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Summary:

With Facebook’s IPO scheduled for later this week, we decided to poll GigaOM readers and other technology watchers on the company’s longer-term prospects. So put the immediate future out of your mind, and think about how Facebook might evolve in the next 2 to 5 years.

Mark Zuckerberg
photo: Background: Shutterstock/Thomas Pajot & Zuckerberg: Jason McELweenie/Flickr

With Facebook’s IPO scheduled for later this week, we decided to poll GigaOM readers and other technology watchers on the company’s longer-term prospects. So put the immediate future out of your mind, and think about how Facebook might evolve in the next 2 to 5 years.

  1. SEWER.

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  2. John Freeman Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    This Friday, Facebook will have its intial public offering on Nasdaq at an expected valuation of 100 billion US dollars. About 10 people will become billionaires, including founder Mark Zuckerburg, and hundreds and possibly more than a thousand people will become millionaires.

    These are mostly wall street banks, silicon valley investors and early employees of Facebook. They have all worked very hard and surely deserve to be rewarded. Some of the value of Facebook comes from innovations in software and social networking concepts. But the real value comes from Facebook users like you and me, from your data. More specifically, the value comes from the centralized database of information that Facebook has collected from 1 billion users, including email addresses, phone numbers, physical and internet addresses, photos, posts, messages and most importantly the interactions among you and your Facebook friends.

    I, like most Facebook users, have found many positive uses for Facebook. These reasons are different for everyone, but for me thay all stem from interacting with my friends. But, as more and more people use Facebook, and as more and more actions and information become centralized with Facebook, I am becoming concerned. I am concerned about the growing power of Facebook contrasted with the lack of respect for users, in pursuit of revenues and power.

    Facebook is not the only way to keep in touch with friends. There is email, phone calls, meeting in person, and old fashioned letters.

    Do you use Facebook or is Facebook using you?
    Do you have control over your Facebook use or does Facebook control you? Does it control all of us? Does it control the world?
    To answer this question, I propose “Facebook Free Day”.
    On Facebook Free Day, I encourage you to do any or all of the following:
    1. Update your status to “I am taking a temporary break from Facebook in support of Facebook Free Day”
    2. Deactivate your account temporarily
    3. Do not log in.

    I propose that to do this begining at 11.59 PM California time on Wednesday, May 16. That the share price of Facebook will be set on May 17 might have something to do with this. But I urge you to start earlier and keep it going for as long as you can.

    Or you can choose to ignore Facebook Free Day. If you are satisfied with the way Facebook works and the way it treats you, your privacy and your data, you should continue to use it as you have been.

    Then we will have our answer: We can live our lives without Facebook, or we cannot live even one day without Facebook and it controls our lives already – with more to come in the future as the internet grows even more pervasive in our lives.

    There are risks. Facebook may retaliate against you personally or against all users by changing its policies, as it has been known to do in the past.
    But if you are willing to face the risks, send this message to 1 or 2 “friends” and encourage them to vote as they choose. Post it on forums or on Facebook itself.

    Send a message to Facebook on Facebook Free Day
    - A Concerned Facebook User
    May 15, 2012

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