Should Facebook changes be democratically chosen?

Should Facebook changes be democratically chosen?

Summary: If Facebook uses its new Questions feature to appeal directly to its users, we may see less controversies from privacy to new layouts.

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Do you remember each time Facebook changed the layout, and the ruckus and controversy that it caused - in some cases making the headlines on news bulletins? 

Facebook Questions was relaunched earlier this week to a wider number of users of the social networking site.

However, Facebook may have just enabled its 'democracy feature' to the best part of 600 million users, with the entire site set to have the Questions feature enabled later in the year.

Since its first foray into the wider public, the vast majority of questions have been direct and to the point - the usual stuff as one would expect, from browser and operating system choice, down to which is the better university.

By asking questions of your fellow peers, the idea is to ask serious - and equally mind-numbingly dull and frivolous questions, naturally - from your trusted friendship group.

But instead, this could be one step towards 'governance' of the site. That is, if Facebook uses its own methods and directly from the users themselves.

So far, Facebook has asked "What person in your current or past life have you been most surprised to connect with on Facebook?" as part of its fan page. Already, if this trend continues, the site could well ask users on feedback on features in future in a more direct, to the point and obvious fashion.

One of the major gripes I've had, along with many others of my generation, is the perception of insincere lack of response to feedback from the users to Facebook itself. Though time and energy has clearly gone into major site redesigns and privacy settings updates, many users have been very unhappy with the changes.

It was only earlier today that BNET columnist Steve Tobak argued that major players in the technology and online scene, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo! are not close enough to customers and could face trouble as a result.

Perhaps now Facebook will enact its own feature on itself, to ensure that the site can be democratically moved forward in the right direction - in the direction that the users themselves want to see.

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration, Government, Government US

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6 comments
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  • Free service ... the one who pays the bills ....

    .... should always have the last word.

    Sorry, but when somebody is getting something for "free", they can make suggestions but not decisions. In the end it is the company's money, so they have the right to decide what goes and what doesn't.

    We may not like it ... but that is how the REAL WORLD works.
    wackoae
  • getting on facebook.

    Well working at DISH Network I first used the Google TV and I was hooked. I like the fact, that I can watch TV and face book at the same time. This has awesome Amazon VOD movies as well. Contact DISH Network for more info.
    Joe1DISH
  • RE: Should Facebook changes be democratically chosen?

    Are ZDNet changes democratically chosen?
    bb_apptix
  • The problem with democracy

    The problem with democracy is that people don't always know what they want. Apple has proven this on more then one occassion, creating things that no one was asking for because nobody knew they wanted it (at least not until after they saw it and played with it).

    I'm guilty of this. There have been some Facebook changes that I griped about at first, but that I've come to appreciate over time.
    ParrotHead_FL
  • RE: Should Facebook changes be democratically chosen?

    Look at it this way, if FB is SMART, then they will do what the users want. Otherwise, they will become the next myspace and die off as soon as a new site comes along that does give the people what they want.
    thombone
  • RE: Should Facebook changes be democratically chosen?

    The problem with making something like this democratic is, no real changes will ever be made...the only thing I would see going through in the recent future is a "dislike" button and that's pretty much it. Other than that, the general populace hates change and will vote against nearly every change put out there. I've never once seen a new "feature" or interface change on facebook that hasn't been complained about by millions of people on a new facebook page about it.
    wcecsharp@...