Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quest for Quality Without A Name

from the aftermath of FriendFeed acquisition

This entry is translated from my Japanese blog(diary) entry やや感傷的なex-日記オヤジの繰言 Maybe too long, and pointless, sorry. But, it is required to describe my thought exactly (diary is used for).


My first impression on the news of friendfeed acquisition by facebook was, "Congrats, Good Exit".

Because I know a bit about exhausting life in start-ups. I've been a programmer of venture software company just for a half a year. But a half a year is enough for me. Money burns down every second, heavy pressure, too tight schedule, anxiety about future... Venture company almost always stuck in the mud of shortage of money to run. For both growing, shrinking, too little money to survive. Even if you have growing/promissing business, it's too hard to maintain cash flow to catch up growth.

So, every venture company would be broken in some sense.
Change itself from slim/beauty deer to fat cash-cow, or, just vanish.
Anyway, stop running is a relief. I thought. -- I had a point of view from inside of start-ups.

But, soon I noticed the "not-welcome" comments from USERs. I don't know claiming users are majority or not, but they are impressive and they are like a flood of voices.
(I just remembered the article on realtime-riot on friendfeed)
If you saw that in real-time-line, it would be overwhelming.

I just wondered, were "Friendfeed is coolest service, but NO ONE USE" true?  But, Look, here so much people crying for help and showing disbelief within friendfeed!

It's not only because coolest toy taken away. I guess. They are serious about something more important. What's that?

So, here is my thought.

Friendfeed is open-architecture. Not only open, they welcome to questions, requirements, and ready to offer rich API. Only a few guys challenged raw API hacking, but even average users (if active), enjoyed making groups, special feeds based on rich API. Little tweaks they made, would become little treasure of themselvs. So, they invest their small hacks into the friendfeed, and made virtual money(value). Like a sort of SECOND-LIFE without 3D avator, and its value is not money, but rich communication/fun.

Once dived into friendfeed and soaked, then you can find out people just like yourself. Even if you are minority in real life, here you have friends. This is common phonomena when the network shrink size of the world. (I've experienced some times. When I made my homepage(Diary) around 1996, its content was very nitch/minor one,, my daily life... But soon, I could found out people like me!)

Thus, in friendfeed, communication made community, and flexible system enforced eco-system of value-creation among users.

But, no one(very few, maybe), recognized that. Anyway, such a recognition itself would help too little in value-creation, might be :-p

Then, the crisis on the basis of community enlightened people. They noticed the existence of community, value of community, and realizing how the system enforced the process of creation.

Sooner or later, system itself would be bored by people, then people abandon the system. Thus, divorce of system/user is inevitable.

So, I'm asking to myself. What happens next? What's the next friendfeed? I don't know. But one thing is certain.
People wouldn't vanish.
They will make another community in the long run.
Linkage among people also survive for long time.
Then, next edge-community may looks drastically changed, but the same face you can find out, I think.
Because, My experience assures.

In Japan, on Sep 15, 1995, a meeting held which named "Second Summer of Web", it's a milestone event in internet users and Web-diary("NIKKI in Japanse, ancient hand-made blog) community in Japan. Since then about 15years, now I can see some in the front of network community "BENKYO-KAI" in Japan.

So. Folks, once you recognized the situation, please be calm down. Still, you think you need to take action, go ahead.
Then, see you again, in another space, another time, at edge of the net.



Witing nn community and creation, I remembered the name Christopher Alexander. And his book on Design Pattern. "A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction". In that book, key phrase "Quality Without A Name(QWAN)" also remembered.
Now I don't have enough time to explain it. But it would be interesting to what corresponds to QWAN in friendfeed system/community, I think.

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