My World: A Personal Blog About Everything

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

5 Reasons Why Facebook is Awesome

Facebook is cool right? Everyone's on it, even my 80 year old grandfather logs on daily. Well, if you follow start-ups as closely as I do, you'll quickly find bloggers try to poke holes in Facebook, from a business point of view, whenever they can. Now this is their job, but some are so wrapped up in the hype of "social networks" they miss the unique things about Facebook that make it so awesome. It's not the number of users, or the worldwide reach, or the massive number of pageviews, or the revenue model, and that's what this blog is about.

  1. Facebook is awesome because it is becoming the defacto communication platform for many social groups. Email will be around for a while, but Facebook is starting to become the default communication platform for a lot of people because it affords new paradigms email just can't handle. For example, my family got together this past weekend, cousins, grandparents, parents, sibling, uncles, aunts, etc... and everyone at the table has a Facebook account and uses it regularly. Only one person has to take a group photo and then share it with everyone on Facebook. Everyone can comment on the photo together, and share it with the extended family. No multiple photographs with multiple cameras, no email chains with a million copies of the same photo, and the sharing and commenting aspect, well that's just priceless AND impossible anywhere else. Valuable in terms of dollars and cents? Maybe, maybe not. But from my point of view that's just awesome.
  2. Facebook is awesome because the engineers make their own stuff. It bothers me sometimes when people throw out fancy sounding techy/geeky terms and can't really explain what they're talking about. Facebook engineers build a lot of things from scratch. They built a cross-language service framework, a log aggregation tool, and practically injected memcache (a tool for caching data for quicker retrieval) with steroids. These are among the small group of cool things they've actually told the public about. The point is, Facebook engineers build things that make sense, and when they don't make sense anymore, they fix them so they make sense again. Hopefully that last sentence makes sense too. Facebook engineers are awesome.
  3. Facebook is awesome because it has real social impact. There are two sides to this point. First, Facebook is big on leveraging its social network to support charities. A recent campaign featured $5 and $10 gifts from the gift store, where the proceeds went to an array of charities. Second, Facebook levels the playing field for many people with disabilities. Recent guest blog posts about using Facebook with autism and using Facebook being blind show this. Bringing everyone together regardless of their abilities or disabilities is awesome.
  4. Facebook is awesome because Mark Zuckerberg is awesome. So maybe he doesn't listen to you, but he has a vision and he's executing it. There's a reason why Facebook underwent the first layout change last year. An ultimate, cross-generation communication platform has to be clean, simple, and professional and make it easy to find what you're looking for. The second redesign was necessary, conceptually, to tie together everything on the site. The fact that about 1% of daily users complained about these changes means nothing. I understand Zuck's vision and regardless of what people say as Facebook changes along the way, it's a pretty darn awesome vision.
  5. Facebook is awesome because it's real. For years people say the Internet isn't "real", it's not "real life", it's an "alternate world". If I'm "hockeyfan9" arguing with "puckboy7" on a forum about hockey sticks, well ya, that's not a "real" conversation, you can say anything and walk away. Fortunately Facebook doesn't have nicknames/avatars and this is one of the things that make Facebook awesome. On Facebook, you are you... that includes telling little lies, the same lies you probably tell in real life, and more importantly, you are responsible for what you do and say. A sixteen year old girl on the train said "two people aren't in a relationship unless it's listed on Facebook", that shows how Facebook has a real-life impact. A caveat to this point is that Facebook has data, data about how we interact with each other. Facebook data scientists at the tip of an iceberg in learning more about humankind simply by studying our actions on Facebook.
In conclusion, Facebook is obviously awesome. The end.

3 comments:

data said...

wow, how much were you paid to spout that bit of unapologetic propaganda. lord god. tear the wires from your brain. facebook is the beginning of the end of an unsustainable society.

data said...

wow, how much were you paid to spout that bit of unapologetic propaganda. lord god. tear the wires from your brain. facebook is the beginning of the end of an unsustainable society.

D said...

southpark did a great episode about why facebook sucks. watch it.