Let’s face it

31 May

I must have registered for facebook a year ago and left it at that. I’d not even uploaded my photo and was in danger of forgetting my login details.

This week a growing number of ‘friend’ requests shamed me into returning and I’ve been impressed. Facebook seems to have reached critical mass. Among university students certainly, but also among the usual avid social networkers and including some seasoned professionals too.

As a networking site, it has the immediacy of IM and Twitter; as a content site it’s less valuable though most people have posted extensive photo albums. If the currency of MySpace is music; and of blogging is ideas; then facebook’s speciality is photos.

Why is it more attractive to students than blogging? Facebook resembles a pyjama party (it may feel daring but it’s really very safe). Blogging’s more like a nudist beach. You (and your lumps) are exposed to the stares or indifference of strangers. Not for everyone.

7 Responses to “Let’s face it”

  1. Simon Collister 31/05/2007 at 11:20 am #

    Nice analogy, Richard!

  2. Duane Brown 31/05/2007 at 12:54 pm #

    Facebook is safe, but only as safe as you make it. If you add anyone and everyone, then you can be putting yourself at risk. It’s has happened to students already in the US. I think the other currency of Facebook is video, which they added last week through their platform API, which I predict is going to be a bigger success then it already is.
    Friends like it better then blogging because they can keep up with my life through the feed and not need to learn what RSS is. Not all my friends and especial my boyfriend are tech people. Plus you can do more with Facebook then just write a post. Also I found people I’ve not talk to in years… it’s like summer camp in that you can meet people you’ve not meet in years, all over again.

  3. Paull Young 31/05/2007 at 3:03 pm #

    “Facebook resembles a pyjama party (it may feel daring but it’s really very safe). Blogging’s more like a nudist beach. You (and your lumps) are exposed to the stares or indifference of strangers.”
    Brilliant. Now I understand why I took so enthusiastically to blogging…

  4. Michael Higgins 31/05/2007 at 6:53 pm #

    I think Facebook is useful for a few other things on top of photos.
    For one thing, we set up a profile for our uni society, and it’s become by far the best way for us to get in contact with our members.
    It’s also a lot more straightforward to use than MySpace and blogs, requiring no html knowledge at all.
    It also trumps both by forcing everyone’s profile to look the same, with no fancy (and annoying) links or videos or flashing lights or auto-starting music, like giving us all a school uniform and telling us to play nice.
    No-one feels forced to spend hours dressing it up fancy, or like they have to come up with something profound every few days. It ust lets us all get on with what everyone’s actually there for – gossip! ^^

  5. Richard Millington 02/06/2007 at 12:31 am #

    Nudist beaches aren’t so bad…
    I think Facebook is so much more user friendly and the perception is much cooler. Even I prefer it.

  6. Cain Harrelson 04/06/2007 at 9:11 pm #

    Hi, Richard. I am a public relations student at the University of Georgia with interests in social media.
    I disagree with the idea that Facebook’s popularity rests with its photo uploading abilities. During the early days of Facebook (during its first year altogether, as I rememeber), the site did not even allow for the upload of multiple pictures. However, the site was still immensely popular.
    I would argue that Facebook’s appeal is its reach. While this essentialist argument (“It’s popular because it’s popular”) might be dismissed for its circular nature, it truly is the poor man’s social networking tool. In this case, I mean poor by the standards of time, devotion, and depth.
    Facebook takes very little time, in that users can log in for only a minute to check their latest activity. Great for college students who’re hardly sleeping anyway? Yes. This same argument goes for devotion. I took myself off of MySpace long ago because it required too much attention. Too many emails, too much updating, too much unwanted fodder. Facebook allows users to get as much or as little as they want out of it. Finally, Facebook allows for as much or as little depth as you like. Sure, other sites are flexible in this regard, too, but the privacy settings offered through Facebook (whether they truly “protect” you or not) are appealing to students on the job/internship market, considering graduate schools, or just hiding out from their parents.

  7. Karel Mc Intosh (Caribbean) 12/06/2007 at 3:09 pm #

    Facebook has certainly taken the breath out of Hi5, at least where Trini youths are concerned. Everyone is on Facebook now, and they’ve taken to neglecting their Hi5 accounts.
    I resisted it for a while, but then I joined, and yes it’s a bit addictive. You can do a lot, and incorporate your other web presences, bringing them into one, nice profile.
    Plus, where else can I see Richard’s new hairstyle 🙂

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