I’ve fallen out of love with Facebook as of late, for personal reasons that occurred previous to the Beacon fiasco and are not connected to its privacy issues. At one point I didn’t even log in for over a week! Perhaps that’s why I missed out on all the drama and infringements on personal privacy? That said, I haven’t been able to ignore the blogstorm that’s been brewing for the past two to three weeks due to consumer outrage at the ramifications of the new advertising platform.
After numerous incendiary blog posts and media commentary on the issue, yesterday marked a turning point as we finally saw a personal response to users from the man himself on Facebook’s official blog: founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It was great to see Mark finally addressing the issues through a medium that really speaks to the Facebook community. And then I noticed his painfully obvious lack of involvement in Facebook’s blog…
On the Facebook blog, Mark has only written 4 posts in the past year plus. Yup, that’s right. Just shy of one per quarter. And all but the first post (which describes the change in the social network’s name thefacebook.com to just Facebook, in addition to forward looking thoughts on the future of the site) are reactive responses to negative rumblings from the community.
It makes me uneasy to see that nearly all of Mark’s blog posts have disagreeable associations attached to them. It would be great to see more positive posts that demonstrate his ability to communicate with users via the Facebook blog beyond using it as a personal apology page. Granted, there are a ton of other Facebook employees blogging regularly about exciting new developments in the platform, but Mark is the most publicly visible spokesperson for the company which makes his blogging presence on the site that much more important.
We’ve got to give Mark at least a few Brownie points for attempting to be transparent about Facebook’s problems with the few posts he has written. However, it would be a wise PR move on his part to communicate more frequently about Facebook’s journey as a company. Like it or not, Mark is the most public "face" in Facebook, and given Facebook’s role at the center of the social media spectrum, his active participation in the conversation isn’t just advisable, it’s essential–and not just when a crisis brings the heat.