So I finally gave in and joined Facebook 10 days ago. It’s quite well done and pretty addictive, although after the first few days of looking for people you know and being found by same, the excitement isn’t the same of course and there isn’t that much value to it. The fact that it does a bit of everything does lessen the barrier to entry for various things and so I have friends who use notes almost as a blog when they wouldn’t write a blog, update their status religiously when they wouldn’t use Twitter, post pictures when they wouldn’t post to Flickr, add and register for events when they wouldn’t look at Upcoming, etc.

It’s kind of an internal network effect, each feature gains from being around the others. Each features when it’s a lonely app isn’t interesting enough for some but when matched with the others is suddenly worth it. No need to find your friends again and again for every app, you just start using another feature or “install” an application within Facebook thanks to their API launched two weeks ago.

I’m not happy that that’s what’s happening from an “internet ecosystem” viewpoint because it’s just not healthy to have everything in one platform controlled by a somewhat evil set of terms of use but from a social aspect of using a virtual “public” space to stay connected and re-connect with friends, it’s effective as hell.

Two main reasons why I finally created an account; checking out the new API and how existing applications fit into it and, hearing people found old friends, thinking I might find people I’ve traveled with and with whom I’ve lost touch. The latter didn’t work all that much, the former is in progress, I’m impressed by everyhing that’s offered but I haven’t dived into the API itself yet.

A few things I’ve noted recently about Facebook.

Social Strategist has a good list of things written about Facebook followed bu some thoughts on the whole thing.

On Read Write Web:

Facebook launched “The Platform”, a system enabling 3rd party companies to integrate their services inside of Facebook user pages… About 70 companies have apps set up already (more on those below)… this platform goes beyond the ability to post media from outside into Facebook and it goes beyond the previous Facebook API (a read-only Application Programming Interface (API) released on August 15th, 2006, and at the time also called The Platform). With the new platform, outside companies are now being allowed to deploy advanced functionality inside the Facebook site.—Facebook Grows Up, An Analysis of Today’s News

Michael Geist:

The attempts to block Facebook or punish users for stating their opinions fails to appreciate that social network sites are simply the Internet generation’s equivalent of the town hall, the school cafeteria, or the workplace water cooler – the place where people come together to exchange both ideas and idle gossip… Attempts to block such activity are not only bound to fail, but they ultimately cut off decision makers, school officials, and community leaders from their communities. The answer does not lie in banning Facebook or the other emerging social media sites, but rather in facing up to Facebook fears and learning to use these new tools to engage and educate.—Facing Up To Facebook Fears

On Techcrunch (going over board):

The potential for Facebook to layer on any feature whose value increases with the participation of friends is an incredibly broad canvas for a portal. Moreover, as each new application gains acceptance, it enriches the overall value of the network and makes it incrementally more likely that the next application will be tried. Much of what we know as “Web 2.0″ will eventually be rebuilt on top of Facebook.—The New Portals: It’s the Bread, Not the Peanut Butter

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