Another brilliant mind that thinks Facebook is the new AOL:
Speaking at an event organised by the Guardian, [Vint] Cerf said that Facebook was at risk of following the path of companies such as AOL, whose original business model became irrelevant, or being rendered obsolete like proprietary networking systems once invented by the likes of IBM.
Amongst US technologists, comparing Facebook to the old AOL or outdated IBM technology is a way of trying to argue by analogy that the wildly successful social network has no long term future - and comes in the week when Google is desperately trying to break Facebook’s dominance with the launch of its own Google+.
Cerf first noted that AOL began in the 1980s as “a walled garden model” that “persisted for quite a while until the users of AOL forced it to be made accessible to the internet” - and that IBM persisted with “proprietary networking protocols” and was only forced to adopt internet technology for its computers because “users didn’t want to be locked in” to one brand of hardware.
He went onto to say that “Facebook was becoming that way” as “a closed walled garden” and that its problem was that the “ability to connect to people inside the walled garden” would be overwhelmed by “a desire to interconnect” to other social networks or websites.
AOL was forced into a painful business transition that has gradually seen the company migrate from providing its own version of the internet into an online publisher, while the IBM technology he described no longer exists. Facebook, however, remains on a rapid growth path with its revenues doubling to $1.6bn in the first half of this year.
Facebook’s painful business transition will come with the rise of social operating systems, starting in 2012.