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November 8th, 2010
06:54 AM ET
November 8th, 2010
05:41 AM ET

Jimmy Wales to Facebook: slow down and listen up

A prediction from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales circa 2007…

"I think MySpace is doomed. I give them about two more years."

Spot on. Wales said that to my pal Etan Horowitz, a digital producer for CNN who used to report for the Orlando Sentinel .

Let’s rewind to year 2007, when MySpace was a social media hottie and not the has-been of today - as depicted in these satirical but largely true Online Communities maps from both 2007 and 2010.

Compare and contrast and… yes, Wales was right.

In the interview Wales added, "I think Facebook is the next Microsoft in both the bad and the good senses. That's an amazing company that is going to do a lot of good and bad things."

Pause. Scratch chin.

So when Jimmy Wales hit Hong Kong in November 2010, I brought up the 2007 interview and asked him if Facebook is doing more good than bad these days.

Wales said, “I would encourage them to go slower in terms of thinking about monetizing the site. There’s no hurry. There’s nobody within a mile of them anymore, certainly MySpace is not a threat to them anymore.”

“So I think they need to think about building a long-lasting brand. Start thinking in terms of the 50 year future, not next quarter… they should go slow. There’s no hurry to monetize the site.”