It’s always a good idea to fortell the doom of something thats just hit contemporary consciousness. It’s a good way to strike up a conversation and especially good thing to do when your blogging, since you’ll have a record of saying it well before anyone else.
I am here to cast the doom on Facebook.
I have written before about the very basic need of humans to be acknowledged by other humans. The existence of this need explains why we greet people; in the hopes that they will greet us back, it explains why people want to become famous; to have their lives be one huge acknowledgement from day-in day-out. Numerous social customs revolve around this need. We exist because other people think we do.
Not only reaching critical mass, Facebook has also tapped this basic need. They have only gone at it the wrong way. Facebook encourages you to beg for acknowledgement. That’s what constant status-updates, pokes, invites and tags are all about. The computer-network-aided extension of what has, in part, allowed humans to flourish so well. There are dozens of ways you can go about it.
But thats not how you build a long-lasting social networking platform. People get tired of being poked, novelty wears off quickly. A critical mass can be negative, when the right (amount of) people of a certain social circle leave, rest will quickly follow.
The initial chink in the armor of Facebook will be the futility of the way it enables social interaction. It goes about it the wrong way, Facebook makes it rewarding to be acknowledged (with numbers alone, e.g. how many friends do you have, how many people liked this ), not rewarding to awknowledge other people.
If you can come up with a way to achieve that with your social networking, I’d say you are on your way to riches as well as building something a bit more valuable.