Commentary

My Foray into Facebook

  • by , March 28, 2009

So I finally did it. I signed up for a Facebook account. I know you’re saying to yourself, “What?!?! There are still college students that aren’t on Facebook?!?!” And my answer to that is, “Yes.” But there is now one less.

I used to be quite opposed to social-networking sites (SNS), since it seemed, to me, to make more sense to actually talk to someone face to face or on the phone… or even through email. I always thought that SNS just added another annoying medium of communication that I would have to find time to use. But I have finally caved in and created a Facebook account for myself.

My aversion to Facebook, and SNS, in general, started during the sophomore year of my undergrad. I remember I created a LiveJournal account (remember those?) at the suggestion of a friend. After a couple weeks, LiveJournal kind of died for me, and I was soon prompted by a neighbor to join the new online craze – MySpace. I didn’t take the advice right away, and I’m glad I didn’t since it was literally one week later that the very same neighbor suggested I join an even newer online craze – Facebook.

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It was then that I swore off all social networking past, present and future. It’s not that I thought it was going to be some passing trend – I was fairly certain that social networking, and Web 2.0, in general, was here to stay (although, I didn’t think about it such tech/communication oriented terms).

And so, over the following 3 or 4 years, I watched as Facebook grew exponentially – the advent of “The Wall,” the controversial news feed, and of course, all of my friends hopping on the bandwagon, electronically coordinating their social lives. Yet I still resisted.

So why did I finally give in to the big F? There were a couple contributing factors: mainly wanting to reconnect with people from high school, but I also thought if I’m going to be in the realm of media and communication sciences for the rest of my life, I probably ought to know the basics of one of the largest websites on the planet.

And what kind of blossoming media researcher would I be if I didn’t keep some notes on my experience with Facebook? Once I signed up with Facebook, I looked for the aforementioned high school chums, and I found quite a few. What I didn’t expect was nearly everyone from my graduate cohort (and the head of the TCOM department) finding me within 24 hours. Within the first day, I had 21 friends, and by the end of the first week, I had 46. It’s insane how quickly people find each other.

One thing that really surprised me was how seemingly under-utilized Facebook was, in terms of advertising. I know that’s the whole debate right within the advertising community – how do you make money off of something that is targeted at poor college and high school students? But I expected to see at least some legitimate ads, but the only thing I ever see are get-rich-quick schemes, free MacBooks, and fake IQ tests. That is an untapped well of 175 million people worldwide (and, according to Facebook’s most recent numbers, growing by 5 million every week). Someone will eventually figure it out. And that person will become an overnight millionaire.

So what’s next for me on the 2.0 horizon? Twitter, Orkut, Flickr? Something equally time-consuming? Who knows? But if you’re curious, I’ll let you know… it’ll likely make it on to my wall.

2 comments about "My Foray into Facebook".
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  1. Malcolm Rasala, April 21, 2009 at 12:23 a.m.

    What a load of tosh. Does anyone care that this Ryanbody signed on to Facebook? Of what earthly significance is it to any living human being that he did and then observed that serious intelligent people like advertisers do not use Facebook or largely most other Social Networking sites. Such sites are primarily for sad little nobodies with no intelligent lives. Who wants to share their supposed friends with strangers; it is very weird. Who care who someones friends are do you? These sites are largely for morons. They evidence the reality that parents, our educational systems, our media are producing such one dimensional little brains who can find nothing better to do than waste their lives on such drivel. They say one is born every moment. Facebook, Twitter et al prove this sad reality.

  2. sylvie chen, May 13, 2009 at 6:05 p.m.

    If you look at Facebook's ad rates, they are way overblown on eCPM. Since they have not as yet implemented behavioral attributes that are available for ad networks, you won't see much broad market media reaching out to SNs.

    the problem with exposing behavioral data means that Facebook is faced with the stringent EU model of privacy (read: OPT-IN is the default).
    Germany prohibits advertising through the web unless the viewer specifically allows it. As such Facebook is built on an OPT-OUT model, even so they don't have a feature to allow viewers to block ads. (you can download Firefox plug in AdBlock which does that for you over time).

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