Yes, that’s right. I have joined the huddled and unwashed masses, and I now have a facebook account.
Allow me to set one thing straight though! The only reason that I caved: to destroy one’s enemy, one must first understand one’s enemy. I still think the concept is fundamentally wrong, but just my first 2 days in facebook has shown me some of the things it does astoundingly well, which are major hurdles to any attempt to replace the thing.
Here’s the thing facebook does right. Connect people.
The people facebook presented me with that it thought I might want to be friends with? Whew! It does it’s job pretty well! I did things step-by-step just to see what it would give me. When I entered that I worked at Apple, it gave me a lot of people. When I narrowed down that I lived in portland, it gave me people from my area, primarily people from my downtown store. When I the entered my email address it gave me a bunch MORE people. (I started with the address “email@example.com” just to test this functionality.)
It seems to remember anyone who’s ever searched for my name, my email address, or tagged anything with either of those. This is impressive, and something I have no idea how to duplicate when designing a distributed social networking service. This one thing (which I had previously overlook due to my anti-facebookery) ? may be the thing that makes facebook worth saving rather than destroying. At the very least it’s an incredible hurdle to overcome.
I’m going to go approve some people as friends so that I can “write on their wall” in a snide and demeaning tone.