Seems Robert Scoble has been locked out of Facebook after running a Plaxo sync script yesterday. Although it will be interesting to watch this story develop, I think the implications for companies using Facebook is the real story here.
As I wrote last month, I think companies should use existing social networks like Facebook to engage their customers and not create their own walled gardens. We don’t need yet another social network to join and Facebook has some interesting features that make it a good platform for marketing. But they also are a roach motel where your data is concerned, as Scoble’s troubles highlight.
This doesn’t mean that companies should avoid social networks that don’t let you export data, as they are just a medium for interaction and not just a new way to do email (although this seems to be a popular commercial usage from my experience). I’m hoping that most marketers will come to the same conclusion and not change their plans of using Facebook.
I don’t expect to see any long-term negative fall out from Scoble’s situation unless the folks at Facebook don’t do the right thing… given what they have done to date, that seems unlikely. My guess is Robert will pop back up as one of my Facebook friends before the week is out.
Facebook a roach motel? You betcha… but I don’t think it matters.