Why Facebook, why now?

John Battelle asks a compelling question: why Facebook and why now?

Scott Rosenberg of Salon.com follows up with another point: that Facebook’s friends definitions are all messed up.

Over on TechMeme everyone is talking about how Facebook’s advertising isn’t working.

So, let’s take on these questions.

First, why does Facebook’s advertising suck?

Because it isn’t tied to people or applications. Everything I do in Facebook is about interacting with people. For instance, at the top of my Facebook inbox right now is Ryan Coomer. The advertising next to him says “Try Forex Trading Today.” There is absolutely NO connection between who Ryan is and the advertising that’s put next to him.

Imagine if advertisers could “buy people.” I just clicked on Ryan’s profile, hes into Running and Golf. Why don’t ads for running and golf gear get put onto his profile? Wouldn’t that make sense? He’s also a software developer. Where’s the Visual Studio advertisement? He’s into video games. Where’s the Halo 3 advertisement?

Translation: Facebook needs an advertising platform and it needs one in the worst way. I’m not going to even look at the ads until the ads are tied to the people on Facebook. Facebook knows what we’re into, put ads for those things onto our profiles and messages.

Second, how could the friends definitions and ties be improved?

1000 ways. I’ll be honest, I don’t use them at all. I just add you as a friend and don’t put any details in there about how I know you. For one, adding that kind of detail is a competitive advantage for me and for PodTech and not something I’m really anxious for other people to know.

For instance, my first result is for Danny Krimgold. I’ve never written about Danny. You don’t know who he is. But he was one of the first people I talked with on Netmeeting back in 1996. He was in high school then and I could tell he was damn smart. I kept in touch with him as he went to Cornell, got a masters in computer science, and now is working at McCann Erickson as a project manager. There isn’t a good way to tell Facebook how I know Danny. In fact, I found that there isn’t a good way to tell Facebook how I know people for about 70% of the people I know through the Internet. So, I just leave them all blank. I guess the best choice in NetMeeting is the “met randomly” choice, but that sounds so stupid. So, I leave it blank.

Finally, why Facebook, why now?

Well, I compare it to LinkedIn (which is the competitor that comes up the most in conversations), Twitter, Pownce, and Jaiku. All of which have a social network component where you can keep track of your friends.

First, Facebook has far better contact management than Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku. If I look up someone on all three networks Facebook shows me more, brings it up faster, and has a better look into their own social networks. That leaves LinkedIn to compare it to. I dropped off LinkedIn a year ago cause the expected useage model there is to have your friends do things for you. Pass along resumes, give references, etc. Because of my popularity I simply got too many requests to do those things. There is no such expectation on Facebook.

When I talk with people about the two, also, they say that LinkedIn is for their professional lives and Facebook is for their personal stuff. A PR person at BEA told me that, for instance. I’ll leave her name out of this. Theresa Klein also says this (and is not very happy with me that I’ve turned Facebook into a professional tool).

To tell you the truth, the reason Facebook is the better networking tool is BECAUSE it’s personal. I don’t really care that Danny is at McCann Erickson. I would have known that anyway cause the first thing Danny tells me whenever we talk is what he’s working on. He told me the day he got accepted into Cornell, for instance. That stuff just comes up in regular conversation. But I don’t remember his wife’s name, Facebook shows that (they just got back from their honeymoon). I didn’t know his favorite drink. Mojitos. I got just the place to take him for great Mojitos when he comes out to visit. Facebook shows that. And I didn’t know anything about his social network. Facebook shows that too. Looking at the groups he’s added I can tell a lot more about him. He’s into going to free movie screenings in NYC, likes BMWs, reads the Economist, and lots more.

Oh, and he has his email and phone number there, so if I want to drop him a line, or give him a call, it’s there. Facebook has almost replaced my Outlook contact list because of this.

What other reasons are there for Facebook now?

Quality of people on the network. When I say my Facebook contact list is like a who’s who of the Tech Industry, I’m very serious. And I’m still adding more people to my friends network. I’ve been on Facebook for about a month and I’ve already gotten 2,452 friends. Let’s give you a little tiny taste of who is in my contact list.

Jeremy Allaire. He started a company, sold it to Macromedia, was its CTO. Now is founder/CEO of Brightcove.
Dion Almaer. Works at Google. Was the principal technologist for the Middleware Company. Founder of Ajaxian.
Stewart Alsop. Was editor at InfoWorld, now a VC at Alsop Louie Partners.
Marc Andreessen. Founder of Netscape and Ning.
Geoffrey Arone. Co-founder of Flock.
Michael Arrington. Founder of TechCrunch.
Eric Auchard. Tech reporter for Reuters.
Edward Baig. Tech reporter for USA Today.
Brian Bailey. Web developer for fourth largest church in USA.
Josh Bancroft. Most famous blogger at Intel.
Jeff Barr. Web services evangelist at Amazon.
Andrew Baron. Founder of Rocketboom.
Hank Barry. Famous Silicon Valley VC.
John Battelle. Founder of Federated Media, among other things.
Scott Beale. Famous San Francisco photographer and founder of Laughing Squid.
Joe Beda. Works on something important at Google in Kirkland.
Veronica Belmont. Now working with Jason Calacanis on some killer video project. Significant other of Ryan Block, top Engadgeteer.
Kenneth Berger. One smart dude at Adobe on Web Suite team.

OK, that’s just a few names off of my first page (probably represents 5% of the page). And I have 13 of them. I’ll add you to my friends’ list. Just request me to add you.

Oh, did you know that once you’re my friend you can look around at all the people who are my friends? This makes getting access to interesting people very easy. If I get complaints about you, though, I’ll remove you as my friend, so don’t abuse this privilege. Thanks.

But, that brings us to the grand daddy. Facebook’s application platform.

This is the real reason why I turned on Facebook. I don’t really care about the social network piece. There’s already other places I can get that (I could have stayed on LinkedIn if I really cared about being part of a social network).

But now my social network brings me cool applications. Well, some cool ones, like iLike and Zoho. But a lot of really crappy ones. It’s interesting to see what people add to their profiles, though. I wish I could see when people remove things from their profiles, in addition to adding them. Right now, for instance, I can see that 13 of my friends have added the Zombies application to their profile. I wish could see that 3 of my friends have already removed it, cause it’s a lame application.

Anyway, it’s the application platform that got me interested in Facebook and THAT is where I expect to see the hot new advertising models pop up.

But, no matter how you look at it Facebook is the one. Right now.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. Good explanation Scoble! But all in all it seems like Facebook is going in that direction which no one really wants it to – thats what everyone feared about Google. Your personal information on the net, well someday it’s going to happen we all know that. Think about it for second, how much time did you spend going through each one of your profiles to see what each one likes and doesnt? It is interesting to see how peoples social habits are developing. But personally Facebook’s logic behind adverstising is bull, just for the sake of making money you dont need to open up your platform for adverstising. I’m sure they can come up with a better plan other than revealing every single toom and dicks personal information…just some thoughts..

  2. Good explanation Scoble! But all in all it seems like Facebook is going in that direction which no one really wants it to – thats what everyone feared about Google. Your personal information on the net, well someday it’s going to happen we all know that. Think about it for second, how much time did you spend going through each one of your profiles to see what each one likes and doesnt? It is interesting to see how peoples social habits are developing. But personally Facebook’s logic behind adverstising is bull, just for the sake of making money you dont need to open up your platform for adverstising. I’m sure they can come up with a better plan other than revealing every single toom and dicks personal information…just some thoughts..

  3. Facebook suffers the same problems that linkedin does in that it is a game. At the moment it’s hot because everyone is talking about it and thus everyone is joining a trying to get the biggest friends list in the whole universe… I’ve sat in meetings where it has been discussed as a marketing tool; “how do we use facebook for this… we can create a profile and an application…” yawn… I’m already thinking about my exit strategy…
    After a while a lot of people just drop off and then your contact list becomes irrelevant. I’m sure if you are over there in silicon valley etc, than this might be different, but not for most other industries in the rest of the world.
    Eventually you network becomes suspect, because it becomes apparent that you don’t actually know all these people. Again, I’m sure there are exceptions to that rule.
    The applications stuff is great because that what moves it from linkedin to myspace… but as you say, so many of those apps are a bunch or arse.
    It is too america centric when it comes to networks. I can create a new area network, but then I become the only lame member in a group – no one wants to go first!
    And advertising…. there has to be a better way. As a user and consumer I don’t want to see targeted advertising, because I don’t want to see any advertising. As soon as visiting a friends profile starts to advertise to me directly, I’m out of there…

  4. Facebook suffers the same problems that linkedin does in that it is a game. At the moment it’s hot because everyone is talking about it and thus everyone is joining a trying to get the biggest friends list in the whole universe… I’ve sat in meetings where it has been discussed as a marketing tool; “how do we use facebook for this… we can create a profile and an application…” yawn… I’m already thinking about my exit strategy…
    After a while a lot of people just drop off and then your contact list becomes irrelevant. I’m sure if you are over there in silicon valley etc, than this might be different, but not for most other industries in the rest of the world.
    Eventually you network becomes suspect, because it becomes apparent that you don’t actually know all these people. Again, I’m sure there are exceptions to that rule.
    The applications stuff is great because that what moves it from linkedin to myspace… but as you say, so many of those apps are a bunch or arse.
    It is too america centric when it comes to networks. I can create a new area network, but then I become the only lame member in a group – no one wants to go first!
    And advertising…. there has to be a better way. As a user and consumer I don’t want to see targeted advertising, because I don’t want to see any advertising. As soon as visiting a friends profile starts to advertise to me directly, I’m out of there…

  5. I rarely click on ads for things anyways so I wouldn’t care if it showed ads for running or PC games next to my Facebook account. In fact if I’m looking for something I would rather ask for reviews/thoughts from my friends.
    Maybe advertising would be better on Facebook if I could control what types of things I am advertising for? Because of the social networking portion of Facebook I am almost “endorsing” that ad if it shows up next to my picture. So I like running, then I wouldn’t mind having advertisements from Asic because that is the type of shoe I ran in. However I have never had a good experience with Brooks so I would want to make sure there no Brooks running shoe adds “sponsered” by me.

    I think Facebook is a neat idea and is more mainstream then Jaiku, Pownce or Twitter will ever be. Particullary since so many people start using it in COllege

  6. I rarely click on ads for things anyways so I wouldn’t care if it showed ads for running or PC games next to my Facebook account. In fact if I’m looking for something I would rather ask for reviews/thoughts from my friends.
    Maybe advertising would be better on Facebook if I could control what types of things I am advertising for? Because of the social networking portion of Facebook I am almost “endorsing” that ad if it shows up next to my picture. So I like running, then I wouldn’t mind having advertisements from Asic because that is the type of shoe I ran in. However I have never had a good experience with Brooks so I would want to make sure there no Brooks running shoe adds “sponsered” by me.

    I think Facebook is a neat idea and is more mainstream then Jaiku, Pownce or Twitter will ever be. Particullary since so many people start using it in COllege

  7. I just thought of something that really sucks in facebook that has bothered me. I have my modest group of friends, and my friends list shows them. Which is good, because people seeing my profile can see my friends.
    However, I’m currently contracting at IBM, so I add myself to the IBM network. My visible profile friend list is now replaced with the list of people who I am connected to in IBM… and I can’t see anyway of reverting to showing my full friend list in my profile which is far more important to me than a smaller set of people from a particular network… the solution? Remove myself from the Network!

  8. I just thought of something that really sucks in facebook that has bothered me. I have my modest group of friends, and my friends list shows them. Which is good, because people seeing my profile can see my friends.
    However, I’m currently contracting at IBM, so I add myself to the IBM network. My visible profile friend list is now replaced with the list of people who I am connected to in IBM… and I can’t see anyway of reverting to showing my full friend list in my profile which is far more important to me than a smaller set of people from a particular network… the solution? Remove myself from the Network!

  9. I would worry if facebook started serving me contextual advertising based around my preferences, or my friends’ – its too invasive and reminds me that they know way more about me than I probably want them too. The current background noise of ads on there doesn’t penetrate my inner sanctum

    I also agree with Jonathan – I don’t want to appear to sponsor a brand because it has bought impressions based on the facts I like playing guitar and surfing.

  10. I would worry if facebook started serving me contextual advertising based around my preferences, or my friends’ – its too invasive and reminds me that they know way more about me than I probably want them too. The current background noise of ads on there doesn’t penetrate my inner sanctum

    I also agree with Jonathan – I don’t want to appear to sponsor a brand because it has bought impressions based on the facts I like playing guitar and surfing.

  11. I think Facebook is the most annoying site I’ve visited in a while… I can’t get it to work! No matter what I do it takes me back to a page saying

    “You’ve chosen to skip the recommended set-up steps. You are now on your home page. You can search, browse, or use our friend finder at any time.”

    only, I can’t… all I get is that darn page!

  12. I think Facebook is the most annoying site I’ve visited in a while… I can’t get it to work! No matter what I do it takes me back to a page saying

    “You’ve chosen to skip the recommended set-up steps. You are now on your home page. You can search, browse, or use our friend finder at any time.”

    only, I can’t… all I get is that darn page!

  13. “Finally, why Facebook, why now?”

    Facebook was always around. When Myspace got big all the people from Facebook got jealous calling the profiles there horrible looking.
    Facebook is still being talked about because Google did not buy them, neither did Yahoo ect…
    Facebook is being talked about because there is still the potential there for a 1B+ buy out.
    The people that invested in Facebook are all the A-List bloggers friends.

    They are pushing writers in the butt to inch that last little bit of bubble hype before the final sell.

    If I’m wrong well, I’m wrong, but this is the case 99.9999% of the time, and it has become completely predictable.

  14. “Finally, why Facebook, why now?”

    Facebook was always around. When Myspace got big all the people from Facebook got jealous calling the profiles there horrible looking.
    Facebook is still being talked about because Google did not buy them, neither did Yahoo ect…
    Facebook is being talked about because there is still the potential there for a 1B+ buy out.
    The people that invested in Facebook are all the A-List bloggers friends.

    They are pushing writers in the butt to inch that last little bit of bubble hype before the final sell.

    If I’m wrong well, I’m wrong, but this is the case 99.9999% of the time, and it has become completely predictable.

  15. I think i may be the only person on earth who just doesn’t get Facebook. I made an account and it is probably the least friendly and accessible social network i have found to date. I am not sure what the hype is about.

  16. I think i may be the only person on earth who just doesn’t get Facebook. I made an account and it is probably the least friendly and accessible social network i have found to date. I am not sure what the hype is about.

  17. Personally, I think that the reason the applications are lame is because there’s no incentive to create good ones. Most of them seem like marketing tools like the guy mentioned, or are amateurish hacks that college kids have thrown together in their (ample) spare time. I was just talking about this at lunch, and if they were to do as you say and create a targeted advertising platform with a revenue sharing model for the application developers, this would be a different ball game. As it is right now, adwords and other mechanisms are pretty effectively blocked, leaving web developers many less attractive options for creating a revenue stream from their application. As a developer with a good idea (I think) for a social networking application, I would share some of the advertising revenue I would generate with a good application on their platform. Right now they’ve locked their advertising stream in place, but with more users and more usage driven by better applications they would essentially grow the pie.

  18. Personally, I think that the reason the applications are lame is because there’s no incentive to create good ones. Most of them seem like marketing tools like the guy mentioned, or are amateurish hacks that college kids have thrown together in their (ample) spare time. I was just talking about this at lunch, and if they were to do as you say and create a targeted advertising platform with a revenue sharing model for the application developers, this would be a different ball game. As it is right now, adwords and other mechanisms are pretty effectively blocked, leaving web developers many less attractive options for creating a revenue stream from their application. As a developer with a good idea (I think) for a social networking application, I would share some of the advertising revenue I would generate with a good application on their platform. Right now they’ve locked their advertising stream in place, but with more users and more usage driven by better applications they would essentially grow the pie.

  19. I could almost swear that you can see when friends drop applications. I noticed yesterday that a couple of people removed a particular application from their profile.

    I agree that Facebook’s method of enabling you to define how you know someone is a bit confining. They need to remove some of the constraints and open that up a bit, which I think would be a great enhancement.

    Frankly, I think that’s just part of the growing pains FB is experiencing moving from an academic-only environment to one that’s more open. If they made it a little more like LinkedIn (emphasis on “little”), I wouldn’t complain. Maybe a Facebook Business version.

    What really fires my engines about FB is that it enables me to present a much more fully-orbed picture of who I am. Not only do you get to see who I work for and who my business-related associates are, but you get to see that I’ve got two cats I’m trying to give away, that I like certain kinds of music, and that I’m a supporter of a particular presidential candidate. Can’t do any of that on LinkedIn.

    Also, thanks to apps like Zoho, which I don’t as of yet, Facebook can begin to fulfill some utility functions, not just social.

    For my purposes, Facebook is one tool I can use to simplify my digital life, and that makes it worthwhile.

    As to advertising, I agree — if they’re going to do it, ads need to be contextual. Otherwise, don’t bother.

  20. I could almost swear that you can see when friends drop applications. I noticed yesterday that a couple of people removed a particular application from their profile.

    I agree that Facebook’s method of enabling you to define how you know someone is a bit confining. They need to remove some of the constraints and open that up a bit, which I think would be a great enhancement.

    Frankly, I think that’s just part of the growing pains FB is experiencing moving from an academic-only environment to one that’s more open. If they made it a little more like LinkedIn (emphasis on “little”), I wouldn’t complain. Maybe a Facebook Business version.

    What really fires my engines about FB is that it enables me to present a much more fully-orbed picture of who I am. Not only do you get to see who I work for and who my business-related associates are, but you get to see that I’ve got two cats I’m trying to give away, that I like certain kinds of music, and that I’m a supporter of a particular presidential candidate. Can’t do any of that on LinkedIn.

    Also, thanks to apps like Zoho, which I don’t as of yet, Facebook can begin to fulfill some utility functions, not just social.

    For my purposes, Facebook is one tool I can use to simplify my digital life, and that makes it worthwhile.

    As to advertising, I agree — if they’re going to do it, ads need to be contextual. Otherwise, don’t bother.

  21. Hmm. 1) Second mover status in terms of getting the interface right compared to MySpace (okay, it’s not perfect but…). That’s a big advantage, to come along with something that transparently works so much better than the immediate competition. 2) First movers in an untapped, high-value social demographic (there’s something to what Danah Boyd had to say about Facebook and class). 3) Sticking to doing one thing – enabling networking – and not doing anything that doesn’t enhance that. 4) Applications.

    But if they don’t start to let people pour all that content out of Facebook to the extent that it’s been pouring in, that growth curve could start to flatten. And the incoming massive growth rate of the over-twenty-fives? Won’t do any harm.

  22. Hmm. 1) Second mover status in terms of getting the interface right compared to MySpace (okay, it’s not perfect but…). That’s a big advantage, to come along with something that transparently works so much better than the immediate competition. 2) First movers in an untapped, high-value social demographic (there’s something to what Danah Boyd had to say about Facebook and class). 3) Sticking to doing one thing – enabling networking – and not doing anything that doesn’t enhance that. 4) Applications.

    But if they don’t start to let people pour all that content out of Facebook to the extent that it’s been pouring in, that growth curve could start to flatten. And the incoming massive growth rate of the over-twenty-fives? Won’t do any harm.

  23. don’t you think they give the option of having more than one checkbox for friend definitions for exact situations like yours?

    but you are correct it is more geared toward people who already have established relationships whereas myspace is more geared toward meeting people. in fact if you check “i don’t know this person” it says “why are you even adding this person?”

  24. don’t you think they give the option of having more than one checkbox for friend definitions for exact situations like yours?

    but you are correct it is more geared toward people who already have established relationships whereas myspace is more geared toward meeting people. in fact if you check “i don’t know this person” it says “why are you even adding this person?”

  25. People that visit my profile are not necessarily into what I am into, so I am not sure that showing them ads relevant to my interests would be very useful.

    Instead, since you can’t use facebook without being logged on, you should always see ads that are relevant to your own interests.

  26. People that visit my profile are not necessarily into what I am into, so I am not sure that showing them ads relevant to my interests would be very useful.

    Instead, since you can’t use facebook without being logged on, you should always see ads that are relevant to your own interests.

  27. I unsubscribed when you were on your “all Twitter, all the time” kick. I just poked my head back in and you’re talking about something I actually care about. Fantastic.

  28. I unsubscribed when you were on your “all Twitter, all the time” kick. I just poked my head back in and you’re talking about something I actually care about. Fantastic.

  29. interesting, in my facebook network there are only two social friends, the rest are totally industry related and many of them sr. And very well known names. Overall higher quality than my linked in “pro” network. Part of it is what you cite, no expectation to pass along services. There is a lot to this story being missed, this is more than a social tool for college kids.

  30. interesting, in my facebook network there are only two social friends, the rest are totally industry related and many of them sr. And very well known names. Overall higher quality than my linked in “pro” network. Part of it is what you cite, no expectation to pass along services. There is a lot to this story being missed, this is more than a social tool for college kids.

  31. IdeaTagger has a really good point. For instance, I think the Zombies application is really stupid. When I see that one of my friends has added it, that doesn’t change my opinion. If there was an ad for zombie-related apparel beside their name (based on their choice to display the application), I’m no more likely to click it. I think they should stick to targeting the person viewing the profile.

  32. IdeaTagger has a really good point. For instance, I think the Zombies application is really stupid. When I see that one of my friends has added it, that doesn’t change my opinion. If there was an ad for zombie-related apparel beside their name (based on their choice to display the application), I’m no more likely to click it. I think they should stick to targeting the person viewing the profile.

  33. I think Facebook is smart enough to play the display ad game for as long as it lasts, just as they’ll also play the “time spent on site” game when that comes around next.

    The real disruptors of personalized recommendation engines, network “vibe” mapping and even sponsored plug-ins and groups are not just what I’m thinking, but what a lot of people are thinking and their contributions will spark the next revolutions. That is, once the ad industry desperations of page views and other irrelevant crap against the inevitable new networked dynamic finally die out…

    More power to them for riding it while they can.

  34. I think Facebook is smart enough to play the display ad game for as long as it lasts, just as they’ll also play the “time spent on site” game when that comes around next.

    The real disruptors of personalized recommendation engines, network “vibe” mapping and even sponsored plug-ins and groups are not just what I’m thinking, but what a lot of people are thinking and their contributions will spark the next revolutions. That is, once the ad industry desperations of page views and other irrelevant crap against the inevitable new networked dynamic finally die out…

    More power to them for riding it while they can.

  35. Interesting assessment…

    I think Facebook’s advertising sucks on purpose because it’s too soon for them to start serving contextual advertising right now. It would be too intrusive and would cause too many privacy issues.

    They really don’t need cash – they have it both from their current ad sales and from their VCs. It’s not like their expenses are unmanageable with even a modest stream of revenue.

    Their mission is – and should be – to get as many people using the site as possible and to get them deeply entrenched within the system.

    The connections Facebook has assembled between people may not be perfect, but they’re the best out there by a long shot. And they have more personal information about more influential and well-connected people than anyone else.

    Their site is very simple – not much to complain about there. The recently released apps allow for enough customization to whet the appetites of most users (those who disagree always have Myspace, right Danah?). Besides, it’s easy for Facebook to enable members to disable the visibility of profile customizations for certain members if they like – defaulting to the traditional, plain Facebook form.

    The advertising will certainly come, and it will be as contextual as it gets – it will be the first truly personally-targeted advertising service, combining geographic, social and personal (user-inputted) information that will allow them to build near-perfect profiles of members that provide sufficient information.

    They will be able to (if they don’t already) conduct passive observations to determine which types of advertising we respond best to – for example, direct sales, product placements, sponsorships, etc.

    It is coming, and if they can hold off long enough to gain that trust and build their user base, they are laughing.

    This is why I hypothesized that it would take $10-50 billion to pry Facebook from Mark’s hands on FacebookBlog.org this morning. Trust me, if I know the potential, he sure as hell knows it too.

    The system they have developed is nearly perfect, and their rapid response to issues that are raised by bloggers like you and me is as good an indication as you can get that they will be very mindful of members and will ensure they don’t drive members away.

    I think the F8 launch got a little out of control and took off faster than they anticipated, but they handled it well and I believe they will handle future challenges as well or better.

    There are certainly issues to work out with the app platform – some type of design/quality standards probably would have been nice. But they can be added. And it’s inevitable that as time goes by, the worst apps will fade away and those that are truly useful will bubble to the surface.

    There will likely be other privacy issues to deal with, but the solution to that problem is easy as well – provide users with more control. So far, they have been excellent about doing that.
    Considering that Zuckerberg is 23, he’s doing an incredible job.

    I’d like to find out if the speculation about IPO plans turns out to be correct. Time will tell.

    If so, I’d expect to see it happen in an innovative way – more so than Google’s Dutch auction approach even. They could setup their own exchange, create credit systems, anything really. The sky’s the limit if you’re willing to move offshore.

    I could expound further, but that’s why I have http://www.facebookblog.org. :)

    - Colin

  36. Interesting assessment…

    I think Facebook’s advertising sucks on purpose because it’s too soon for them to start serving contextual advertising right now. It would be too intrusive and would cause too many privacy issues.

    They really don’t need cash – they have it both from their current ad sales and from their VCs. It’s not like their expenses are unmanageable with even a modest stream of revenue.

    Their mission is – and should be – to get as many people using the site as possible and to get them deeply entrenched within the system.

    The connections Facebook has assembled between people may not be perfect, but they’re the best out there by a long shot. And they have more personal information about more influential and well-connected people than anyone else.

    Their site is very simple – not much to complain about there. The recently released apps allow for enough customization to whet the appetites of most users (those who disagree always have Myspace, right Danah?). Besides, it’s easy for Facebook to enable members to disable the visibility of profile customizations for certain members if they like – defaulting to the traditional, plain Facebook form.

    The advertising will certainly come, and it will be as contextual as it gets – it will be the first truly personally-targeted advertising service, combining geographic, social and personal (user-inputted) information that will allow them to build near-perfect profiles of members that provide sufficient information.

    They will be able to (if they don’t already) conduct passive observations to determine which types of advertising we respond best to – for example, direct sales, product placements, sponsorships, etc.

    It is coming, and if they can hold off long enough to gain that trust and build their user base, they are laughing.

    This is why I hypothesized that it would take $10-50 billion to pry Facebook from Mark’s hands on FacebookBlog.org this morning. Trust me, if I know the potential, he sure as hell knows it too.

    The system they have developed is nearly perfect, and their rapid response to issues that are raised by bloggers like you and me is as good an indication as you can get that they will be very mindful of members and will ensure they don’t drive members away.

    I think the F8 launch got a little out of control and took off faster than they anticipated, but they handled it well and I believe they will handle future challenges as well or better.

    There are certainly issues to work out with the app platform – some type of design/quality standards probably would have been nice. But they can be added. And it’s inevitable that as time goes by, the worst apps will fade away and those that are truly useful will bubble to the surface.

    There will likely be other privacy issues to deal with, but the solution to that problem is easy as well – provide users with more control. So far, they have been excellent about doing that.
    Considering that Zuckerberg is 23, he’s doing an incredible job.

    I’d like to find out if the speculation about IPO plans turns out to be correct. Time will tell.

    If so, I’d expect to see it happen in an innovative way – more so than Google’s Dutch auction approach even. They could setup their own exchange, create credit systems, anything really. The sky’s the limit if you’re willing to move offshore.

    I could expound further, but that’s why I have http://www.facebookblog.org. :)

    - Colin

  37. hey robert… nice piece.

    my thoughts on facebook here:

    * Facebook Advertising Sucks? Nope, CPM Sucks.
    (and Widgets = Advertising 2.0)
    http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2007/07/facebook-advert.html

    * Marketing Facebook Apps: All About the FEED, n00bs!
    http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2007/07/marketing-faceb.html

    * Facebook: World Domination Ahead
    (note to Google & Microsoft — don’t pull a “Semel”)
    http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2007/06/facebook-world-.html

    in short: it’s Facebook’s world… we’re just living in it.

    - dave mcclure

  38. hey robert… nice piece.

    my thoughts on facebook here:

    * Facebook Advertising Sucks? Nope, CPM Sucks.
    (and Widgets = Advertising 2.0)
    http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2007/07/facebook-advert.html

    * Marketing Facebook Apps: All About the FEED, n00bs!
    http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2007/07/marketing-faceb.html

    * Facebook: World Domination Ahead
    (note to Google & Microsoft — don’t pull a “Semel”)
    http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2007/06/facebook-world-.html

    in short: it’s Facebook’s world… we’re just living in it.

    - dave mcclure

  39. Facebook Advertising Sucks? Nope, CPM Sucks. (and Widgets = Advertising 2.0)

    Hell No. Lots of folks chiming in on how Facebook [CPM] advertising isn’t effective. No surprises there really. And it’s not that Facebook advertising sucks; rather it’s old-school BANNER advertising that sucks. But haven’t we already figured that …

  40. I figure they’re my friends I don’t really care how I met them and some I haven’t even met (like yourself), but I’m interested in what they do or are doing.

    Even though I’ve never met you, I fell I know enough about you just from following your blogs, tweets etc to feel like you are a friend, actually come to think of it probably more so then some of my more introverted “real” friends.

    But in saying that I haven’t declared that I’ll will add anyone as a friend who adds me to there friends list and if randoms did start adding me I would want to know who they are and why they want to add me. I also don’t have 10 squillion people following my every move either.

  41. I figure they’re my friends I don’t really care how I met them and some I haven’t even met (like yourself), but I’m interested in what they do or are doing.

    Even though I’ve never met you, I fell I know enough about you just from following your blogs, tweets etc to feel like you are a friend, actually come to think of it probably more so then some of my more introverted “real” friends.

    But in saying that I haven’t declared that I’ll will add anyone as a friend who adds me to there friends list and if randoms did start adding me I would want to know who they are and why they want to add me. I also don’t have 10 squillion people following my every move either.

  42. Very insightful, Robert, especially about the advertising. None of the ads have anything to do with my interests or my friends’ interests.

    I’m about to send you an “add friend” request, and I can’t find the right box either! I’m looking for the one that says, “Used to hang out at LZ Premiums and bought a really great Bogen tripod from you.” Where is *that* checkbox?

    I just got an “add friend” request from a buddy of mine, and none of the boxes had anything to do with how I know him either. So I didn’t check any of them, and just looked for *something* I could click. Found it and clicked it, but then realized I’d clicked the “Request confirmation” button by mistake. Confirm what? I didn’t click any checkboxes.

    This “add friend” interface is so confusing. It took me a while to realize the whole confirmation business was optional, and “Skip this step” is usually what I want. At first I’d figured that “Skip this step” meant that it wouldn’t add my friend at all. Wrong! But where on the page does it explain *any* of this? You pretty much have to learn it by trial and error.

  43. Very insightful, Robert, especially about the advertising. None of the ads have anything to do with my interests or my friends’ interests.

    I’m about to send you an “add friend” request, and I can’t find the right box either! I’m looking for the one that says, “Used to hang out at LZ Premiums and bought a really great Bogen tripod from you.” Where is *that* checkbox?

    I just got an “add friend” request from a buddy of mine, and none of the boxes had anything to do with how I know him either. So I didn’t check any of them, and just looked for *something* I could click. Found it and clicked it, but then realized I’d clicked the “Request confirmation” button by mistake. Confirm what? I didn’t click any checkboxes.

    This “add friend” interface is so confusing. It took me a while to realize the whole confirmation business was optional, and “Skip this step” is usually what I want. At first I’d figured that “Skip this step” meant that it wouldn’t add my friend at all. Wrong! But where on the page does it explain *any* of this? You pretty much have to learn it by trial and error.

  44. This “add friend” interface is even worse than I thought. I went to your public page, clicked “Add Robert as a friend”, and it went straight to my home page. No message to tell me if it did anything or not.

    So I tried it again. Same thing.

    I guess you’ll either get two “add friend” requests from me, or none! (sigh)

  45. This “add friend” interface is even worse than I thought. I went to your public page, clicked “Add Robert as a friend”, and it went straight to my home page. No message to tell me if it did anything or not.

    So I tried it again. Same thing.

    I guess you’ll either get two “add friend” requests from me, or none! (sigh)

  46. I use both LinkedIn (LI) and Facebook (FB), though FB takes up much more of my time because there is a ton more content to sift through. LI is my professional life and FB is my personal life – but both reflect existing offline networks. These networks would continue to exist if LI and FB ceased to exist tomorrow, it would just be more difficult to maintain them.
    As reflections of my real-world networks, there are many people who are both my FB friends and LI connections but there are probably twice as many that are only one or the other.
    Determining who is fit to be in each list is a grey area. If you know my home phone number, you probably qualify for my FB list – provided we’ve actually met face to face. The LI qualifications are much lower – almost non-existent, actually.
    As far as content, if I wouldn’t put it on my resume, it doesn’t go in my LI profile. For similar reasons, there’s a link to my LI profile from my FB profile but not vice-versa.
    Which leads me to wonder why I broke my own rules and added you to my FB friend list…

  47. I use both LinkedIn (LI) and Facebook (FB), though FB takes up much more of my time because there is a ton more content to sift through. LI is my professional life and FB is my personal life – but both reflect existing offline networks. These networks would continue to exist if LI and FB ceased to exist tomorrow, it would just be more difficult to maintain them.
    As reflections of my real-world networks, there are many people who are both my FB friends and LI connections but there are probably twice as many that are only one or the other.
    Determining who is fit to be in each list is a grey area. If you know my home phone number, you probably qualify for my FB list – provided we’ve actually met face to face. The LI qualifications are much lower – almost non-existent, actually.
    As far as content, if I wouldn’t put it on my resume, it doesn’t go in my LI profile. For similar reasons, there’s a link to my LI profile from my FB profile but not vice-versa.
    Which leads me to wonder why I broke my own rules and added you to my FB friend list…

  48. Interesting, but I’d be far more interested in seeing advertisements that are relevant TO ME, rather than someone who’s profile I just looked at. I mean, who cares if they play golf, if you don’t?

  49. Interesting, but I’d be far more interested in seeing advertisements that are relevant TO ME, rather than someone who’s profile I just looked at. I mean, who cares if they play golf, if you don’t?

  50. It’s Critical Mass. Simple as that. Facebook is suddenly on everyone’s lips because it finally reached critical mass. Once they opened registration to everyone, the sudden influx of new users simply pushed the network past the realm of tech-savvy college kids, and into the mainstream. My ex-girlfriend was suddenly being added by people from high-school that she hadn’t spoken to in over ten years, who now live half a planet away! I was made aware that there was an informal high-school reunion because someone found me through Facebook; this would never have happened otherwise.

    There’s more to Facebook than the things you can do while on the site: its impact extends far beyond its own digital platform and reaches right into your daily life. And it does this simply because of one thing: “Everyone Is On Facebook.”

    Of course there’s more to it than that. Even if you manage to attract millions of users, you can still screw up if you don’t execute perfectly. But Facebook doesn’t have this problem. Everything it does, it does perfectly, from privacy control to an intuitive navigation. If there was one thing I would change, is to implement some sort of filter to get rid of all the recent Application noise.

  51. It’s Critical Mass. Simple as that. Facebook is suddenly on everyone’s lips because it finally reached critical mass. Once they opened registration to everyone, the sudden influx of new users simply pushed the network past the realm of tech-savvy college kids, and into the mainstream. My ex-girlfriend was suddenly being added by people from high-school that she hadn’t spoken to in over ten years, who now live half a planet away! I was made aware that there was an informal high-school reunion because someone found me through Facebook; this would never have happened otherwise.

    There’s more to Facebook than the things you can do while on the site: its impact extends far beyond its own digital platform and reaches right into your daily life. And it does this simply because of one thing: “Everyone Is On Facebook.”

    Of course there’s more to it than that. Even if you manage to attract millions of users, you can still screw up if you don’t execute perfectly. But Facebook doesn’t have this problem. Everything it does, it does perfectly, from privacy control to an intuitive navigation. If there was one thing I would change, is to implement some sort of filter to get rid of all the recent Application noise.

  52. No idea how to become your friend, or anyone else’s. It keep saying I am now registered, as if that is new. But it isn’t.

    I don’t need facebook. I can’t even figure out how to take someone up on an invite to be a friend – like yours.

    I live online. But Facebook is no fun. Why do they keep asking for your info when you already have an account?

    What’s with the “skip but we don’t recommend it” when I already have an account and can’t even access it?

    WEIRD.

    Can live without the irritations. I don’t know why anyone uses it.

    I’m happy reading your posts.

  53. No idea how to become your friend, or anyone else’s. It keep saying I am now registered, as if that is new. But it isn’t.

    I don’t need facebook. I can’t even figure out how to take someone up on an invite to be a friend – like yours.

    I live online. But Facebook is no fun. Why do they keep asking for your info when you already have an account?

    What’s with the “skip but we don’t recommend it” when I already have an account and can’t even access it?

    WEIRD.

    Can live without the irritations. I don’t know why anyone uses it.

    I’m happy reading your posts.

  54. When I first heard about Facebook I thought it was a simple way to get in touch with your networks (school, job, aso) but it was very US centric so I didn’t try it out.

    Now a couple of months later, I signed up mostly due to some pushing from http://www.henrietteweber.com ;)

    But I must say. I’m very pleased. Building a network with people I already know and people I would like to get to know.

    I think it’s an exciting word where we actually can get in touch with the people we admire and if we just have something insanely great to show them, adventures could be waiting around the corner.

  55. When I first heard about Facebook I thought it was a simple way to get in touch with your networks (school, job, aso) but it was very US centric so I didn’t try it out.

    Now a couple of months later, I signed up mostly due to some pushing from http://www.henrietteweber.com ;)

    But I must say. I’m very pleased. Building a network with people I already know and people I would like to get to know.

    I think it’s an exciting word where we actually can get in touch with the people we admire and if we just have something insanely great to show them, adventures could be waiting around the corner.

  56. I registered on FB around that same time you. I have used it twice. I use Linked In just to connect with people (yes the way i would in Outlook).

    FB is terrible for connections. For a start, it sends me a message with a link to a message…. WHY, OH WHY!?????!?! Send me the freakin’ message. Twitter does this and it’s also why it use it (simply through GTalk) rather than Pounce.

    So, IMHO, its advertising is awful because of the fundmental idea that they are a closed shop wnad you MUST visit their site to get your data or messages.

    I think i was using systems like this in 1998, so other than the quality of people (and let’s face it they will all move on with the big thing) why, oh why would i use facebook.

  57. I registered on FB around that same time you. I have used it twice. I use Linked In just to connect with people (yes the way i would in Outlook).

    FB is terrible for connections. For a start, it sends me a message with a link to a message…. WHY, OH WHY!?????!?! Send me the freakin’ message. Twitter does this and it’s also why it use it (simply through GTalk) rather than Pounce.

    So, IMHO, its advertising is awful because of the fundmental idea that they are a closed shop wnad you MUST visit their site to get your data or messages.

    I think i was using systems like this in 1998, so other than the quality of people (and let’s face it they will all move on with the big thing) why, oh why would i use facebook.

  58. Robert, great explanation. The beauty of facebook lies in the fact that you get much closer to a large group of friends without much effort from your side. The ease with which we can manage our social circle (and to some extent our professional circle) adds the much needed “fun part” to the social networking.

  59. Robert, great explanation. The beauty of facebook lies in the fact that you get much closer to a large group of friends without much effort from your side. The ease with which we can manage our social circle (and to some extent our professional circle) adds the much needed “fun part” to the social networking.

  60. I think Paul (comment 11) is right – I think you can tell when people remove apps. My news feed told me Robert that you have just removed Mr Flickr and also the Movies app – and that Hugh also did the same.

    In fact I think this aspect of Facebook goes too far. I think it’s great that you can see when people remove apps but maybe we shouldn’t be told when people change their personal information. I recently found out via a news feed that one of my friends “was no longer married”. It’s quite startling to see that sort of personal information presented in such a stark way. It’s the person’s choice to publish the information, sure, but it seemed a bit insensitive to display it alongside people removing the Zombies app, or whatever. How would you weight various types of updates to display slightly differently?

    Great piece though Robert – a nice bit of free web consultancy for Facebook. Feel free to review our site any time!

  61. I think Paul (comment 11) is right – I think you can tell when people remove apps. My news feed told me Robert that you have just removed Mr Flickr and also the Movies app – and that Hugh also did the same.

    In fact I think this aspect of Facebook goes too far. I think it’s great that you can see when people remove apps but maybe we shouldn’t be told when people change their personal information. I recently found out via a news feed that one of my friends “was no longer married”. It’s quite startling to see that sort of personal information presented in such a stark way. It’s the person’s choice to publish the information, sure, but it seemed a bit insensitive to display it alongside people removing the Zombies app, or whatever. How would you weight various types of updates to display slightly differently?

    Great piece though Robert – a nice bit of free web consultancy for Facebook. Feel free to review our site any time!

  62. what if the same application platform turned out to be its biggest flaw and biggest gain

    thats where i come in
    - u can write any program in any language and any platform _unix/mac/windows-any program on any platform
    -u dont need to know any language etc u just have to create it that is all
    - u dont need a api even u can host ur website with me
    - u can have even ur own videos like podtech and i will integrated them into my site
    -advertising the way it works and determined by users – u will be paid after u sign up and associate ur x id with my site and u will be paid 35% of all ads placed on ur site and profile by me
    - there will be a new feature introduced everyday the design will the best and many many more.
    for details tell kiruba to meet me at proto.in and robert u – my friend and mentor are a shareholder in my company
    users and employees own more shares in my website than me the founder
    website to be launched at proto.in meeting on 21st and 22nd in chennai by me
    every visitor who comes there and meets me will be given a free dedicated server
    donations welcome -

    send donations and ideas and suggestions and brickbats and death threats to comments@rajarishi.com

    for now u can see the blog at http://www.rajarishi.com/blog

    bye
    @runb@laj!

  63. what if the same application platform turned out to be its biggest flaw and biggest gain

    thats where i come in
    - u can write any program in any language and any platform _unix/mac/windows-any program on any platform
    -u dont need to know any language etc u just have to create it that is all
    - u dont need a api even u can host ur website with me
    - u can have even ur own videos like podtech and i will integrated them into my site
    -advertising the way it works and determined by users – u will be paid after u sign up and associate ur x id with my site and u will be paid 35% of all ads placed on ur site and profile by me
    - there will be a new feature introduced everyday the design will the best and many many more.
    for details tell kiruba to meet me at proto.in and robert u – my friend and mentor are a shareholder in my company
    users and employees own more shares in my website than me the founder
    website to be launched at proto.in meeting on 21st and 22nd in chennai by me
    every visitor who comes there and meets me will be given a free dedicated server
    donations welcome -

    send donations and ideas and suggestions and brickbats and death threats to comments@rajarishi.com

    for now u can see the blog at http://www.rajarishi.com/blog

    bye
    @runb@laj!

  64. Great post indeed! I got a lot of thoughts out of it. I think that one thing that you touched upon and that some of the commenters discussed which I think would be a great way of doing this is through endorsements.

    I think that for me, and most of the people in my age (20-30) at least, we like to endorse products and talk about them to our friends. It’s almost second nature + it gives social status to be able to recommend the best and the greatest to your friends. If facebook could give me a serving of a number of chosen ads based on my profile (or even my friends’ profiles) and I could choose which ads I’d like to be displayed when around my profile – this would in essence be an active endorsement of that company. The same could go, through say active voting or popularity selections, on networks (say my campus network prefers computer software ads – well then we have that).

    Since it’s the users producing the content – shouldn’t it be the users selecting the ads?

  65. Great post indeed! I got a lot of thoughts out of it. I think that one thing that you touched upon and that some of the commenters discussed which I think would be a great way of doing this is through endorsements.

    I think that for me, and most of the people in my age (20-30) at least, we like to endorse products and talk about them to our friends. It’s almost second nature + it gives social status to be able to recommend the best and the greatest to your friends. If facebook could give me a serving of a number of chosen ads based on my profile (or even my friends’ profiles) and I could choose which ads I’d like to be displayed when around my profile – this would in essence be an active endorsement of that company. The same could go, through say active voting or popularity selections, on networks (say my campus network prefers computer software ads – well then we have that).

    Since it’s the users producing the content – shouldn’t it be the users selecting the ads?

  66. Robert
    As an early adopter for most sites, I was trying to get on to Facebook for years. My Uni in UK was not on the list, and was not added for a couple of years after I left. So when they opened up, I was straight there. Now all those people I knew from Uni, High School, old workplaces who are all there are on it. Its great to find out what people are up to!

    One thing that the FB Dev’s need to do though is to create a way of segregating your friend list. For instance, I have 160 ‘genuine’ friends on FB, but really only actually keep in touch with approx 50 of them. They should be my A friends. Another 100 are ‘old’ friends, and people I probably wouldn’t make the effort to keep in touch with. These should be my B friends. I have added a few work colleagues. These should be my C friends. Finally, like a lot of your 2500 friends, they are just people I know online. My D friends.

    Why cant the FB Dev Team create a system, where I can classify them? ‘Limited Friend’ is not enough. This way, my B/C/D friends do NOT see what the interaction is between my A friends and myself is.. This would then make it a lot more useful.. and private!

    PS the best features of FB is planning nights/events. Its great to see who is coming, and all the other little directions. Also after, people can share the photos with those who came along!

  67. Robert
    As an early adopter for most sites, I was trying to get on to Facebook for years. My Uni in UK was not on the list, and was not added for a couple of years after I left. So when they opened up, I was straight there. Now all those people I knew from Uni, High School, old workplaces who are all there are on it. Its great to find out what people are up to!

    One thing that the FB Dev’s need to do though is to create a way of segregating your friend list. For instance, I have 160 ‘genuine’ friends on FB, but really only actually keep in touch with approx 50 of them. They should be my A friends. Another 100 are ‘old’ friends, and people I probably wouldn’t make the effort to keep in touch with. These should be my B friends. I have added a few work colleagues. These should be my C friends. Finally, like a lot of your 2500 friends, they are just people I know online. My D friends.

    Why cant the FB Dev Team create a system, where I can classify them? ‘Limited Friend’ is not enough. This way, my B/C/D friends do NOT see what the interaction is between my A friends and myself is.. This would then make it a lot more useful.. and private!

    PS the best features of FB is planning nights/events. Its great to see who is coming, and all the other little directions. Also after, people can share the photos with those who came along!

  68. I’m sure FB will sort the advertising out.. as soon as they realize they are no longer a network for college students :)

    One of the networks I belong to is my college’s network, having signed up with my alumnus email (needless to say that I graduated years ago!).

    I still get great, targeted ads about events that I would have been really interested in.. if I were still in college! I don’t even live anywhere near the place I studied anymore.

    It was probably easier for FB to find advertisers that wanted to advertise to specific networks, but it would have been much better if they had an internal ‘adwords-type’ system. (bidding on keywords, narrow down on location/demographics, ads delivered based on content of each user’s profile etc).

    then again they might have that already and i haven’t even realised! :-)

  69. I’m sure FB will sort the advertising out.. as soon as they realize they are no longer a network for college students :)

    One of the networks I belong to is my college’s network, having signed up with my alumnus email (needless to say that I graduated years ago!).

    I still get great, targeted ads about events that I would have been really interested in.. if I were still in college! I don’t even live anywhere near the place I studied anymore.

    It was probably easier for FB to find advertisers that wanted to advertise to specific networks, but it would have been much better if they had an internal ‘adwords-type’ system. (bidding on keywords, narrow down on location/demographics, ads delivered based on content of each user’s profile etc).

    then again they might have that already and i haven’t even realised! :-)

  70. I agree that FaceBook is the place to be for now. You put the comparison of FaceBook and LinkedIn into words nicely. I’ve got a few more contacts at LinkedIn so far but I expect that to change and I really see no value to me with LinkedIn. If I ever needed a job or something, maybe professionally, LinkedIn could be there for me, but like you, I don’t care where people work or where they came from.

    I enjoy the personal side of FaceBook, it’s more interesting and more relevant to keeping up with some people.

    So, for now, FaceBook is the place to be but it will be interesting to see if it has holding power or if it will just fade into the social networking night.

  71. I agree that FaceBook is the place to be for now. You put the comparison of FaceBook and LinkedIn into words nicely. I’ve got a few more contacts at LinkedIn so far but I expect that to change and I really see no value to me with LinkedIn. If I ever needed a job or something, maybe professionally, LinkedIn could be there for me, but like you, I don’t care where people work or where they came from.

    I enjoy the personal side of FaceBook, it’s more interesting and more relevant to keeping up with some people.

    So, for now, FaceBook is the place to be but it will be interesting to see if it has holding power or if it will just fade into the social networking night.

  72. I actually liked this long authoritative post. Gave me things to think about. But I always see when my friends have deleted applications. Do you ever read your Facebook newsfeed? That’s how I know you deleted a bunch of stuff today.

  73. I actually liked this long authoritative post. Gave me things to think about. But I always see when my friends have deleted applications. Do you ever read your Facebook newsfeed? That’s how I know you deleted a bunch of stuff today.

  74. Hey Robert…

    Just a quick correction. Scott Rosenberg is not from Slate, as you’ve said a couple of times lately I think. He’s actually a founder of Salon.com, which is an arch-rival of Slate.

    Unless of course you know something I don’t. Which is entirely possible.

  75. Hey Robert…

    Just a quick correction. Scott Rosenberg is not from Slate, as you’ve said a couple of times lately I think. He’s actually a founder of Salon.com, which is an arch-rival of Slate.

    Unless of course you know something I don’t. Which is entirely possible.

  76. Dan, arrghh, I got it wrong. Thanks for the correction.

    It’s so nice hearing your voice again, even if it’s virtually. I gotta get to Monterey for some more sushi!

  77. Dan, arrghh, I got it wrong. Thanks for the correction.

    It’s so nice hearing your voice again, even if it’s virtually. I gotta get to Monterey for some more sushi!

  78. @49 But if he was REALLY your friend, wouldn’t you know that without thinking? Or is your list more of a contacts list?

  79. @49 But if he was REALLY your friend, wouldn’t you know that without thinking? Or is your list more of a contacts list?

  80. Why Facebook, Why Now?

    John Betelle set off the quintessential question, for the month, which is a question – at least the way he frames it – that usually refers to some point in our fragile lives that has come to an uncertain and perhaps perilous juncture. Or to an equally …

  81. Networking, Business, CRM…

    This is not what drew audiences to Facebook & why it has grown. I have seen its rise, used its advertising for parties, and been on it for about a year. It was great because of friends. When it becomes more of a business tool, kids/grown adults will abandon it like nothing. Something else will come along.

    The Marketers have screwed MySpace to some extent and now that will happen with Facebook. It was a lot cooler when only .edu address could be on and everyone was verified and there b/c they went to college at some point and wanted to connect with people. This is not the case anymore. The open API will give it a surge, but after the business driven community moves in, the human community will move out.

  82. Networking, Business, CRM…

    This is not what drew audiences to Facebook & why it has grown. I have seen its rise, used its advertising for parties, and been on it for about a year. It was great because of friends. When it becomes more of a business tool, kids/grown adults will abandon it like nothing. Something else will come along.

    The Marketers have screwed MySpace to some extent and now that will happen with Facebook. It was a lot cooler when only .edu address could be on and everyone was verified and there b/c they went to college at some point and wanted to connect with people. This is not the case anymore. The open API will give it a surge, but after the business driven community moves in, the human community will move out.

  83. [...] Scoble, on the other hand, jumped on the advertising issue that TechMeme [1] pointed out. He shoots-down the entire advertising scheme of the site by what seems to be play-by-play example of its short comings. He then summarizes that, “Facebook needs an advertising platform and it needs one in the worst way. I’m not going to even look at the ads until the ads are tied to the people on Facebook. Facebook knows what we’re into, put ads for those things onto our profiles and messages.” [...]

  84. [...] I have been reading the following posts about Facebook; the first one was Robert Scoble is Media as posted by my friend Sebastien Provencher who was blogging about the second post I have been reading tonight by Robert Scoble – titled Why Facebook, Why Now? [...]

  85. Tag Your Friend, The Answer to Defining Friends on Facebook

    There have been a number of people lately questioning the way Facebook allows you to define your friends.  Since I have started using it, I have to agree.  Right now you have a limited list of options to choose from when you tell Facebook how yo…

  86. Pourquoi Facebook et surtout, pourquoi maintenant?

    Robert Scoble n’est pas le dernier venu quand vient le temps d’analyser les applications Web. Son récent billet sur Facebook m’a beaucoup fasciné parce qu’il pose de très bonnes questions qui coïncident…

  87. [...] part of your daily life — heck, I spend the first two hours of my day checking my FB updates. Scoble reckons FB has got it right compared to all the others. John Battelle asks why FB and why now? (and he doesn’t have [...]

  88. The type of advertising that you prefer (instead of Facebook) is similar to the “E-Billboards” offered on InPratt.com. A Member (i.e. Profile) can sell (and build) up to 5 small ads that appear at the end of each blog (story), that he/she posts. The Member also sets the price of the E-Billboards (although any income is shared with the hosting entity on 80/20 basis).
    Note that our conservative midwest community has been slow to adopt online Business practices, but we still have some hope that eventually they will “get it”.

  89. The type of advertising that you prefer (instead of Facebook) is similar to the “E-Billboards” offered on InPratt.com. A Member (i.e. Profile) can sell (and build) up to 5 small ads that appear at the end of each blog (story), that he/she posts. The Member also sets the price of the E-Billboards (although any income is shared with the hosting entity on 80/20 basis).
    Note that our conservative midwest community has been slow to adopt online Business practices, but we still have some hope that eventually they will “get it”.

  90. [...] Robert Scoble explicó por qué la publicidad en Facebook (la red social de moda) da asco. No es el único que piensa lo mismo. La publicidad de Facebook es la misma impresión repetitiva de anuncios sin ningún valor añadido (publicidad contextual relacionada con las aplicaciones o las personas de tu red, interacciones de calidad con el usuario, etc.). Todo lo contrario de RockYou, que ha buscado el modo en el que “monetizar” una de las aplicaciones más populares de Facebook: el SuperWall. La estrategia de RockYou es cobrar por sugerir la instalación de una nueva aplicación en cada instalación del SuperWall. ¿A cuánto está el usuario? 0,30 dólares. [...]

  91. It’s really interesting that 2 months later from this post, when I tried to add you as friend,the FB response was: “Robert Scoble already has too many friends.”
    :)

    Best Regards Robert!!!

    Ariel

  92. It’s really interesting that 2 months later from this post, when I tried to add you as friend,the FB response was: “Robert Scoble already has too many friends.”
    :)

    Best Regards Robert!!!

    Ariel

  93. hello there……how is thing hope is been fine there well i saw this then i would like to know more about it then if u wouldnt to let me know what is all about it then……then do u know one thing is that how do u want me to go about it here with me so that i could know what to do about it…..i just want to let u tell me better….so that….what to use it for would be send to me here……from there…..i believe that it has a good reason here with me tell me more about it then have a nice day over there with you till then am cool here with me…..seeing it soon i mean your message been send to me here ohhh

    thanks,

    gbenga.

  94. hello there……how is thing hope is been fine there well i saw this then i would like to know more about it then if u wouldnt to let me know what is all about it then……then do u know one thing is that how do u want me to go about it here with me so that i could know what to do about it…..i just want to let u tell me better….so that….what to use it for would be send to me here……from there…..i believe that it has a good reason here with me tell me more about it then have a nice day over there with you till then am cool here with me…..seeing it soon i mean your message been send to me here ohhh

    thanks,

    gbenga.

  95. [...] OK, I’ve been sitting on the fence of this one for a while mulling whether LinkedIn is as troubling as the claims of one Mr. Scoble (that’s what I call him… hey! It’s better than [...]

  96. I think the most important point is that sometimes we don’t want every network to know everything. I might want to delete my info from one network but not another. And, just like you suggested, I use a different email address for every site I join. Any sort of data propagation between networks would have to be entirely optional.

  97. I think the most important point is that sometimes we don’t want every network to know everything. I might want to delete my info from one network but not another. And, just like you suggested, I use a different email address for every site I join. Any sort of data propagation between networks would have to be entirely optional.

  98. i carnt belive facebook have blocked me sending messages as i typed too fast did not swear on it at all just wonderd if anyone knows how to get them back on if so email me

  99. i carnt belive facebook have blocked me sending messages as i typed too fast did not swear on it at all just wonderd if anyone knows how to get them back on if so email me

  100. If you are tired of facebook but want a way to connect with artists and musicians then you should check out http://www.putiton.com

    If you are tired of facebook but still want to connect with your friends then pick up the phone…

  101. “At first we were worried about MySpace, but then we realized that people use it differently from our site,” an employee at social network Facebook told me over a year ago