I find myself unable to avoid writing about the floatation. So here it is.
I've got a pretty good record of predicting what's going to happen, and a poor record of predicting when it's going to happen. But the writing is clearly on the wall now for facebook. What I don't know is how the bubble will burst - with a sudden pop, or a slow deflation like a leaky football (or Sven Göran Eriksson). Teenagers are already deserting facebook, not over privacy or any of the grown up reasons we would like them to, but mostly because they're bored and are moving on. And when facebook is forced to make a dumb move by its investors, then it will finally be game over. How do I know this? Because I talk to teenagers, online and offline. Unlike universities, which talk at teenagers, especially online. Which is particularly dumb when you're trying to persuade them to sign up to your expensive fee structure. So if you're trying to recruit, what do you do? Pay attention to Google, semantic search has changed the game:
Universities will say "We know how to do Google". But they don't, not any more, just like they didn't really know how to do facebook. Socially driven semantic search is a hard thing for an institution to get its head around. Maybe impossible.
And if you're not into recruitment but just want to hangout where the cool kids are - where do you go then?