By APNWLNS payday loans
They say that first step to overcoming any addiction is admitting that you have a problem. The thing is, I’m not sure if facebook is a habit that I really want to lick. I just hope they don’t force me to give it up…
So what am I talking about here? Well, let me explain. One of the greatest things about the ‘book is that it allows you to define your individuality and share it with the world through the tools which the software provides. The problem is that a person’s identity is defined by that representations of a collection of niche interests that Facebook (and any other social networking site, really) is far too internalized to properly reflect. Sure I can let people know that I like U2, but why isn’t that piece of information hyperlinked to my favourite fan message board? Yes I can post a link to an external site, but that ends up getting buried to the left nav once it leaves my newsfeed, rarely to be referenced again. Enter an opportunity to usher in a new generation of social networking.
As social networking sites work to keep audiences networked within their own site, they seem to be missing the opportunity that they have to be, less an all-emcompassing destination, and more, a powerful hub. Think of it as a chance to become a widely distributed online homepage, that allows for a consolidation of niche interests in the form of a collection of personally relevant links across the world wide web into one place. Imagine if, in addition to the Groups feature, users could easily, visually and continually associate themselves with a miriad of external sources – favourite blogs, video sharing sites, associations, social causes and company websites which truly define the individual. This is really what social networking is (or at least should be) all about.
While this does involve sending users temporarily away from their portal, Facebook needs to recognize the immense appeal to users of being able to fully experience the world of their online friends. Think of the addictive value of allowing Facebookers to exploring the outward-looking interests of their collection of friends while associating the experience of content and communities across the internet with their URL serving as a hub. The productivity lost to worldwide businesses aside, knowing the user habits of so many of my own friends, I’m certain that such an evolved site would become the internet’s newest super-drug. It would be like social LSD!
Interestingly enough, this lack of recognition isn’t too different than the battle that’s going on across the digital content space. Just as Facebook looks to keep its audience for the most part internal, content rights holders clamour to hang onto their audience through bullying tactics and the dreaded DRM – even when it means losing a few early adopters to a competitor that isn’t so concerned with total control. But as The Cluetrain Manifesto so prophetically told us, markets are about conversations, and I’d like to think that the best conversations happen when you’re not put in a digital full nelson and forced to stay in one place to have them.
While posting links and writing notes is fine for now, it’s time for Facebook, and social networking as a whole to evolve. Once the ‘book gets through its fad phase and its features (which are still somewhat dazzling to many of the mainstream online audience) become commonplace for all, audiences will certainly begin to seek out a new way to have a better conversation. I just hope that Facebook evolves to facilitate this because if not, I might have to take the hardest step for any addict and give it up cold turkey.