Daily Archives: April 24, 2009

Richard Waters

Why don’t businesses let their customers vote on their key decisions more often?

That’s the question to bear in mind when you consider Facebook’s experiment with “democracy.” The company is today heralding the outcome of its decision to give customers a vote on its privacy policies (this is our earlier coverage of the issue.)

But the fact that a company feels it needs to hold a vote among its customers raises troubling questions. 

  • The economic slump brought another unwelcome first for the tech industry: Microsoft reported the first year-on-year revenue decline in its 34-year history. The news came a week after Google disclosed its first-ever sequential quarterly revenue decline, itself an important turning point for a company whose stellar growth overshadowed internet rivals for much of this decade. At least Apple has managed to avoid joining this unenviable list: the iPod dodged a widely-expected sales decline, the first in its eight-year history, thanks to strong demand for the touch.
  • Time to bury another relic of the dotcom boom: Yahoo said it was closing GeoCities (though it didn’t explain why putting paid to the struggling web hosting service had required what it described as “careful consideration”.) It paid $3bn for the faded star a decade ago.