Facebook turns 5

February 4, 2009

Today CNN’s Simon Hooper discussed Facebook’s 5th birthday.  Facebook has become such a part of our every day vernacular sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what we did without it (sort of like cell phones). I’d argue that Mr. Hooper’s article is missing something.  The main point of discussion is if Facebook can survive. I say yes. He covers numerous points that are worth discussing when it comes to a juggernaut like Facebook for sure.  But debating whether or not Facebook can generate the ad revenue that MySpace.com is generating I think may be irrelevant.

Let me explain why Facebook will survive and why non of the points Mr. Hopper touched on are the reasons why: 2759246811_651081c17b_m

I challenge Hooper to take a closer look at the bigger picture.  Guys like Zuckerberg, while a celebrity in his own right and of course an excessively successful person is changing the internet for the better.  Places like Facebook and Craigslist aren’t allowing Madison Avenue to dictate the content, or development of their sites.  They’re churning out great content – or in this case great tools so that a user can have the best experience when connecting with former classmates, friends etc.

“The culture of the Internet has also changed pretty dramatically over the past five years. Before, most people wouldn’t consider sharing their real identities online,” Zuckerberg said. “But Facebook has offered a safe and trusted environment for people to interact online, which has made millions of people comfortable expressing more about themselves.”

What I find most fascinating about Facebook isn’t the money making potential – although I’ll admit, I wouldn’t turn down a job with Mr. Zuckerberg. What fascinates me is the way we (as a society) are using this tool to communicate. 

It’s the first time the internet is delivering on its promise of “bringing us together”.  

My experience with Facebook has been nothing short of a perfect Brand Experience rivaled only by Google.  Every time I log into my account I come across a new friend or colleague I’ve lost touch with.  I love reading my friends statuses. I love learning about my friends in even greater detail than I had previously known, and I love that I can share with them the joy of being a new father without being obtrusive.  We live in a world that moves at the speed of light, and Facebook is my only outlet to stoke the formerly dwindling embers of friendships that I’ve valued for years. I thank Facebook for living up to its potential.  I praise them for not becoming the sexually charged bombast of Myspace.com.  I admire them for asking my opinion when they serve an (albeit relatively unobtrusive ad).

Facebook is 5, will it survive?….yep.

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The best thing about Facebook – Reconnecting with old friends

September 27, 2008

Something occurred to me today (after connecting with yet another high school classmate).

The best thing about Facebook is reconnecting with old friends. Facebook has been adopted by such a broad audience, and it accomplishes what sites like Reunion.com and classmates.com fail to do. Instead of reaching out to your old High School classmates via classmates.com – we run into them because Facebook.com provides such an engaging platform. I’ve been able to reconnect with more people from Mahopac High School in the past 3 months than in the years since I graduated (1993).
Facebook, Myspace, and other social networks have changed the game. Instead of luring a user in by the prospect of one specific thing (reconnecting with classmates), these social platforms offer you an opportunity to interact on such a more engaging – fun way – who knows if we even need classmates.com, or reunion.com anymore? How many of us tried to sign up on one of these sites, excited by the idea of reconnecting, only to be turned off after getting only so far in the process before we had to pony up some cash to continue.

Take note classmates, and reunion.com – your days are numbered.