I Should Have Listened to Brad Feld!

Facebook launched it’s new services at f8 this week. The new service allows you to share the things you like and see on other websites with your Facebook friends. The service is designed to spread Facebook’s tentacles across the web. I think this ideas has merit. There are a few challenges and a few flaws, one being the fact that many of us have different social graphs, and a one size fits all doesn’t work. Fred Wilson talks about this challenge in his post today.

I am a huge fan of sharing and promotion sites. Sharing is at the root of promotion, so I combine the two. I see Twitter and Facebook being as much about promotion as they are about sharing.

About 3 years ago I started a sharing and promotion social networking company called cre8Buzz. I’ve talked about here before. The cool part of the site was everything users uploaded was ranked and rated based on passive and active voting. Every picture, video, blog post, music file and user profile was ranked and rated by category. The idea was the best and most relevant content based on user preference would be high-lighted and easily shared with others. Inspite of it’s demise, I am still bullish it was a great concept. Too bad I butchered the exectution.

One of the places I butchered the execution was in its closed nature. We only rated and captured media and data our users uploaded.

In my “pitch” to Brad Feld of the Foundry Group, he asked me why we were only focusing on the content users uploaded? Why weren’t we rating and ranking the content across the web? He said too many sites were already capturing the data; YouTube, Facebook, Myspace etc. Brad suggested it was too big a barrier to ask people to do it again. He was right!

cre8Buzz had some good momentum early. Our value proposition was solid. The rankings created tremendous competition. The ratings and rankings got great exposure for people, their blogs and cool media. Regardless of the traction, we were too tied down and struggled to keep the growth going.

Facebook just launched a close version of what Brad suggested cre8Buzz do. We were well positioned to do what Facebook is doing. We could have done it earlier and better.

I should have listened to Brad.

I love the concept of sharing. Sharing is at the core of human nature. Society, communities and individuals ALL win when information is frictionless and moves through the network quickly. Facebook’s move here is a good one. It increases the value of collective data and information. It’s another vehicle to ensure the best stuff is found and shared and that’s good for everybody.

Well, except cre8Buzz, because I was too starry eyed with my own ideas to hear what Brad was saying. If I had been more perceptive, maybe Facebook would have just purchased cre8Buzz to roll out this new feature.

As a friend of my always says – If, “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts . . . everyday would be Christmas.