Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Facebook's 10th birthday: Why you should care

Ten years ago today, a little website known as thefacebook.com went live at Harvard University. Mark Zuckerberg, a then-unknown student, wanted to streamline how students connected with each other, and in doing so managed to turn the big bad Internet into something a lot more personal. Before long, thefacebook.com lost the the and stretched beyond the world of academia. From there, it was pretty much a straight shot to the top of the social media heap.

As I reflect on the last decade, it becomes clear that Facebook more than any service carved out the space now known as social media. Yes, MySpace beat it to market by a few months, but Facebook's edge lay in both its architecture - highly conducive to discovering new network members, then interacting with them richly - and an organizational culture that valued adaptability above everything else.

Indeed, the Facebook in use today is almost unrecognizable compared to what was in use when most of us first signed on. And that template has cleared the way for services like Twitter and others.

It's been a busy day. I wrote this article for Yahoo! Canada Finance:
Facebook at 10: At a social media crossroads
And this piece for TheLoop.ca
Facebook at 10: Why I both love AND hate it
(For the record, it's mostly love, as it's a critical tool for the work I do.)

Beyond the writing, I've spoken with - or am scheduled to speak with - a bunch of neat folks, including
  • Andrew Carter on CJAD 800 Montreal
  • Jacqueline Milczarek on CTV News Channel
  • Richard Cloutier on CJOB 680 Winnipeg
  • Stephen Ledrew on CP24 television in Toronto
  • Mike Stubbs on 1290 CJBK London
  • Bob Steele on CBC Radio Windsor
  • Angela Kokott on NewsTalk 770 Calgary
This story, in particular, reminds me of why I enjoy covering the tech space as much as I do. It's quite the experience to take a long view on something that, in a few short years, has revolutionized how we interact with technology, and how we lead our lives. Glitches aside, it's a neat place to be.

But wait, there's more: If you've got a Facebook account, click this link:
Facebook's put together a bit of a birthday surprise just for you.

1 comment:

Bob Scotney said...

I hope other people's look back is better than mine which would be more appropriate for my grandsons.