Thursday, August 19, 2010

Caren Explains Facebook Places and the New Power Play

If you don't compulsively check your tweets or tech news, you might have missed today's announcement about
Facebook Places, which will allow you to "check in" to venues (like restaurants, airports and stores) and find friends who "happen to be at the same place at the same time."

Though similar services (like Foursquare and Gowalla) already exist for mobile phones, Facebook's reach and installed base of mobile users makes this a game changer. So does its large and established advertising platform, which should allow businesses to quickly send coupons, deals and messaging to customers.

It also means that over-sharing is only going to get worse (and more socially acceptable).

There are a handful of glaring concerns about Facebook Places: locational privacy, for one. Protection is another -- of data, identity and property (Please Rob Me anyone?). And the poor Hollywood screenwriters! Plots reliant on romantic, serendipitous run-ins will soon seem even less realistic!

Yet my biggest concern? Being constantly connected.

Yes, it's at geolocating times like this that I am reminded of a brilliant piece that Tom Chiarella wrote for Esquire in 2007. He's on to something, kids, now more than ever...

"The New Power Play."

By Tom Chiarella


There's this guy. Let's call him Bill. He's a star. He's bankable. And you can't get to him. Bill has no agent. He has no publicist. No office. You call a number, leave a message, and, if he's interested, he'll call you back. Otherwise, the answer is no.

This is the way of the future....

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