Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Rant and Rave about Facebook

I have a beef – Grade A. Not to mention the security concerns of Facebook and occasional tech glitches and for the moment addressing merely the surface level of interaction on Facebook, I cannot believe the mundane trivialities with which subscribers assault us. And we call one another friends. After all, I go to the trouble of going online, hit the Facebook button and begin to scroll down the morning’s comments, and every day it’s the same kind of stuff – you could call it crap. (That's Mark Zuckerman, creator of Facebook --->)

It is this type of “friends” information about which I am speaking:
“… Wondering when will my sore finger heal.”
“… Is back from go-carting.”
“… enjoying the day.”
“… washing the dog.”
“… Langley is pleasant today.”
“… Wish I could stop.”
“ …is going roller blading…” and a little later, “just back from roller blading.”

Come on, really? It feels like an intellectual insult. All of us subscribers do it without thinking, but at a more cerebrally reflective moment such as this present one, what is wrong with my head to be engaged in something quite as inane as this?

And then there is the avalanche of e-game results with graphics that fill the screen as each friend who plays an e-game automatically informs us of the cows he’s bought, or the foes she’s vanquished, or the goals scored. I know I can choose to hide the graphics and I do!

What I value is the networking feature that graces my daily life with contacts with ‘friends’ from the past and in different geographical locations whom I otherwise would not even think about or with whom I had lost contact. That is the chief fascination and benefit. And perhaps that is what this is all about. It's like being neighbours and talking over the fence or out on the street about nothing much - just life. I know that Facebook can have large business and marketing value as well. Photo and event sharing is a great feature. Facebook Developer Platform provides for an infinite number of marketing and data collection possibilities. With the new Facebook Ads platform, you can reach a niche audience with relevant and highly-targeted ads and optimize your site with onsite analytics. The fastest growing demographic for users is those 25 years old and older.

From a technical standpoint, the technologies, networking tools, and web applications built into it are incredibly intuitive and advanced. Facebook’s photo sharing application is the most widely used one on the Web. Probably the coolest thing about Facebook is that it is a platform on which others can build applications.

So the social networking ingredient that underlies this communication venue I appreciate and thus endeth my rant and rave for today.

You can see Zuckerman talk about this at a developers conference. But it's dated, it speak about 24 million users when today it's 57 million. 10% of Canada's population is signed up.

Oh yes, “Ron Unruh is still sitting in my short PJs”.
Later - "Ron Unruh is going to take a shower."

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