March 24, 2009

Change can be good - even in Facebook

Change is tough ... on all fronts. But trust me, you're going to get used to the new Facebook. And if you're a reporter, or just someone dying to know something, Facebook will become a more valuable tool.

I was able to follow what was happening with some Michigan newspapers because I had assigned some contacts to groups that let me scan their status updates and postings quickly by filtering my newsfeed on the opening page

The pages for causes, businesses and organizations are becoming more valuable. In some ways, they remind me of the early days of geocities, angelfire and other templated sites that made it easy for almost anyone to build a web site and get traffic easily.

Lots of changes, but as Stacy Lukasavitz from Fenton, Michigan, says in Attention: Facebook Luddites — STOP WHINING!:
"Social sites, much like software, much like hardware, much like anything, evolve over time. Changes will be made as more people use a product. You may not like all of them, but the usability that Facebook has now is tremendous compared to when it began. When you first started listening to mp3s, did you kick and scream to bring CDs back? When you first started listening to CDs, did you cry and complain that you wanted cassette tapes back? Not bloody likely."
Out on the web, some bloggers help me understand some of the possibilities of Facebook. For instance, Rob Diana wrote about mining Facebook for data, building on a Chris Messina *post on the value achieved online when everyone uses their own names. Robert Scoble goes further on illustrating how Facebook could be a goldmine for marketers, using his new father-to-be status as a down-to-earth example.

Jesse Stay from Stay N' Alive shows how some coming Facebook features means The Potential for Facebook Search Kicks Twitter’s butt. His explanations helped me a lot.

Some of the possibility depends on your definition of Facebook friends. It's a subject that came up recently in a family discussion - one member doesn't believe I could know everyone on my list.

So I loved it that Robert Scoble nailed the subject of friends in Scoble responsible for destroying the utility of the social graph. It means I have to ask:

Are we friends? Are we connected on Facebook? Know me well enough for LinkedIn? Or just want to see what I'm doing online via FriendFeed?

* This post was updated because I had Chris Messina's first name wrong. I've apologized.
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