Dave Winer, the “proto-blogger” and creator of the RSS news feed system, says that he basically agrees with the criticism of Facebook by the New York Times and other news publishers, but he believes also that their bias is disingenuous, as long as they cannot suggest alternatives.
“I would love to see a world where we could use these great tools without giving up anything. We knew how to make that and it existed before FB, but they made it easier and figured out how to give it away free, and people didn’t care to know about the cost…
Anyway — I’ve decided this isn’t my battle. I’m going to get the benefit, and not worry about the cost. Nothing I can do about it anyway. ;-)”
I give considerable weight to his opinion, as a pioneer developer of the web, as a person who doesn’t necessarily need Facebook to get himself heard, and as a progressive liberal who truly understands the costs. But for me, it’s something like my vegetarianism. My real reason for avoiding Facebook is that I can’t quite overcome the disgust. But as with my dietary preference, it’s a personal thing, and perhaps I shouldn’t try to get others to follow me.