As part of a controversial expansion of Facebook, the social networking site has created “Community Pages” for many popular people and brands. These socially-networked Wikipedia-style pages have been created for a number of publishing figures, including Stephen King and Kathryn Stockett. Out of the “big six” publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon and Schuster all have Community Pages.
The new pages are “owned collectively by the community connected to it,” according to Facebook. Currently the pages include aggregated Facebook posts about the author or brand, a Wikipedia entry, and an open invitation to help curate the page at some point in the future.
What do you think? Some users worry that these new pages will affect the Facebook footprint of celebrities and brands. Here’s an AllFacebook post about the controversy: “One of the brands most celebrated for its engagement on Facebook is Coca-Cola, whose official Fan Page is Liked by more than 5 million Facebook users. One would expect that Facebook would not wish to give the bottled beverage giant trouble without good reason. But with the introduction of Community Pages, if one searches for ‘coca-cola’ or ‘coca-cola company’ or variants without the hyphen, one can now find a number of different Pages that did not previously exist and which have the effect of diluting Coca-Cola’s brand.”
Here’s more from Facebook’s page about the program: “On each Community Page, you’ll be able to learn more about a topic or an experience–whether it’s cooking or learning a new language–and see what your friends and others in the Facebook community are saying about this topic. Community Pages are still in beta, but our long-term goal is to make them the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic. We’re starting by showing Wikipedia information, but we’re also looking for people who are passionate about any of these topics to sign up to contribute to the Page. We’ll let you know when we’re ready for your help.”