Facebook and the boy genius du jour, Mark Zuckerberg are prominently featured on the Newsweek cover this week. In the past several months Facebook has become the darling of the tech world due mostly to its “Applications” feature and Silicon Valley needing a new starlet after YouTube was acquired by Google. The most influential blog publications have gushed incessantly about Facebook and are following its every move like a TMZ paparazzi. It’s like a schoolgirl’s first crush with a bevy of enthusiastic proclamations such as “Look how cool it looks on my iphone!” or “They have a RSS Facebook newsfeed!”. That’s ultra cool according to Mike Arrington of TechCrunch who is beginning to remind me of James Spader’s character from Pretty in Pink, which I guess would make me” Ducky” since I don’t have any juice or popularity whatsoever. “Ultra cool” is a term I have not heard since my I wore “Hammer” pants and my main mode of transport was a pogo ball. Then again the Sith Lord of Silicon Valley does count the Pussycat Dolls, My Chemical Romance and the Black Eyed Peas as his favorite musical acts, so if the Hammer pants fit….
Admittedly, I too have jumped on the bandwagon (probably after reading about all the hype in TechCrunch) and started to favor the site in lieu of the stoic LinkedIn for building my network and trolling for my dream gig. Late at night I have caught myself adding ridiculous applications that are of little consequence and fleeting amusement. Inner thought to myself: “I’m sure that XYZ company is going to love that I added the “Arrested Development Application!” Pathetic, yes I know. I do find it amusing that the royalty of the tech world have now latched onto a site that was beloved by millions of binge drinking college students for quite some time now. In fact, I recently noticed that my three sisters residing in the 3rd world of Trinidad & Tobago have been using Facebook religiously for the last several years. Maybe these Caribbean islanders should hold a conference filled with dudes in ill fitting khakis and blue shirts (this portion of joke stolen from Valleywag) who twitter about the fact there is a “hottie” at the Looksmart booth passing out schwag. That’s a shoutout to my friend Kaley Dobson who will indeed be manning the LookSmart booth at the Trekkie convention aka Search Engine Strategies in San Jose this weekend, and was actually in a movie called “Hotties”.
SEOs rejoice that there will be at least one good looking girl at SES this year and that they can Twitter from the Google Dance on their iphones.
Yesterday, it was also revealed that Kickapps had received an additional$11 million dollars in funding in an effort to become the market leader in the increasingly competitive “white-label” social network world. I have fiddled around with both Kickapps and Ning and they are both pretty easy to use, especially for a non-programmer such as myself. One must wonder if a “long tail” of social networks is something that will hold any stickiness to its members. I mean do I really need need a social network for my kickball league or book club? I guess it works for companies who would like to add an SNS to their corporate websites but how much utility and benefit does it really bring? Only time will tell, I guess. After being in Big Sky, Montana for five days last week sans Internet access I found the best and most enjoyable social network is still the old school variety. The kind where I am surrounded by my best friends in the world and I can buy a round of drinks and talk some ish.