Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hasbro seeks to make Facebook Irrelevant

Oh, the woe. About 2 weeks ago it was announced that Hasbro has sent a cease and desist order to the makers of Scrabulous, the online Flash generated version of Scrabble - which was not created with the permission of Hasbro. Sadly I just learned of this yesterday... so much for the pace at which information can be exchanged on "the Internets." Hasbro has once again shown a narrowness of vision since the Scrabulous website (and application in Facebook) can do little more than increase the interest in the board game for a newer, younger generation of Scrabble players, thus increasing sales for Hasbro.

What is worse, for someone like me, eliminating Scrabulous will virtually make Facebook irrelevant. At one point in time, when I was teaching 200 students a semester, Facebook was a marvelous tool to match a name to a face after receiving an e-mail from a student. Of course, that had two caveats: 1) the student was on Facebook, 2) the student posted a photo that was relative to his or her likeness (and not of a vista or of Carrie Bradshaw). Since I have elected to only teach one course at one university this semester (instead of five between three), practically all I do on Facebook is play Scrabulous.

I currently have membership in 4 or 5 social networking communities, and for no other reason than "I thought it was a good idea at the time." Basically, those sites contain the identity of my former self (some with viewable resumes over 12 months old!). Perhaps if my name was not so common I would care more about those forgotten usernames and passwords and update whatever I have on LinkIn and Doostang. For now, I'm not too concerned. But the death of Scrabulous will inevitably make my Facebook account just as irrelevant. I guess I'll have to hold more dinner parties and break out the Scrabble board to get my fix. Hasbro and Safeway must be in cahoots.

No comments: