Marc Canter, who once upon a time founded the multimedia-software company Macromedia, but now largely gets attention mostly for napping through conferences, has blogged an open letter to Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Canter misspells his name as "Zukerberg" and refers to him repeatedly as "dude," because that's apparently Canter's notion of the way these kids talk today. That would be enough reason, in our book, for "Zukerberg" to ignore him. But no, it gets worse. Canter wants "Zukerberg" to "do the right thing." By "do the right thing," Canter means, of course, "give away your business."
You see, in today's Silicon Valley, it's not enough to build a successful business. In fact, if you have any chance of being successful, the church of open standards will demand you bow down before their altar and tithe your users to them.
Canter, in short, wants Zuckerberg to join the kibbutz and sing a round of "Kumbaya" while holding hands. Not to mention solving all the industry's "problems" — the chief problem, apparently, being that most social networks aren't nearly as successful as Facebook, and Canter feels Zuckerberg owes them a helping hand. Never mind what "opening" Facebook might mean for its users (one word: spam).
Oh, and Canter's screed certainly wouldn't have anything to do with Canter's own also-ran social network, PeopleAggregator, which has attracted few users despite "doing the right thing." The right thing, apparently, being "failing." Sure. Canter can't replicate the success of Facebook, and he can't make the marketplace care about his values. But he can buoy his reputation as a pundit by bullying Facebook. Welcome to the kibbutz. There sure is a lot of manure on these fields, isn't there?