Billy Gates Quits Facebook

Working on Labor Day means that you see the weirdest stories in the elevator. I google’d this and got the article below.

.::Via -> The WSJ by Ben Worthen

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has stopped using the Web site Facebook, the most damning indictment in a week full of bad press for social-networking technology.

Social-networking Web sites, which help people share and find information about one another, were supposed to change the way people use the Internet and the way we work. But lately, all wea€™re hearing about are the problems.

Workers who created profiles on Facebook are horrified to find out they cana€™t be erased, the New York Times reports. Even if you deactivate your account, Facebook still keeps a copy of all the information you ever posted. And, the Times reports, ita€™s still possible to contact people through deleted Facebook pages.

And ita€™s not just older worker who realize theya€™ve inadvertently given colleagues insight into their private lives that are upset: The MySpace generation is getting sick of MySpace, too, according to MSNBC. Theya€™re turned off by too much advertising on social-networking sites. Thata€™s one reason the amount of time the average person spends on a social-networking site has dropped 14% over the last four months, according to Internet research company comScore.

If that werena€™t enough, Computerworld recently regurgitated a handful of reasons why the sites arena€™t appropriate for the workplace. The highlights: They use up too much bandwidth; they cause employees to waste time; and therea€™s a chance that someone will disclose sensitive information.

None of those reasons caused Bill Gates to abandon his Facebook account, however. His problem is excessive celebrity. After Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook last year, Gates spent 30 minutes a day on the social-networking site, the Sun reports. a€oeBut he signed off after getting more than 8,000 friend requests a day, and spotted weird fan sites about him,a€A says the Sun, citing an unnamed colleague. The article linked above says he deleted the account. A Microsoft spokesperson tells us that Gates hasna€™t deleted it, but that he has stopped using it because he was inundated with friend requests. Not that deleting the account would have done any good.

I’m not sure I believe any of this. I think the real reason is that Mr. Gates became embroiled in a status war with Steve Jobs. "Steve is… I don’t care what you say, MacBook Air is sexy" was quickly countered by "Bill Gates is buying iPhones and installing Linux." (Steve still doesn’t realize you can erase the ‘is.’) The camel’s back was broken when mutual friend, The Economy, changed its relationship status to "it’s complicated with… the price of gas."

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Posted: September 1st, 2008
at 9:03am by Black Ock


Categories: computers,too good to be true,web,business

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