Back in the early to mid 90’s when you signed up for “the internet” you typically got dial-up account through someone like AOL and spent 90% or more of your time on AOL rather than on the internet. Then slowly people started to discover that they could create their own web pages and slowly people migrated away from AOL, Prodigy and Compuserve and began do build and visit the bold new world of the internet without all of the prepackaged experiences.
Like they say though, every fad makes a comeback and it’s amazing to see people get addicted to the prepackaged experience of Facebook. (There are now over 300 million people on Facebook worldwide) Did everyone just run out of stuff to see across the internet? Was the lack of conformity across web sites too confusing? Why are so many people flocking to Facebook?
I think the success of Facebook comes from two things, blogs and feedback. People want to talk about themselves, they want to share their experiences and they want to make the information available to others. “Look at me!” is what they are saying with every blog post, but in the blog world… comments are a rare gift. It’s tough talking to yourself. Even if someone is actually listening, it can be discouraging if you can’t see them and they never say anything back to you. “Is there really anybody out there?” rings over and over in your head as you type away about what you did today because it excited you and you want to share it with somebody. It’s tough writing on a blog because most of the time you don’t get any feedback.
This is where Facebook comes in, and it’s pure genius. You write your stuff, your friends write their stuff and it’s all displayed in a timeline as if you are having a conversation. It’s the feeling of feedback that holds this all together because it’s still rare that someone will comment on your posts, not to mention that you probably don’t comment on your friends posts very often either. Could it be that simply having the appearance of feedback is good enough to keep people coming back for more? 300 million people seem to think so.