Our trust relationship with Facebook: complicated

Today I, along with a ton of other journalists, met with Facebook and listened to their presentation on the new privacy settings. Afterward I met one-on-one with Mark Zuckerberg and I told him that Facebook still has a trust problem (you can watch that entire video interview here). I like Mark, some people say I’m a shill for Facebook, and that’s OK. I think Facebook is THE most important Silicon Valley company right now and still is. Anyone who disputes that is just not facing reality. Yes, I know Apple just passed Microsoft in market cap, but Facebook is the one that is shaking up my world view more than any other company (and, I’m hearing that inside Apple they are working on a range of things that will use Facebook, so even Apple is thinking hard about what Facebook means to its future customers).

Yes, Facebook largely solved its privacy problems by giving us simpler choices and giving us more control over our info and what we want shared with whom and I think Zuckerberg won over enough of the critics to — at minimum — allow us to move the discourse around Facebook to other issues than just privacy.

But I’m still don’t trust Facebook enough to move my business into it. Will I ever? Yes, probably. But it will take time for me, and you, to trust this company beyond just playing games or poking our friends.

What is holding back my trust:

1. This is a very ambitious company that changes its approach to the world every year or two and doesn’t have a good roadmap of what’s ahead. Even Zuckerberg, in the interview I did with him, admitted he doesn’t know where Facebook is going tomorrow. Some of that is excusable, we are radically changing our entire culture due to a range of new web services, but some just needs a more steady and predictable approach that will come as Facebook grows into a more mature company rather than a rough-and-tumble-run-by-20-year-olds startup.
2. They need a more mature approach toward customer service. People and content are still getting deleted by spam filters which no one understands or can explain to me and there isn’t good place to go to appeal content deletions. This the problem with not having a federated system that runs on our own servers. Facebook has too much control over our digital lives and that power to delete content really freaks me out.

So much has been said about Facebook today that I’ll just shut up now, and let the changes soak in and see where things go from here.

What do you think after watching this interview and the other press reports that came out today?

Oh, and here’s a video of Zuckerberg introducing the new privacy settings this morning to the press (this was 10 minutes of a much longer press conference):


Why can Soluto do what Microsoft can’t? They get rid of Windows frustrations (exclusive first look)

This video is reposted from Rackspace’s building43 site.

When we visited Israel a few weeks ago we kept running into people who would ask “have you seen Soluto yet?”

Luckily we were able to visit them in their Tel Aviv offices and get a good look.

What do they do? They get rid of frustrations on Windows through a combination of awesome technology and crowd-sourcing.

They have a bunch of products in the pipeline, but the first one being released on stage right now at Techcrunch Disrupt conference is a boot manager that gives users control over what loads into memory and dramatically speeds up boot times.

But there’s more, I’ll let you watch the video.

Oh, and remember the company I saw earlier this year, Siri, and my reaction “this will get bought within months.”

I predict the same for Soluto, Microsoft should buy this company and bring its anti-frustration approach to Windows. To understand how good their approach is you’ve gotta watch the video.

Thank you to my producer Rocky Barbanica for the nice editing on this video.

Is Comcast doing to TV what Foursquare is doing to location? Exclusive first look at Tunerfish

Tunerfish is an interesting new service launching right now at Techcrunch Disrupt. Here I sit down with founder John McCrea who tells me about this unique team and shows me what Tunerfish does.

You basically “check into” the TV shows you are watching, which lets your friends know what you are watching. This is cool because it is yet another way to discover new TV shows from your friends and it reduces the friction of sharing. Plus it will keep our Twitter and other streams cleaner of TV chatter (last night during Lost I saw a TON of messages that basically said nothing more than “watching Lost.”)

What do you think?