I’m breaking my blogging silence.
I saw The Social Network tonight.
And the social media nerd inside of me could have easily moved from the movie theater to a round table discussion on Facebook – the business, the concept, the technology…the thing that in 7 years has become an essential part of our cultural fabric.
But instead I’m sitting on my couch hoping that maybe someone will agree, disagree, identify with my ramblings. At the very least the tap of the keyboard and the blinking of the cursor somehow allow me to process my thoughts.
My parents aren’t on Facebook. I don’t think they’ve ever even seen it. But when we talk about an old friend or even family members, they ask me if I’ve seen anything about them on Facebook lately. They may not realize it, but they have an understanding that Facebook is something powerful that connects me to other people.
The movie made me nostalgic more than anything. I found myself much more absorbed in my experiences than the plot line (however true or untrue it may be.) I am one of the 500 million. I am one of the reasons Facebook is where it is today. I remember when my friends at a smaller college than mine could sign up and my school hadn’t been added yet. I remember going into my bookmarks and changing it from The Facebook to Facebook. And I remember the first time I Facebook stalked this cute guy in one of my classes to see if he was single. Before tagging and newsfeeds and apps – I remember when I used Facebook because it was fun and interesting without any thought of best practices and limited profiles and privacy.
Never before had I thought much about Mark Zuckerberg. Sure, I’ve read interviews, articles about him, blog posts by him. But I knew very little of the back story of Facebook beyond what everyone knows – it started in a dorm room at Harvard.
On the flip side, I probably know more than I need to about many other social media celebrities and technological founding fathers. I find myself caught up in the drama and battles of start-ups and media giants alike. Apple vs. Google. Flash vs. HTML5. How will they monetize Twitter? What’s Hulu doing to TV viewership?
What’s the difference? I’ve gone from someone who used Facebook purely for social interaction, ignorant of the technology to someone critically analyzing and studying social media trends, traffic reports and business models.
Only recently have I become a social media fanatic.
Back when I signed up for Facebook I didn’t even turn on my computer everyday. I didn’t have text messaging on my phone. And if you had asked me what a blog was, I probably would have said, “What?” I signed up for Facebook because my roommate did.
My new media revelation happened a few years later. And now I analyze analytics reports daily weighing pageviews, unique visitors and time on site. I launched a new WAP site this week. I made a widget today. Between work and my personal life I manage 7 Twitter accounts, 1 Facebook account, 3 Facebook pages, 2 blogs, and 3 websites. And I’m the type of person who has moved tables at a restaurant so I can be near an outlet because my smartphone died and I have to plug it in so I can relax.
So where am I going with all of this? I’m not sure.
Facebook has changed a lot in the last few years, internally and externally. And in a purely technological sense so have I.
My Facebook experience was an organic one and it has grown and changed with my new media journey.
And even if I care more about the drama and back story of other companies, I still know that at the end of the day I’ve spent thousands of dollars on Apple products, I can’t go a day without Googling something, I checked in at the movie theater on Foursquare, I watched The Office on Hulu yesterday, I bought my Halloween costume on Amazon and when I finish this blog post on WordPress it will auto post to Twitter. I am still a participant.
If you’re actually still reading, I’m impressed.
Now it’s your turn. Have you seen the movie? What’s your social network evolution?
Posted under Web/Tech
This post was written by jjarvis on October 13, 2010