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Giving Thanks for…Facebook?

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[qi:017] In this season of giving thanks, Netizens feel grateful for the sense of connectedness and reconnectedness brought by online social networks. The big news, after all, isn’t that our Facebook profiles will soon turn into virtual Tupperware parties but rather that we can use them to stay in touch.

Bungee Labs executive and former Microsoft evangelist Alex Barnett says thank you to Facebook for the connections it provides:

I’ve rarely used a service that has brought me so much emotional satisfaction…connecting with good friends is a feel-good thing and it is this emotional value that makes Facebook hard to beat in terms of the gratification other services can provide. So much so, here I am even writing a thank you note to the service (I can’t remember doing that for any service…I’ve written about how “cool” stuff is, or how useful some service might be…but “thank you”? Never).

Yahoo! Personals product development executive Susan Mernit is similarly grateful for the personal and emotional connectedness the social web brings, noting in a blog post that she feels “amazement at how small the world is and how the virtual universe brings people together again and again.”

But just because Facebook provides real value to users doesn’t mean that value is easily monetized (through advertising, for example). Maybe Jason Calacanis was right when he said, “Social networking is second only to chat rooms as the worst place to advertise. The content there from your friends and your family is more compelling than any advertisement.”

9 Responses to “Giving Thanks for…Facebook?”

  1. You just mentioned two of the worst people to have as friends in your social community. Susan Mernit and Jason Calacanis have serious diarrhea of the status update. Please, someone – gets these folks some real friends and a vanity mirror.

  2. There have been social networking sites for quite some time now. Be it Myspace, or Orkut which has been highly popular here in India. I also have an account in Facebook. And with even other services available, I guess, mail today has almost evaporated. We no longer mail greetings to a friend’s email ID. We wish him “Happy…” to his profile that he has on MySpace, Orkut or Facebook. That’s what is fascinating about Social Networking.

  3. Facebook is definitely a great service. It has turned the social networking space upside down and competitors are taking notice. In addition, it seems rivals are copying Facebook’s every move, so they must be doing something right. I think that relevance and localization are the two trends that Facebook has been able to take advantage of in a big way.

    The two features that have made Facebook so viral (in my opinion) are the news feed and the ability to tag others in photos. They pioneered these features and they are a big part of FB’s current success.

    Aidan Henry

  4. I love Facebook for it’s ability to put that extra fun bit back into chatting and connecting online. It’s more than just smilies. With social networking like MySpace, the most you can really do is spam someone with ‘HI I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN A WHILE HOW ARE YOU!?!??!?!??!’ and that’s not really special, now is it?

  5. thank you facebook for all the joy you’ve brought to me in my life. the email friend requests i get daily whereby i can look at the profile page you’ve made and leave a comment on your wall. i know that is about the extent me and you will have with facebook. that first friend request with reciprocation. but hey, it makes us feel relevent even though we’ll use email and IM to communicate with eachother the rest of our lives.

    on this special day, i’m thankful for my health, my family, my friend and most of all , facebook.

  6. thanks, Anne…I’m getting all choked up

    Facebook (snif), it’s so good to me…it’s like….family, God, country, (snif), apple pie (pumpkin pie?)

    funny thing is, LinkedIn’s growth rate last month beat Facebook’s by a wide margin, according to Nielsen — I just blogged about that

    but why am I sure no one will be waxing on with a Thanksgiving prayer to LinkedIn?