Another excellent article from Ben Thompson at Stratechery. But couldn’t help but notice his comment “Everyone loves to mock Paul Krugman’s 1998 contention about the limited economic impact of the Internet:”
The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in “Metcalfe’s law” – which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants – becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other!
I think there is nothing to mock – and Krugman was spot on. People generally do have nothing to say to each other. Check out most of the pages on Facebook – banality and ‘check out this’ tends to be the order of the day. True – Ben goes on to say
Was Krugman wrong because he didn’t appreciate the relative worth people put on what folks in their network wanted to say, or because he didn’t appreciate that people in their network may not have much to say but a wealth of information to share?
… so he does recognize that really what is going on is sharing – and amplification … rarely interesting conversation (I set the FB group world aside on this) is rare.
So is Facebook destined to simply become a mass media amplification system ?