Wired magazine has an interesting take on Facebook’s repetitional beating when they decided they could exploit the structure of journalism while not having to worry about their reputation.
That was an attitude that was doomed to fail.
You cannot hire a few reporters from a collapsing industry to run the show, thinking that’s enough. You can’t just hire a bunch of j-school grads on the cheap, and think the theories they learned will be able to go up against grifters and predators who eat university grads for breakfast.
It was more than obvious that Facebook couldn’t handle news. It was never built for it. It was a vanity site for university students in order for them to be able to network with each other after they graduate and have to bug each other to get a job when the current gig runs dry. It’s about snarky philosopher king’s showing their friends what they are eating, where they are vacationing, and what concerts and parties they are attending.
It allows people to feel like a celebrity. It transferred well to other people who want to show off their tattoos and vanity projects. It is geared to the middle-class, and aesthetically more sophisticated and less creepy to what they could do by themselves on the Movable Type, Angelfire, or Blogger sites.
That’s not the structure or mindset to be a publisher of vanity-free information.
Journalism is not about feel-good pandering. It is not me-centric. It is not a safe haven where your friends like your every thought.
You do not have the structure. You need mavericks, rebels, and visionary veterans who know the tricks, and have ideas, but even if they do, Facebook is not about reality or accuracy.
It’s abut indulging fantasy, not truths.
You cannot just hire a few people who can write. The writing is the least of it. The talking in front of a camera or microphone is the least of it.
Journalism didn’t collapse because it was doing fine. It collapsed because there were too many problems that were never properly acknowledged, let alone addressed.
So you bring over an infected mindset, and unleash it on to your own platform? It is recipe for disaster.
Facebook had no idea what they were doing. These were obvious oversights, but the problem was they recruited the wrong people on the wrong platform with wrong assumptions and a wrong vision and plan.
Facebook had success because they were at the right place at the right time with the right hook.
They had no experience tackling the old, sick, and deluded demon called journalism.
The Wired piece is very long, and rambling, and it misses the obvious, but that Facebook entered a lair without a map or hazmat suit was an obvious point they do see.