Blogospheric fulminations about Facebook and Beacon are beginning to die down. Here’s the comment I left on Tom Foremski’s MSFT: Setting Up Facebook For Failure? post:
Lots of businesses are able to balance advertising and profitability targets with consumer satisfaction that is generated by trust and confidence in commercially sold products. You can’t buy trust and confidence, you earn trust and confidence. Facebook needs to figure out a way to balance the need to make money with maintaining the trust and confidence of its customers. Just because they’ve stumbled with Beacon’s implementation doesn’t mean they are doomed.
Where I would start at Facebook is to be completely open and honest about what they are doing so that people can really decide whether or not to opt into any particular data sharing schemes. Let’s face it; a lot of people (including quite a few school kids) are clueless when it comes to how network based sharing of data works. Taking advantage of that ignorance is bad; doing something openly and honestly to combat that ignorance would be good.