Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don't be the demented lost cause


Subject: Removing scrabulous from Facebook

Hello -

I am concerned about your request that Facebook remove the Scrabble-like application Scrabulous from its site. I think you're entirely within your rights to make this request, but I think it's a terrible idea. You have already benefited from the situation: Scrabble has gained in popularity because of Scrabulous. With licensing and partnership, you could do much better by capitalizing on the current situation than trying to shut it down.

If you are considering hosting your own online Scrabble site, do not expect the same level of use as Scrabulous gets. People like Scrabble, but it's a notoriously long and slow game. Putting it in the context of Facebook is what makes it accessible. People don't need to convince friends to sign up for a new site. They can play asynchronously without forgetting about the game, because they're coming to the site for other reasons as well.

Remember too that Facebook is a social networking site: it's entire purpose is shared information. There are 10,000 people in various "Save Scrabulous" groups. You must act quickly to correct this mistake. I suggest you consider the existing benefits, devise new ways to capitalize on the situation, and change your position. By requesting the removal of Scrabulous from Facebook, you've positioned yourselves as the out-of-touch creaky old-guard. You now must pick between two roles: the old-fashioned but ultimately rational uncle or the demented lost cause.

Good luck,

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