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10 December 2009 @ 09:25 am
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This post from theweaselking prompted this admission:

I still don't get Facebook. What is it? I can't see any pages, and all anyone will say is that it's a "social networking site".

I "get" LiveJournal. It's a blog site that makes it simple to aggregate blogs you like to read into a "friends" list, and allow certain levels of trusted access to the people on that list. I get what people DO here; it's a BLOG. Same with DeviantArt; it's an art site with interactive comments and journals. At its core, though, people post ART.

Hell, I even get MySpace: it's Geocities 2.0.

But I don't get Facebook. From all the descriptions I've heard, it's Links Without Content.

I've had a few people say, "why don't you just sign up and see for yourself?"

... is it just me, or is there something inherently cultish about that phrase?

Edit: BoingBoing just provided a link to an image that pretty much answers my question:


"Facebook: The Medium is the Message." Elegant.


 
 
I feel: confusedconfused
 
 
 
Auryanne: animals: beeauryanne on December 10th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
I like Facebook for sharing links and pictures, but its format doesn't really lend itself to anything more than a sentence or so.

I also have all of my family members there, so I have to be a bit more selective in what I say ;)
Braxusbraxus on December 10th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
To me, I see it as a cross between LJ and twitter.
Odieodiedragon on December 10th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
In a nutshell, it's Livejournal Lite. With very few of LJ's good bits, and a lot of bad stuff tacked on. You have status updates instead of posts. Not as limited as Twitter, from my understanding, and you can post links and pictures and stuff.

I'm not a fan. But, I've reconnected with some old friends on there though, so it's good for something. I guess.
Araquan Skytraceraraquan on December 10th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much my impression of it as well. I do technically have an account there but it's just a sort of "signpost" so people who know me by my RL name can find me and I can redirect them to other means of contact. There's a message on my "wall" to that effect, actually, and that's the only thing I've put into Facebook.
Tombfyretombfyre on December 10th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
As far as I've seen, its a very strange blend of twitter and LJ, with a lot of other random and often useless crap tacked on. People spend more time telling everyone what their mood is right now than actually contributing any sort of meaningful content.
Sara/Caribousaribou on December 10th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
I don't get it either. All the work ladies do it. It seems so lonely and isolated, millions of islands in a wide sea.
(Deleted comment)
Your Obedient Serpent: Eye - VKathelind on December 10th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
... it's taught me a lot about how people who start in similar circumstances can end up extremely different people twenty years later.

That may be part of my hesitation. My one really good friend from high school died more than a decade ago, and I'm not really eager to advertise what a train wreck my life has become to mere acquaintances.

Sometimes, dropping off the face of the earth isn't accidental.

That aside, you've said the first POSITIVE thing that actually gives me a REASON to consider getting an account.
KehzaFox: Squishedkfops on December 11th, 2009 12:50 am (UTC)
Definitely. There are many people that I simply do not want to have a connection with again.

Plus, it has created an extremely frustrating dynamic at work with supervisors wondering why co-workers haven't added them as their friends and whatnot.
Moultmoult on December 10th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
The concept of it I have is that it's somewhere you can post your contact details and life status in such a way that only people who know you can see them, and that people who you once knew can find you and you can broach contact should you wish. In that respect I think it's brilliant and worthwhile - and in that respect I'm deeply frustrated that so few people use it that way because of (partly fallacious) fears for their privacy, and that Facebook's developers have adapted to people's use of it by adding all manner of peripheral gubbins like Chat and Walls and Apps...
J. R. Caldoonhaystack on December 11th, 2009 06:39 am (UTC)
We joked in one of the Communication Arts classes I took that it was "Stalkerbook", but they have plenty of safeguards to keep unwanted eyes away from one's info. I have a Facebook account, but never use it... LJ is my mainstay and has been for years.
Tugrik - Modern Day Monoceros: snarkytugrik on December 10th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
My take on it is that it's a "home page for people who can't figure out how to make a home page". The barrier to entry is exceedingly low, skills-wise, so "even grandma can use it". It's for people who can't be bothered to actually write out a journal or blog, as that's just too involved.

Think of it like every kid in kindergarten is given a square chunk of the classroom wall to claim as their own. Draw all over it with crayon (status updates), Sprinkle liberally with macaroni art (links to everything) and glitter (videos/music). Combine this with tons of companies trying to make a buck (usually in shady ways, like online 'games' that actually farm all your data and spam your friends) and you've got Facebook. And yes, most of the pages are about as pretty as those chunks of classroom wall.

It's popular because it's popular; the black-hole effect means you can find just about everybody there. It easily attained that status because just about anybody can use a crayon.