Managing Partner, Wave Strategic Consulting

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What's the Point of Facebook?

Really. What does it achieve for you? Why do you update your profile? What reaction do you hope will result from doing it? Why do you want to get back in touch with friends you lost touch with? Why did you lose touch with them if they were so important to you?

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    Mar 31 2011: the point of facebook?

    there was a young guy with a brilliant idea
    who connected people from different schools together
    and the idea grew
    into a global network
    connecting people

    and the best marketing scoop......IT IS FREE!

    it is a huge database

    where you as a marketeer could place advertising

    which makes it a very profitable enterprise!

    This is the point of Facebook!
    Money making
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    Mar 30 2011: Haha was just waiting for someone to create this debate. The main reason is because it gives birth to a lot of attachment by constantly keeping you on the tip of your toes to find out who updated what. It creates a sense of constant flow. Keeps things fresh. Freshness is something many people need today in a world that is just frighteningly degrading and systematic. It's always the same old shit. FB allows them to cut away from it all and feel loved or important or whatever. In the center of attention at all times basically. That is a very powerful feeling. It can get very addictive. That is what FB is at the core. Addiction. There is no point to it unless used appropriately and in good measure. Which is why I've been designing a brand new network for three years that has the ability to turn this randomness into a resource that changes the world. Something with more value, something more healthy, mature, global, educational, and extremely fun at the same time. In my opinion, that is the only type of network that can topple the king of the virtual hill. A network that has more value and reaches out more to the people. FB is not reaching out to the people. It's misusing the people and dictating its will left and right. It doesn't give a damn what people think.
  • Apr 5 2011: It seems to me that FB, and their cousins, texting & cell phones, are used by teenagers to escape some sense of anonymity. It gives them a sense that they are somebody. I think it’s a validation mechanism of some sort used by teenagers to escape feeling like a commodity.
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    Apr 5 2011: FaceBook was invented by some college kids with high school sensibilities and values. Like most high school kids, at its core, FaceBook is shallow and narcissistic. What are YOU doing? How do YOU feel? Do YOU 'like' or 'dislike'? The FaceBook universe revolves around YOU. This moment-to-moment obsession on what YOU are feeling and doing and thinking is the typical self absorption of the average high school kid. I don't mean to condemn it. At that age, I suppose every kid is self-absorbed. If Mr. Zuckerberg knew how successful his Frankenstein monster would become, maybe he would have made it more mature. It's good to keep in touch with long lost friends, but there are real friends and FB friends. FaceBook has re-invented the term 'friend'. After a lifetime, most people make a handful of true friends, not the hundreds of fake friends that FaceBook says you have. I refuse to post anything true about myself. FaceBook is a goldmine for identity theft. Neither will I post pictures of others without their consent. And since children cannot give knowledgeable consent, I will not post pictures of kids in my family. FaceBook is a good way to keep in touch with sound bytes of information. It's shallow and another indication of a dumbed-down society but, you can have fun with it, up to a point. I keep wondering what might happen if all the shallow FB chatter were devoted to a serious cause. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - lets meet at the square in Cairo, 6pm
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      Apr 3 2011: It lacks value after a certain period of time. Just becomes another annoying thing you gotta do every day, even if you don't want to admit it. And the reason you can't delete your account easily is because that is one of the sneaky ways that Mark keeps you hooked. You think it's difficult for him to give people a delete button? How is it that EVERY network on the internet has it and only FB doesn't with 1000 employees working full time? It is a very psychological, strategic move. Mark knows and always knew how annoying FB could become for users owing to the very nature of a social network (namely constantly adding people, requests, etc.) who would just delete their accounts out of annoyance. This "deactivation" system is FB's way of saying, "Hey friend, we know you left us and all, but its ok, we don't mind. Cool down and come on back. We're ALL waiting..." Millions of users who left at first, returned shortly after thanks to this system. Mark ain't stupid.

      This is why I say that FB just becomes annoying, if not dangerous and addictive eventually. Simply because of the way its designed. It isn't healthy or a positive influence at all and if it is, only in very small doses. Which is why I say that only a more positive, exciting, secure, and user-respecting network can topple FB and believe, it's coming considering how much the internet has advanced forward. Here's to the day it does. Cheers!
  • Apr 2 2011: About a month ago I started a conversation "Is FB an evil or a sign of everlasting evolution?" , it was not popular, 18 comments,half of them-my own responses. Mainly people gladly accepted FB like a gift and I decided that I was in slow group and needed catching up. But still I am not in and don't want to. Actually, I have some concerns about this phenomenon. Some say it's great, it's free! But there is nothing free under the sun, it costs you time,and time is not money, it's life! What could be more expensive? And for what ? - for the illusion that you keep your fingures all over the place? I think it's a major response for miner needs. Especially I am worried about our kids, they are deeply in...so it is a long talk. Gareth, may I ask you to answer your own question? I feel you have something to say
  • Apr 1 2011: Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with other people, to share your pictures and experience without bothering them with frequent emails.

    Basically your friends will get as much information about you and your experiences as they like. You "publish" what you want to share with others and others "subscribe" to your updates.

    I don't use Facebook as I feel they are currently a monopoly in social space and I think they are not responsible in terms of their members privacy.

    I hope alternatives will come to the market. Anyone knows about some?
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    Apr 1 2011: Facebook is the 1,567th way to get all your personal information for free. Luckily, a lot of people lie.
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    Mar 31 2011: I set up a Facebook page because I was told one needs to have one. It was fun. I had about five friends. Then I met a woman who suggested we be friends. I was happy to be her friend until I saw she had hundreds of friends. It had nothing to do with me. It was all about her.

    I don't do Facebook anymore. I'm sure there's value since it's a very big enterprise. Just not for me.
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    • Apr 1 2011: I'm with you. After living on 3 continents and in 5 countries over the last years, I have friends in all places. Time zone differences make it difficult to meet in chat rooms regularly, same with talking on the phone. Facebook is a good way to keep up to date with people, especially about those little things you wouldn't bother emailing about.
      Do I keep in touch with some people I wouldn't have otherwise? Yes, but I don't think that's a bad thing. In fact, when I now meet up with people, even after not seeing them for a while, I feel like I still know what's going on in their life - I've seen pics of their babies, weddings, birthday parties. Also, it's a great networking tool. I can't count the fun times I've had on my travels b/c someone read on FB that I'll be in XYZ and connected me with their brother/friend/cousin there.

      I don't think FB replaces real-life relationships or the value of talking personally (or even on the phone). But it can, if you use it right, keep you closer to the people you care about. Finally, I have a couple 'rules' about FB:
      1. I don't 'collect' as many friends as possible. I stick to a 200 friends limit and from time to time I delete those people i haven't talked to in a long time.
      2. I don't accept friend requests from people in my past, just to 'catch up'. If I haven't been in contact with them for the last 10 years, there's probably a reason for that!
      3. I closely keep professional and personal life separate and I don't post things I wouldn't want my Grandma to read.
      4. I make a point of maintaining contact with my FB friends outside of FB. I still write Christmas and birthday cards.

      And lastly: I do understand peoples' reservation against Facebook - not least because of the data/privacy issues. But I just wonder if people who are disgusted by 'friend collecting' on FB have their Outlook address book so cleaned up that there isn't a single 'contact body' in sight... ;-)
  • Mar 30 2011: I gather from this and your other topic that you are in favour of face-to-face interaction rather than remote communication. I totally agree. I can sort of see why young people use Facebook so much, as it is a kind of update of email as a form of instant communication and is a surrogate personal website. What I can't understand is its attraction for older and/or more intelligent people, which leads to Eldred's First Law of Social Media, which states that if your IQ plus your age exceeds 125, you have no business being on Facebook.

    Ad agencies constantly pester me to use Facebook and Twitter to market my company, but the only justification they ever offer is the creation of 'buzz', as if somehow having a bunch of young twits text each other about my business will bring in more paying customers. Facebook will, of course, fade, as has every other fad throughout history. But in the meantime every one of my kids and every one of my employees is a member, so there is obviously something going on there. Happily, I am an old fart and don't understand it, nor do I particularly wish to.