Facebook has a lot of utility and that’s why so many people are using it these days. I think I’ve said before that social networking sites seem to trend towards flavor-of-the-month. Show of hands – how many of us went from Friendster to MySpace to Facebook over the past three years without a hiccup or a smidge of brand devotion?
One thing I like so much about Facebook is the opportunity for me to a) see what people are doing now, both right now and professionally and b) see people’s hobbies and personal likes such as music, movies, books, etc. It’s really, really interesting. As someone who minored in sociology, it could very well be the internet’s great sociological experiment to date.
Friends of our family live in the next town over and we get to hang out with them a few times a year. They, too, have two young children and we always enjoy their company because they are funny and interesting people to talk to. But take a look at what our friend Kolby put in there for her “occupation.”
Drudgery. That shit is funny! That is the kind of stuff I like to see in people’s profiles. It’s only one single word, but it’s honest and fits her personality. This is what MySpace and Friendster didn’t really have. Now, I can’t say with any degree of confidence that five years from now we won’t be looking back at Facebook the same way we do the deadpool of other social networking sites, but I can say Facebook is the most evolved and useful out of all of them so far. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if someone came along and did ’em one better though.
Another very interesting thing to look at, which you’ve probably seen elsewhere, is the amount of traffic that a site like Facebook can drive to a site. Take a look below at the site stats for this blog since January 1, 2009:
NEVER before has any site driven more traffic to RustedRobot than Google. Google has always been the top referrer of traffic, for obvious reasons. But this year, Facebook has rocketed above Google search (listed 3rd as google.com above). I have no idea whatsoever why Google Image Search is the top referrer, by the way. I think it might be because my most popular post ever on this site contains links to pictures of a baby panda and a baby polar bear. Anyway, you can plainly see how powerful Facebook could be if they play their cards right. Maybe there isn’t one company that can challenge the beast that is Google, but between Facebook and Twitter, you have two extremely powerful and terrribly useful websites who offer a very differentiated and compelling search elemen . Interesting stuff.