I am sitting here on a plane without Wi-Fi (how gauche) reading an actual paper version of Time I picked up at the airport newsstand. The cover story is about Facebook, ostensibly about privacy issues if you are to believe the cover’s tag-line, but oh so much more – a must-read.
The cover caught my eye when I was picking up my normal 3 hour flight reading material at the newsstand, the Wall St. Journal and Financial Times.
The cover art appears to have 1,295 icons of Facebook (FB) profile pictures. These folks evidently were part of an “I Want to Be in TIME” FB group contest – not sure why exactly 1,295 icons (looks like they have room for more) but it appears that some have gotten their 3 nanoseconds of fame (one reason to update that profile pic. ;-)
I must admit I am a Twitter aficionado (having just attended the Chirp Developer conference recently) and have been dragging my feet on getting into Facebook whole hog (as well as LinkedIn) which I hope to correct over the next few months.
One reason for my FB reticence has been feeling bad about not accepting “friend” requests from random people – it makes me feel like I am dissing them (which isn’t the case).
Check out the rest of Facebook Article in Time Magazine – A Must-Read…
Obviously friends are the secret sauce of FB and not everyone gets a lot of non-acquaintance requests which is one reason I feel more comfortable with the “loose” follower relationship on Twitter (that and my brother keeps firing away Mob Wars stuff at me on FB that I have no clue about – yet).
I plan to change my lackadaisical behavior on these two social media platforms shortly (a not so New Year’s resolution). I want to really dig into Facebook (even more after reading this article) as well as LinkedIn (4sq and gowalla are also on my summer short list).
Ok – so back to the article: as I read this very well written piece, it becomes clear to me the writer is half my age. The first dead giveaway was the “insider” Harry Potter references along with an amusing anecdote about him being excommunicated from FB and how he felt he lost a part of his life (by violating the FB terms and conditions).
A few of the choice bits from the article that caught my eye include:
- “The willingness of FB users to share and overshare …is critical to its success”
- I didn’t realize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was the group to handle complaints about online privacy
- “There’s something unsettling about granting the world a front-row seat to all of our interests. But Zuckerberg is betting it is not unsettling enough …”
- Zuckerberg business card title in the early years
- Aha! moment for first time FB users is something all usability people should be striving for
- Statistics that are mind blowing on reach and stickiness
- How Google covets FB ad targeting based on profile and friends in the low keyword targeting world
- How FB concentrates on the popular things in fragmented worldwide locales (not one shoe fits all)
- A history timeline graphic that helped me catch up on the important events
I think FB should use this article on its own site for first-timers to get a better understanding of what it’s all about, how it got to where it is today and where it is heading – enjoy!