Social network mavens are saying that the new stuff is really huge for the
Net, and they're right.
The gist is stuff like you can click a big "like" button on someone's post,
maybe a news article or product review. That shows up on all your friends or
followers. When you do that, you're implicitly endorsing what's being said
and that the poster is trustworthy.
"like" is close to being "I endorse" or "I recommend" or "I trust".
(Yes, I'm over-simplifying.)
Should be pretty easy to compile what people, publications, and products are
liked, and that implies what's endorsed, recommended, and ultimately trusted.
This might have major political implications by 2012, maybe now.
Same thing for news media. What you "like" will carry some greater or
lesser weight in your network.
This does confer a lot of power to Facebook; they earn it by being effective
and well-intentioned. They consider the social effects of their actions, and
correct mistakes, pretty much "don't be evil." I feel that's true even if we
question individual actions.
However, things change, and in twenty years, or two hundred years, will
Facebook shareholders be benevolent?
That's why we need to consider what the competition should be, probably from
Google, and need exchange standards for "friend" networks, now.
Jeff Jarvis takes another perspective where a person has more control of their network in Bizarro Identity.
Mike Arrington reflects on the power Facebook is assuming in The Age of Facebook.
Dare Obasanjo articulates the tech around this in a way that really works for me in Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol from a Web Developer’s Perspective.
Please reflect on a term from history class regarding separation of governance powers: checks and balances.