October 22, 2011

Friedman's #socialmedia is flat

Groupon and Zynga are "social media"? In the mind of Teapot Tommy Friedman, yes. (Probably in the mind of David Brooks and some of his boboes, too, but he didn't co-write the column.)

In the real world the rest of us inhabit, Mr. My Internet is Flat, Zynga is about online games, with access/links that can be found on Facebook ... and other sites. Groupon isn't media at all, except to the degree ads are considered part of media, and other than Groupon coupons being valuable or not depending on other users, there's nothing social about it.

That said, Teapot Tommy's real inaccuracies are in economics. Groupon has yet to make a dime; both it and Zynga, IIRC, have backed off IPOs. More on how "problematic" Groupon is, is here:
Groupon faces concerns about the viability of its daily deals business model. The novelty of online coupons is wearing off. Some merchants are complaining that they are losing money — and customers— on the deals. And competitors are swarming the marketplace.
"Groupon is a disaster," says Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester Research analyst. "It's a shill that's going to be exposed pretty soon."
I think that sums it up pretty well.

Teapot then gets cloud computing all wrong:
The latest phase in the I.T. revolution is being driven (in part) by ... “the cloud” — those enormous server farms that hold and constantly update thousands of software applications, which are then downloaded (as if from a cloud) by users on their smartphones, making them into incredibly powerful devices that can perform myriad tasks.
Nooo, that's not quite what "the cloud" is.

With that in mind, and ignoring Zynga's and Groupon's not-so-sterling economic performance, it's no wonder Friedman can write a Jeff Jarvis-like paean to speculation.

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