Just came across a very good and elaborate article by Ian Bogost, professor at Georgia Tech about his impressions and analysis of Facebook. Calling himself a web 2.0 cynic, I think he did a very good job describing objectively is impressions using Facebook. He describes for example the way relationships between Facebook friends often work. When reading his post I get the feeling that Facebook (and other social networks) in its current form doesn’t provide real value in friends relationships. At best it provides the opportunity to peek at what others have been doing on Facebook (you seldom get to see what they are doing outside of Facebook as Ian points out nicely). Friends and relationships need to be symmetrical, and the communication possibilities of Facebook are meant to be used as a publishing tool to the network of so called friends. Personally I do not dislike Facebook for these characteristics. But I do object to the positioning of the service. To me it is a good publishing tool, and an easy way to keep track of many “Facebook friends” (for a lack of a better description) without much effort. But, as I have stated before, you do not nearly get as much value out of such a network as is often put into setting up and maintaining your user profile. If you want to share things with your true friends stick to physical contact, phone, e-mail, SMS and IM. See my earlier posts on that.
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