More-on Facebook

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

I was discussing Facebook and some of my ideas for applications we should develop for clients with my boss at the 9-to-5er yesterday (after my very pro-Facebook post), and I realized part of the reason why I’m so protective of it-I practically grew up with Facebook (yes, I’m that young, or it’s that old, you pick). He was saying how it’s a hard sell for a lot of clients, because they don’t see the value in an app or widget for their products, to which I countered that that is exactly why they need one (and us)-because no one is doing much with it yet.

Older generations bash Facebook because they just don’t get it and feel left cartoonfb.gifout by the culture it has created (like in the Dave Walker cartoon at right); in response, they hold on even tighter to old methods that won’t work for much longer. I know I have a personal bias towards Facebook, but beyond my own adoration for this obsessive time-waster turned marketing gem, I honestly believe Mark Zuckerberg’s creation is revolutionizing social media and word of mouth marketing (WOMM).

Just look at all the new ideas coming out around Facebook every day: Stanford will now offer a classon Facebook App development, raising the bar for all new profile pimping programs; Google will begin indexing profiles much like MySpace; and Facebook has finally realized it’s place in targeted marketing with a new advertising scheme that is poised to change the way advertisers use the web.

This last piece of news is a few weeks old, which, to me, only makes anti-cartoon.gifFacebook rants more amusing. As a BU alum, the first non-Ivy to join Facebook, and long time Facebook user (that’s my CartoonYou self at left), I can boast that my profile ID# is under the 1 million mark), I’ve seen just how powerful this website can be. When Facebook first started opening up, there were two opposing views: the skeptics who saw no value or amusement in it (not me) and the awed undergrads with penchants for procrastination (definitely me).

With 85% of college students now using Facebook, it’s clear that most students eventually came around (or graduated and gave up). But for those of us who watched it grow from the ground up, Facebook is not a new phenomenon, but a social network that realized its potential and came into its own.

When companies finally come around, anyone who took a chance early on and listened to “some kid” about the opportunities that Facebook presents will be way ahead of the curve. My advice to anyone looking for a cool, new way to get your message out there is to listen to those of us who’ve been there from the beginning-we knew it was coming, Facebook just had to catch up.

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