Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

What Does Facebook Connect on the iPhone Mean? A Big Web Brain Explains.

charlene-liMaybe it’s because the Web 2.0 bubble has deflated. Or maybe it’s because the remaining Web 2.0 companies have figured out that it’s best not to make try to make noise at the same time everyone else does. But so far, South by Southwest has been blessedly light on rollouts/news/announcements, etc.

Which is probably why Facebook’s presentation on Saturday morning was completely full–there wasn’t much else going on. I didn’t get in myself, but I got the gist: Facebook is rolling out its Facebook Connect network/platform/connecty-thingy to Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone .

But I don’t quite get what that means. I suspect that’s because, as with most other technology rollouts/news/announcements, etc., trying to divine the impact 30 seconds after the fact is pretty pointless. You need to see how this stuff is actually used in real life. That can take days, weeks or months to figure out.

But Charlene Li, who gets paid to tell people what this stuff means, helped me out: It’s an incremental step toward social networks’ inevitable migration to mobile. That was easy!

Li, the former Forrester social network analyst who has hung out her own shingle at the Altimeter Group, didn’t make it into the Facebook event either. But after it was over, we walked into the room where the event had been held and talked about it. Meta!

We also got a brief cameo from an Austin Convention Center employee. If you want to skip that part, head straight to the 45-second mark in the following clip. But we got a giggle out of it, so in it stays.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald