Facebook, Scrabble, and the Limits of Free
Like many people (over 400 million), Iâm on Facebook on a regular basis. Like a smaller number of people, I enjoy playing Scrabble on the site. I also enjoyed (not the past tense here) receiving notifications that it was my turn to play a game. Strike that: games. Plural. I suspect that most people liked having Facebook âpushâ notifications to them, as opposed to their having to manually pull them every so often. For some reason, however, recently Facebook decided to remove this feature.
This upset many Scrabble players on the site. If you think that weâre not a loyal/borderline psychotic group, then check out Word Wars, an amazing documentary about (you guessed it) Scrabble. Letâs just say that many of us have, er, moderation issues.
This got me thinking: Do I have a right to complain? I pay absolutely nothing to Facebook and spend a great deal of time on the site. I get so much out of it but give so little. Iâm sure that I have some rights related to privacy and security, but what about a feature on a game for which I am not being charged? Do I have any ârightsâ?
By way of contrast, I pay Comcast well over $100/month…
Phil Simon is a recognized technology authority. He is the award-winning author of eight management books, most recentlyAnalytics: The Agile Way. He <consults organizations on matters related to communications, strategy, data, and technology. His contributions have been featured on The Harvard Business Review, CNN, The New York Times, Fox News, and many other sites. In the fall of 2016, he joined the faculty at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.
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