The Sacramento Bee ran a lengthy piece yesterday about the generational collision that’s taking place in online social networking spaces, “Facebook is pulling in — gasp — your parents,” just as my itty bit hit here on The Philanthrophile. A related story described how students and teachers are interacting on Facebook.
Besides the article, some of the comments were interesting. One commenter, hpbromine, thought the whole story idea was a clever PR play by Facebook (cue organ music in minor key… grainy video of PR exec rubbing his/her hands together in glee). LitterOfRevolution had some insights about differentiation of the various social networking sites:
I have been a member of both MySpace and Facebook for over a year (I’m in my mid-40’s). I also socialize normally with non-internet acquaintances, friends, family, and co-workers. And I still enjoy “regular” reading. I find MySpace a terrific tool for business purposes, and FB is fun with regard to friends and family. FB also helps to keep me in touch with my grown children. I do find that people tend to disclose more openly in writing than they do in person. I feel that the social forums truly do provide for more genuine communication.
And scottmasten expects popularity to lead to the death of Facebook:
I could tell the end was near for Facebook when my 65-year-old dad sent me a friend request. While I’m glad he’s networking or whatever, when these things get too popular they get crappy. Look what happened to YELP, which is basically either a political punishment tool or a place for teenagers to write one line reviews that say McDonalds is THE BEST. EVER. The sky is falling on Facebook too.
Indirectly – or at least unintentionally – scottmasten has a point for us all. This stuff changes fast. There are opportunities here for non-profits but you can’t wait until something is so “done” that it’s dead. Or you might end up like appraisalman:
I still use a pen, paper, and a stamp. Then I hand it too this guy who rides a fast horse. Coolest thing ever.