Facebook is the East India Company
Just a thought, that Facebook has some similarities with the East India Company. The East India Company, a private company, functioned as a soverign nation, able to print its own money, employ a standing army and make territorial acquisitions. Backed by England, it was chartered to move into the new spaces (not so new for people already living there of course - hey, want some opium?)
The new spaces in recent years are not physical but informational.
Physical space is made up of information flow. I can't be bothered to explain why but it is.
Now we have information technology, we are able to create new spaces. It is as if, rather than sailing to new countries to conquer and exploit them, we now create new spaces, to conquer and exploit them.
Facebook is the new East India Company. Its territory is made up of information provided by us. It is an information-scape that it rules and exploits, and shapes, and remakes.
It is like the East India Company because it is a private company in charge of a territory, like a government.
It's no wonder various governments have attempted to regulate Facebook's privacy system. Information is space, so this is about territorial authority.
Bubbles of new space are forming: as information flow cascades, with companies talking 'big data' and putting that information in better formation (making meaning from it), as collaboration and collective intelligence moves to new orders of magnitude, and as web startups, with unpredictable success, get traction.
These are new geometries. New lands. With them come East India Companies, sovereign in their spaces.
Boldly go where no one has gone before...