That’s what folks used to say about the Ford Model T: it came in any color you wanted, as long as you wanted black. Consumer sovereignty has come a long way since the 1920’s. Not only can today’s car buyer select exterior and interior colors and features, but each make and model car comes in several different styles. 40 years ago you had two choices when buying a phone, desk or wall mount. Maybe there were a very few colors to pick from. Today dozens of companies produce hundreds of designs. The epic failure of products like Ford’s Edsel, Beta players and New Coke are classic economic 101 lessons demonstrating that the consumer is indeed sovereign and gone are the days that companies can force a product onto the marketplace or tell us what we want.
Unless you’re Facebook.
Here is a screen shot of how the Master’s Table Facebook page looks currently. The design has been basically unchanged since September 2010.
Like it or not, all Facebook pages (not individual user profiles) will convert to the new Facebook Timeline design on March 30. The Master’s Table fb page will appear as so:
And there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it. I briefly considered deleting the page, but everything is connected to Facebook now. I will probably grumble about it under my breath and use it anyway, while my friends that already use Timeline will keep telling me that it looks better and I should want to use it. But I don’t want to use it, and my understanding of consumer sovereignty is that businesses attempt to produce what the consumer wants, and when they fail to do so that company fails. Facebook has somehow became a game changer.
Facebook recently became a publicly traded company. I have high hopes that they will be forced to become a little more responsive to the wishes of their users. I know for an absolute fact that I’m not the only Timeline hater out there. The question becomes how many haters there have to be in order to make a difference. Wordpress users have hundreds (possibly thousands) of design themes to choose from. How is it that Facebook can’t offer two? How can a company born in the information age of the 21st century operate on a business model patterned after 1980’s Soviet Russia?
You may feel, and perhaps rightly so, that this blog is not the place for this rant. In the first place, the Mast Tab fb page is utilized by exactly 40 people at this time, and I wanted them to be aware of the changes that are coming. In the second, this is a free country. You wouldn’t have just read a 500 word essay if you didn’t want to.
This puts it all in perspective: