Facebook has an ark for news, and you and I aren’t on it

Facebook is starting a new distribution pipeline next week, an app that carries news content, and unless you’re one of the big media companies they invited to be part of it, you don’t get to put stories into that pipe.

No one knows how it will go. Sometimes big companies make moves like this and they go nowhere. They start something new and proprietary to replace something open to all, and the open platform proves overwhelming, and nothing changes.

But I have a feeling this is not one of those times.

Yesterday I had an idea that I wanted to get out there. Not uncommon, my blog is filled with them, but this one I put in full text on Facebook and on my blog. It had relatively big impact in the Facebook version. Not many people read it on my blog.

But even that’s not going to be good enough starting next week because there will be a second more elite tier.

So I’ve come to the conclusion, that most of you must come to as well, that unless Facebook decides to let me in, I have to make people come read me on my site. At least the big publishers get to make a choice. You and I have not even been offered the choice.

BTW, if they do let me in, I’m going. I’m not taking one for the team. Done it too many times and learned I’m always the only one.

They say they plan to open it up, but we know that plans can change. If a company says they will be generous in the future, that’s worth something, but not very much. You can’t get a bank loan based on it, or probably even an angel investment.

We’re in a prisoner’s dilemma. There are a lot more of us outside than in. We’re better writers, and funnier, and have more friends. But unless we hang together, as Ben Franklin said, we are sure to hang separately. This is also a common feature of the tech industry. We all feel we’re the ones who will get the deal, and we bet accordingly. For most of us it’s a losing bet.

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