Can't twitter today, so I'll write a slightly controversial blog posting instead...
Contention: Rather like the Titanic after hitting the iceberg, even though it is still buoyant, I believe that the factors are now in place for the slow, steady and painful demise of Facebook.
Evidence submission #1: I'm hardly ever using it. The emails I receive drawing me in there are getting fewer and further between. On the rare occasions I visit, it's just to 'ignore' all the invitations I've received. OK, perhaps I get the odd message in my inbox too. Nothing useful that can't be done through email, twitter or flickr. And because of #3, I actually find myself looking at as few pages as possible, to give them the least possible page impressions. This is a first for me - I'm not normally such a bitter person! And if I feel like this, I'm sure others will too.
Evidence submission #2: My friends are using it less and less. You may find it hard to believe that not all my friends are geeks. Many of them are "normal" people, and therefore IMHO indicative of the average Facebook user. If they're using it less, then I believe that's a trend that taking place elsewhere too. And as many "normal" people look to geeks for guidance on what should be trusted online, perhaps this isn't such a surprising trend.
Evidence submission #3: I haven't read a positive thing about Facebook in the past three months. Just Beacon, Beacon, Beacon. The odd news-piece about how traffic is in decline. And then an apology-by-the-numbers by Zuckerberg. I mean, for heaven's sake. Doesn't he know that grand gestures like this count for nothing? I honestly don't believe he's sorry. He cannot be trusted, people. They don't give a damn about their users.
Conclusion: Of course, unlike the Titanic, this thing will never sink. I guess traffic will just level out and those who see Facebook as just-another-website will continue to use it. And that's the sad thing; those of us who recognised the potential this thing could've had will lament it's demise. If only Zuckerberg hadn't been so damned greedy, he could've had it all. We all could.
Post-script: I wish I could cancel my Facebook account, but I can't for two reasons. First, my area of work demands that I know how Facebook and other similar services work. Second, there is the remote possibility that someone will send me a message through Facebook. Where possible, my replies will come by email.
Positive, life-affirming post to counter balance this one to follow.