Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fast Company's take on Facebook

"Facebook is the 'It' company of 2007" says FastCompany magazine.

In their November, 2007 issue, now available online, writer Ellen McGirt takes a look at this rising tech company, which is certainly the darling of the moment. If you've been hearing about Facebook but you aren't sure what all the fuss is about, give it a read.

Last week, Microsoft paid $240 million for just 1.6% of the company, which means (according to Microsoft) the value of the company is about $15 billion. Which is crazy, according to some (or maybe all) analysts, notably John Dvorak, who thinks Microsoft is nuts.

FastCompany (and I'm sure plenty of other sites as well) also has an interesting look at the relationship between Microsoft and Facebook and why they might have done this deal.

Whatever the true value of the company, there's no denying how popular the social networking site has become. Heck, even I have an account there and a lot of my colleagues do as well. Although it started out as a place for college kids, its wide open now and being used by people of all ages.

What's interesting is that unlike some other sites, such as MySpace, Facebook seems to have captured the imagination of business types, who are using it as a business tool.

But is Facebook really leading a revolution or is it just the flavour of the month, like Friendster or other social networking sites that have gone before it. They all ruled the roost at one point, but faded as new players came along.

Personally, I think there's something different going on now. What's happening is that these sites are starting to figure out how to work with each other, so that you don't have to recreate yourself each time you join a new one. It's early yet, but I think that the ability to follow the activities of people you know as they go about their daily lives is something that we'll come to expect.

What about you? Are you using Facebook, or Twitter, or some other service that keeps you up to date with what your friends are doing, and let's them know what you're up to? Do you want to participate in something like that?

Whether Facebook or the other sites out there now are the ones that end up sticking is an open question. But what seems clear is that the connected world we're living in today is a reality that isn't going to go away.

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook (membership required) or LinkedIn or Flickr or MyRagan (again, membership required) or...well, you get the idea.

See you online.

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