The One Lesson The Cloud Needs To Learn From Facebook
People, websites, talk shows, and even doctors discuss more about a Facebook epidemic than they are talking about an obesity epidemic. In fact, the massive amount of time that young people spend checking their status updates is not only the latest Hollywood fad, but also a reflection of the new level of online social interaction that Mark Zuckerberg has managed to create. You don’t need to be a psychology or sociology major to know how he managed to bring together so many people.
What he did was to use the magic behind the first two rules of Fight Club—1. You do not talk about Fight Club; 2. You do not talk about Fight Club—only that he took it one step further: 3. You could not be a part of Fight Club if you did not meet a set of requirements. In this case, it meant that you had to be going to one of the few collages that had access to the network.
It is a simple tactic of making something feel elitist and then slowly and gradually allowing the masses to get in. From there, creating games that take up so much time and setting up prizes that you can brag about to your friends was just the fruit of the latest technology that luckily ripened at the right time.
The cloud too is trying to associate itself with the elite, but they have chosen the big businesses. The cloud providers are trying to make themselves appealing to the small- and medium-sized offices. It is a good play in the sense that they have gone directly for the money; it took almost four years for Facebook to start displaying ads and thus bring in a positive cash flow.
However, most of us try to forget about work when we get home, so most people do not feel the same need to associate with the elite world of the cloud. In fact, a recent survey has shown that one in three people still thinks that the cloud has something to do with the actual clouds in the sky and 54 percent believe that they have never used the cloud although they use DropBox and have read Kindle books.
The truth is that the connection that has been created between the cloud and the tools needed in the business world is the single worst PR blooper that could have been made. Being useful may be a good way to sell in the corporate world, but it is also the best way to make sure that people will lose interest before they even get to finding out what the thing in question is useful to.
So the only way that the cloud can have a chance at a massive uptake is to begin proving that it is trivial and fun. We all love the fact that we can start reading a book on Kindle, sneak in a few pages at work on the desktop computer, and then keep reading it on a smartphone during the commute, but why isn’t anyone telling us how that is the best use for the cloud? We would pick it up from there and start developing our own ways of using the cloud, if only we knew that.
By Luchi Gabriel Manescu
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