10 Things You Need to Know about Facebook

Check out this article in Information Today entitled Facebook 101: Ten Things You Need to Know about Facebook.

If you’re not in the primary Facebook demographic and you’re not spending time using it despite that, then you really need to read this article. You’ve got to understand Facebook, and more importantly the concept of the social graph, going forward.

The social graph will simply be another piece of context that applications will leverage to help people do things. And the question then becomes (1) how many times do you want to store your social graph and (2) how do you avoid social graph train wrecks. On (1), do you really want to tell Yelp, Flickr, Spock, LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo, YouTube, BlueCollarOrDie, Classmates, Match, SlideShare, Scribd, Twitter, and DocStoc that you’re friends with Sara Jones? Can’t you just do it once or twice? On (2), how do you prevent your LinkedIn associates from meeting your stays-in-Vegas friends from Fling? How can you prevent a Facebook app from asking you to compare a board member’s body with a customer’s?

I realized in chatting with a young Mark Logician that the day Facebook announced its application platform strategy there were two types of people:

  • Type 1: Those who immediately went wow, this is going to change the world
  • Type 2: Those who went, huh, what does that mean?

Sadly, I was type 2 but I was intrigued enough to try and figure out what it meant and am happy that I did. Here are the 10 things you should know:

1. Who is using Facebook?
2. What can you find on Facebook?
3. Why are people using Facebook?
4. What kinds of 3rd party apps can you add?
5. What are advertisers doing on Facebook?
6. Who else is joining?
7. What groups are now on Facebook?
8. Why is Facebook so popular for photo sharing?
9. How do you find old friends?
10. What about privacy?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that I get quoted at the end of the story talking about KickIt, our (rather experimental) Facebook app. Here’s the excerpt:

Mark Logic, Inc. recently joined Facebook with its Kick It application, according to Dave Kellogg, president and CEO. “We launched it because we saw an opportunity to build a nice, simple example of the power of XQuery and XML search,” he says. But the app was created quite by accident (who said “Necessity is the mother of invention”?) by David Amusin, a new staffer at Mark Logic and a recent engineering graduate from the University of California–Berkeley. Amusin had an extra ticket to see the Dave Matthews Band and wanted to find a friend to invite to the concert. Facebook’s existing search wasn’t very helpful in searching for friends by interest category, so Amusin built the Kick It (aka “hang out”) app with the Facebook API. The result was a new way to help find people to “kick it” with and learn more about their friends.

Kellogg reports that bloggers who have found the “neat little app” have responded quite positively to it. But the company isn’t making a big push to drive traffic and doesn’t plan on making money on it. “In the midterm, I think more and more publishers are going to want to link with the social graph and associated information in building their products,” says Kellogg. “They will want to use content platforms that show demonstrable Facebook integration and to work with suppliers who understand how to leverage the Facebook API.”

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