Archive for August, 2007

More on Social Networking

BusinessWeek had an article entitled Fogeys Flock to Facebook essentially talking about how the over 35 crowd is gravitating to Facebook , instead of the “more buttoned-up” LinkedIn. This crowd makes up 41% of the visitors to Facebook.

I have both a LinkedIn account and a Facebook account. I’ll admit I was somewhat enamored with LinkedIn when I first started using it, but in comparison with the “action” on Facebook, LinkedIn is a pretty dry and sterile environment. I have very few reasons to spend time on the site unless I get a new LinkedIn request. On the other hand, Facebook contains a flourish of activity letting people express themselves, post pictures, post movies, attach applications, update status and what you have is a real and active community. My oldest son invited me in a few months ago after we had a conversation about social networking. [See my post: Social Networks – New Ways To Communicate] While I don’t have the hundreds of friends on Facebook that he has, I have enjoyed the interaction and am compelled to return over and over again to the site to keep up with my network.

One of the most interesting and compelling parts of Facebook has to do with the applications you can download and attach. These span the gambit beyond anything you might imagine from music and video applications to applications that let you play Texas Hold ’em interactively with people in your network and a whole bunch of quiz type apps that are fun to answer and look at the answers of others in your network. The apps are viral in nature in that they let you invite others to download them. Yet another reason to return to your Facebook.

I just recently convinced my wife to join Facebook so she could read my daughter’s daily posts from her Summer in London. She’s participating in a Study Abroad program and has delighted us with her log of events, people and places.

Facebook has something really special that is affecting how people communicate. I don’t see where having it open to everyone will hurt the fun environment created for and by the college students. I’m just happy to be included.


Breaking Down the Walls

The walled-garden approach “didn’t work with AOL, It’s not going to work in mobile either. That’s the message in the recent article Breaking Down the Walls Of Phones’ Web Gardens found in the Wall Street Journal.

I’ve blogged on this before, see my post called Going Off-Portal and stand by my assertion that the mobile web needs to be open. In fact, as more people use it, they will demand it and move to carriers who will allow them to freely surf via their phones. Carriers worry about the control and loss of incremental revenue if they don’t control the selections. They also worry about lost future ad revenues they may control through their walled garden approach. They need to start worrying more about losing customers who have better choices with their competitors.

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