WARNING: a long and probably pointless post 🙂 so read only if you have nothing better to do 🙂
I signed up on Orkut and Facebok at almost same time (in 2006) … but still in my initial first three years – like most of my friends – I was mostly active on Orkut and I had no activity on Facebook.
You will think the migration from Orkut to Facebook was because of the user interface of Facebook … the world famous “facebook wall” 🙂 that pulled me and most people to FB … which is partly correct. I definitely liked the way I can share links, videos, pictures and even thoughts and comments … and my friends and family can “like” and “comment” on all those things.
That was really a great innovation from Facebook.
But that was not what converted me.
What converted me was that all my friends started signing up on Facebook and started “using” it too … so while it was the user interface that pulled me up, it was my friends presence that made me stick to FB.
I remember at that time I posted a status on FB saying “Facebook is new Orkut” – I meant the experience of social networking.
I also put a permanent Orkut Status pointing to my Facebook page – much like “Out for Lunch” comment you see on a shop.
Orkut did realize much later that it is loosing and started fixing things up, but that was too late by then.
Soon I found myself growing farm, helping my wife, mom, dad, brother, cousins and friends on virtual Farming – until it became too much an obsession – and I really had to block Farmville 🙂
Apart from that “farmville phase” I really liked the way I could share information with people close to me … and the world seemed beautiful!
Or so I thought … unless one fine day I logged in and saw certain changes.
I saw changes on Facebook wall page – the layout was changed – if I may say so “forcefully”.
The privacy settings where changed – If I may say so “forcefully”.
It was like you had a home sweet home, which you absolutely adored … and some outsider came and changed everything!
What was worse that “The outsider” didnt stop there … he went ahead and opened all doors and windows and then left – for the whole world to see what you are doing which you intended to share with your close family and friends.
I remember that phase where everyone who understood the changes – was panicked and had to go and review each and every door (privacy settings) and make sure they are locked up.
On the other hand – there must be millions oblivion to the privacy changes – who are not aware how and what of their private information is out there public now because of those changes.
What makes it worse it “The Outsider” did not stop there and kept “innovating” and changing the look and feel of FB every month or so … when you convince yourself to the new look, they will “innovate” and another look and force on you.
They will promote worthless and mindless applications and let people post them on my wall.
It is ironic that while two years back I made the comment “Facebook is becoming new Orkut” in a positive way – now I will have to say the same comment in a negative way.
Because Lately I have felt that Facebook is slowly becoming as cluttered as Orkut once became – and the FB experience is diminishing.
I thought that I am too small to “fight against the system” and hence will need to accept whatever form it may come in …. but what I did not know was there is another world that was being built out there, which I was totally Unaware of.
That was linkedin.
Linkedin was earlier supposed to be a “professional networking” site – everything about linkedin had an “official” feeling about it – the look, the people on there, the “profile” – everything.
But sometimes in last 6 months, they have ripped off the “facebook wall” experience – by just copying pasting it – and to be frank first I laughed about it!
I laughed earlier because I saw LinkedIn as a “loser” who I saw copying a well known “wall” concept from facebook – but later I appreciated them and see them as a winner because I see there are people who are actually using those tools to network – to brand themselves – to brand their companies – to share ideas.
What Linkedin has done correct here I think is so far they have a limited number of applications – twitter, books and so on – which are relevant to professional networking.
Plus since it is a “professional networking” site – so all those stupid kind of facebook applications and status (I am sleeping, I am shitting and so on) are not there.
Facebook wall on other hand has become a mockery of comical applications like “how beautiful you are”, “how will be your day today” and countless worthless applications – almost all of them I have blocked, but even then my wall seems like a garbage dump.
On the other hand – I think one feels a sense of responsibility before posting anything on Linkedin – so I believe it will be “clean” at least for some time to come.
This all made me think that “nothing is final” and we have not reached end of “social networking” world – it is still in innovation phase.
So, as you can see, there is no real point being made in this post – the only thing that I wanted to point out that “nothing is final” – when Orkut came I thought that is it in terms of innovation (why didnt I think of it) – then facebook came I thought that is it in terms of innovation (why didnt I think of it) – and now linkedin is innovating and may include certain features – which may not make them as popular as facebook, but will earn them a respectable place in the crowd of social networking sites.
Only time will tell. But so far I am loving the social networking experience – be it on facebook or twitter or linkedin.
To end this post I would share one dilemma I had initially – that was to choose between these three social networking sites – Facebook, Linkedin and twitter – but then I found there are many tools available to help you … and you dont really need to choose, but to integrate all those … the one tool I have liked most is “TweetDeck” – but that probably deserves a separate post.