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September 24, 2007 | by  | in Games |
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Facebook

www.facebook.com

Last week MySpace joined the Baiji dolphin in extinction, once a popular social networking site, MySpace is now clung onto by a handful of musos, teenage girls and desperate tryhards who are trying to disprove its extinction. Meanwhile a Giant Moa and Tasmanian Tiger were recently both spotted south of Timbucktu during the last blue moon.

MySpace was killed off by a better designed, more user friendly (and that is an understatement!), and integrated site called Facebook. Facebook’s popularity reached critical mass last week as everyone in the Salient office spontaneously agreed on something for once, that Facebook is the best social networking site in cyberspace, R.I.P MySpace and bye bye soon to Bebo.

Officially according to Alexa The Web Information Company Facebook is the 9th ranked New Zealand website due to traffic, just behind YouTube and three places ahead of MySpace on 12th.

Usually I’m averse to social networking sites due to not having much free time on my hands. A Facebook invitation had been sitting in my Hotmail Inbox since June and last week I joined and discovered that it’s impressive because it is actually highly useful for those who don’t have much free time on their hands after all.

A perfect substitute for having to wade through a long list of text emails Facebook is interactive and immediate. In the background while you are split screening doing the usual 1000 things at once you can keep tabs on what everyone else is up to.

Facebook started off at Harvard University in a similar way that Google started on the West Coast at Stanford University. Like these things go it is almost eerie the similarities between the two. Launched in February 4, 2004 by the young Mark Zuckerberg (born May 14, 1984), Facebook through its superior design and simplicity has grown rapidly in the last three months. Already the media in typical fashion have caught on, Christopher Beam on the highly rated tech news site Slate (http://slate.com/id/2168872/) has an excellent article titled “In Your Face – How Facebook could crush MySpace, Yahoo!, and Google.’

So how does Facebook work? Well you will usually get an email invitation from a friend, mine left a post on my wall saying “… I have taken your wallflower. Welcome to Facebook!” The wall is a place where you say random messages to and from friends on your list not unlike if everyone had a walkie-talkie on them. For more personal and private messages you can just send a friend a message. Facebook is a handy substitute for regular e-mail.

One handy feature of Facebook is the groups you can join. The best strategy is to join most groups on your friend’s lists, and narrow them down later on.

The applications are what really makes Facebook stand out; automatically you have photos, groups and events as default settings. The photos section has since passed Flickr as the biggest photo sharing place on the Internet.

You can upload videos to your profile but as of yet you cannot link YouTube due to the obvious legal entanglement Facebook would get itself into if it did this. As Facebook’s video FAQ states “Users will not be able to export or download videos from Facebook. Facebook Video is meant for sharing and viewing videos of people with whom you share a real-world connection, not watching random clips from strangers.”

If there is anything bad about Facebook, it is the casual way huge amounts of information of people is put on it and how easy it is for others to find it. This is indicative of the entire Internet, we are in the middle of the biggest information revolution in human history, more so than even the printing press. Like anything this can be abused by individuals and governments, it doesn’t have to be authoritarian regimes, it can just be from the usual spammers and telemarketers. If you are paranoid about your privacy then it is wise to just allow friends on the list be able to see your profile.

Facebook is truly revolutionary, in such that everyone all of a sudden happens to be using it, I will go nuts on it for a while (like I did with email back in 97 and with Google straight after 9/11) and then things will settle down and I will just use it like I use everything else on the Net. For it is not until it becomes an ordinary part of everyday life without anymore fuss that it will be the behemoth it may become…


YouTube Video of the Week:

Attenborough – Lyre Bird

One of the funniest things you will hear and see and yes they really can do that…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjE0Kdfos4Y

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