media ingredients into community soup, not only is much of this (but not all) a one-way trip, but you are receiving ample consideration for the contribution.
That isn’t even remotely the same as saying that you are giving away any of your rights to the picture, any more than when Google indexes the images on your web pages . You still own the underlying web site and content, but Google gets to monetize those snail trails and make them searchable for eternity.
We don't begrudge Google that (not yet, at least). We don't begrudge Apple for turning mobile devices into instant teller machines.
Facebook is enabling us to create and cultivate an endless supply of intelligently connected snail trails. Why begrudge them for that?
Epilogue: The story ends happily. Recognizing that perception is reality, Facebook smartly rolls back to the earlier TOS until they figure out how to better explain "Why Now?"
Editorial comment: We are scared of the shadows.