If you're a Facebook user, then you are probably aware by now that it's undergone an upgrade over the past couple of weeks.
I use Facebook and the changes seem pretty minor to me. This is not so to some two million users who joined protest groups within the network clamoring for the days of old. You know, last month!
I will say this; this latest Facelift (pun intended!) is feeling Microsoft-esque to me. It crashes constantly now. In fact, one more crash and I'll start calling it Vistabook. But I digress...
Now, let's go back to the two million users who are having a coniption over the location of the applications button. Facebook has heard your cries and is now promising to incorporate changes from your feedback over the next several weeks.
Yes, two million people is quite a garden party; until you consider what a small fraction that is of the 175 million total FB users.
Did Facebook do the right thing?
What about the silent majority (to use an old Nixon term)?
I think social networks should be careful about how they react to customer feedback.
I'd like to point out that there are just under half a million Facebook users who belong to the "people who always have to spell their name for other people" group. I know! I'm one of them. I can tell you that when I joined I put about half a second of thought utilizing about three brain cells when I hit the join button.
Once upon a time when you had a gripe, you had to really make an effort to bellyache to the powers that be. You had to be mad enough to write a letter and invest in a stamp, not to mention look up the address of the makers of Captain Crunch cereal, your state representative or editor of your local newspaper depending on the issue.
Now, you just click a button. Two million people on Facebook clicking a button for grins and giggles isn't exactly the March on Washington (which was only 250,000 people, but a zillion times more significant).
And why is that?
Because, it's not the sheer number of complainers that matter. It's the sheer number of people who cared enough to make an effort to complain. Big difference!
Social networking, e-mail, Twitter, etc. are great communication tools. When it comes to feedback, perhaps they are too good. With such easy, instantaneous feedback, how can companies today separate real feedback from knee-jerk dreck?
Just a question.
Last updated: Mar 27, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio