Here’s my apperance on Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources yesterday with Ana Marie Cox. Subject: Facebook.
There are two things I haven’t heard said yet about why Facebook is so successful across may demographics.
First, it is not a social network – it is a collection of social networks.
Second (and even more important) is that it reflects existing off-line networks. You almost made that point when you talked about the ‘wisdom of MY web’ as opposed the wider web. This is different than MySpace or most of the first generation of social networks (forums) that attempt to create online social networks. The social networks Facebook exposes have always existed. That’s the key to its success.
Another important element is that Facebook, partly because of the news feeds, provides a feeling of proximity or connectedness so that it rarely seems that you’re out of the loop. This feeling, which you could argue is actually somewhat illusory, makes it seem as though you are in constant communication with your friends even if most of these updates are generated dynamically. In addition to providing a steady stream of what could largely be considered gossip, IMO it squarely addresses the “out of sight, out of mind” principle in a way that no other technology seems capable.
And as Ana Marie Cox and Howard Kurtz point out during the segment– like most successful web 2.0 applications–Facebook appeals to people’s vanity by flattering the user into believing that he or she is worthy of attention from a large number of people.
David, you’re point brings me to another… there are very positive ‘offline’ outcomes to Facebook… For example, I recently went to a quasi-high school reunion that I never would have gone to had I not already reconnected with a bunch of those people on Facebook.
Saw this and thought it was right up your alley. I know you’re guardian guy, but at least scroll to the end of the piece, which outlines facebook etiquette.
Keep up the great blogging!
My 20-something friends and I are rather amused that Facebook would merit ANY time for logical discussion amongst the geezers.
Facebook was the new “cool,” in all of it’s undefinable glory. Now it’s becoming a paltry mix of tweens and grumpy old people trying to figure it out. It’s like watching my techophobic mom trying to use an iPod.
It’s beyond bizarre that after over three years on the site, you’re all finally catching up. But you’re more behind than you think. I just updated my status and replied to a wall post via cell phone. I barely check the site itself anymore. Facebook mobile is more vital than the site itself.
Gawd… I don’t know if I can get any further than that Uber-Geeky intro! I mean, is he serious about all that “why would people post sometimes racy” (insert teen giggle), pictures of themselves” gee-wiz stuff? Like, uh, maybe they want to have, like, sex or something?
One other thing… does Ana Marie Cox not have anything else to wear on TV but that one tan jacket/uniform? Such a pretty lady; such a piss-poor wardrobe. Call Anna Wintour, soon dear.
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you’ve gotten me hooked, Jeff. Thanks… I think?
Would someone ask Kurtz this question?
Why do so many TV journalist let their guest get away with not answering their questions, but instead allow them to ramble on about White House talking points and never bring them back to the original question.
I have never heard this discussed and I am a news junkie.
The only thing less cool than Jeff gushing about Facebook is a twentysomething hipster-wannabe telling us how behind the times we all are.
Facebook is the new email. It really is.
And to respond to Kurtz’s misguided comments about “sometimes racy photos”: granular privacy. If my friends post racy photos, they have the option to target who gets to see those photos.
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