Realistically speaking, Facebook — which offers a great way to increase RSS readership — doesn’t do anything new or innovative. Everything that it offers has been done before by someone else. It’s just another social networking website that lets you hook up with new friends, look up old classmates, and join a number of “communities” with similar interests. Why is it, then, that Facebook has suddenly exploded in popularity these past few months?
I remember Stephen Fung said to me some time back that the reason why he liked Facebook was the interface was much cleaner than the cluttered and noisy appearance of MySpace. I’d have to agree on that front. There are no flashy graphics or annoying background music. Instead, you just gain access to people’s photo collections, their profiles, and writings on the wall.
Since signing up a few months ago, I’ve stumbled upon the profiles of people with whom I have long since lost contact. There’s a high school reunion of sorts going on in there, as I am now “friends” with a bunch of people from my old high school. For the most part, they’ve all grown up, gone to (or going to) school, and are gainfully employed in some form or another. A girl I knew now does logistics for an international shipping company, whereas the valedictorian is teaching kindergarten. Quite divergent paths we have all taken… but I think I’m the only semi-successful entrepreneur in the bunch. As far as I know.
I’ve also found the profiles of people that I used to work with. It takes me back to the days of when I worked in a movie theatre, and when I was still a member of the UBC Arts Co-op Students’ Association. It’s nice to see the familiar faces, but for the most part, that’s where it stops. I don’t know about you, but when I find someone I haven’t seen for a while, I leave them a message, we catch up, and that’s where most of the communication ends. Maybe it’s because we weren’t the best of friends to begin with. Just schoolmates, co-workers, or casual acquaintances.
Has your experience with Facebook been the same? Or are you taking advantage and actually meeting people from past lives, getting back to the way things used to be?
On a side note, the Ontario government banned Facebook last week, blocking employees’ access to the social networking site. Ironically, MySpace is still fair game.