Tagged: social networking

The growth of social networking over the last decade has been staggering. Social networking on the Internet is not new, but Facebook has become the Google of social networking sites. Friendster started the trend. Orkut was interesting for 3 months, and Myspace grew exponentially, only to turn in to a e-trailer park.

There are so many use cases for Facebook, because its really a combination of a variety of existing Internet sites in one portal. Whether you want to keep up with family, close friends, co-workers, old classmates, or distant relatives Facebook is the Swiss army knife of social networking.

Once people “see the light” with social networking, they instantly start evangelizing. Its really interesting to hear people’s excuses for not joining Facebook. “Why do I need to join Facebook?” “I don’t care what Ed is having for lunch.” “I talk to all the people I want to via phone and e-mail.” “I find it nosy!” “I can’t control it!”

You can either join the social networking party, or look like luddite. In a few years, people who don’t use social networking will look as obsolete as people who don’t use e-mail. You can resist it all you want, but its only a matter of time.

Social networking is not a necessary technology. By its nature, technology is inherently unnecessary. Human beings only need food, water, and basic shelter, everything else is unnecessary.

GPS? Computers? Ipods? Cell phones? TV? Radio? Air conditioning? Automobiles? Trains? Deodorant? Horses? Electricity? Plumbing? Clothing? Fire?

There is not much in life that is truly necessary. So they next time you’re looking to justify not using a new technology, find a better excuse.

Facebook Connect

Integrating with other websites is one area where social networks have a lot of potential. Social networks need to integrate easily with external websites, and get beyond the typical “walled garden” approach of a centralized social network.

A few years ago, Microsoft came out with an authentication service called Passport, a single sign on service for the Internet. Single sign on is nothing new, but Microsoft’s service was heavily criticized.

Now, Facebook provides a single sign on service called Facebook connect, and with the proliferation of Facebook, I think it has a lot of potential. Basically, instead of having a bunch of accounts at a variety of websites, you can just use your Facebook account.

Facebook connect fixes an old problem with blogs, having to create a login for every blog in order to comment. There is already a plugin for WordPress, and I recently installed it on my blog. Simply click the Facebook connect button on the top right corner, and you can comment on my blog with your Facebook account.