Posts Tagged ‘web 2.0’

5th January
written by Jeff

A very Facebook ChristmasWhat do you do on Christmas Eve when it is cold and snowing outside and your family has made its last post-dinner tech support request to fix their VCR (sigh)? I wouldn’t know because it didn’t snow on Christmas and I consider VCR’s the tools of the devil and won’t touch them for fear my hands will turn to ash. It’s in the Bible, look it up.

But, if you live in some God-forsaken cold place like Detroit or Canada, your last nerdy refuge over the holidays was apparently Facebook.

On December 24, social networking site Facebook saw its most traffic ever within the United States, according to new data from Hitwise. That tops Facebook’s previous record, which was set in July.

Facebook set a similar record on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom, and MySpace had unusually high traffic too. In Hitwise’s blog post reporting the numbers, analyst Heather Hopkins offers three possible explanations — crummy weather, boredom, and the urge to send holiday greetings to your friends.

Twitter experienced the surge as well because, let’s face it, most of your friends are probably online anyway, and by friends, I mean porn sites, and by online, I mean imaginary.

I’m sure most of you guys were on Facebook Super Poking people (and not in the fun way) and sending people imaginary gifts to go under their virtual trees, which would be sweet if it weren’t so sad.

You may have BriteKited your location to Twitter as “North Pole” just to get a chuckle out of your friends who don’t care or hit on an 18-year-old MySpacer who is really 14 and told her you are 20 when you’re really 35, which, in reality, is probably normal behavior for you.

If you were old school, you probably IM’d some girl on Yahoo chat – by girl I mean, 37-year-old man who lives in his mom’s basement – to “hit you up if she is interested in a Ho Ho Ho filled Holiday” or flooded your IRC channel with “All Your Christmas, Are Belong to Me” messages.

Whatever your flava, the truth is that the internet allows nerds like us to escape the more depressing elements of the holidays like:

  • Petty family squabbles like when Aunt Mildred took her teeth out at the table and put them in the mashed potatoes to keep them warm.
  • Lonely nights like when you sat at home and watched A Christmas Story 10 times in a row while eating raw cookie dough and candy corn you had leftover from Halloween when not even kids would come to your door because you scare children.
  • Being away from loved one’s like your blow up doll that you left at home when you came to visit relatives because you thought they’d find it “weird” and put you back in the hospital with the happy pills.
  • Abject sadness like finding out your mom’s house doesn’t have wi-fi or even a broadband connection and you’re stuck “talking” to family and reading something people call “books” whatever the hell those are.

Thanks to Twitter, Facebook and MySpace (assuming you are a band, a hooker or a pedophile), it was a holly jolly Christmas for all the nerds across the land. God tweet us, every one!

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2nd January
written by Jeff

GapingVoid FacebookI’ve worked in web development for 8 years now and I spend a lot of time dorking around on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and others. I find the idea of web 2.0 and social network as fascinating as I find people, which is to say a lot.

But, I have been dubious when confronted with the idea that business will soon become immersed in social networking to the degree that many proponents of those platforms suggest.

There is no question that many companies – particularly retail, technology and entertainment-driven enterprises – have found a comfy home nestled in the inviting bosom of sites like Facebook and MySpace. This is certainly a trend anyone would expect to continue, but I wouldn’t go as far as Louis Gray did in his predictions for 2009.

In the mid and late 1990s, there was a land rush for domain names, as every company jumped in and procured Web addresses and built out Web sites to establish their electronic home. Although many of these sites were rudimentary at best, they knew they needed to be there to participate. In 2009, it will be expected that brands and businesses will be similarly established on social media, using tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed and YouTube.

I just can’t see most businesses making that switch in 2009 for a couple reasons:

First, we are in the midst of one of the worst recessions in recent memory. Companies may use social networks to expand their base to a degree, but participation requires someone manning the helm of that strategy. Most companies aren’t interested in adding people to handle those sorts of things at the moment and your average IT department is not only busy with the day to day operations of business technology (social networking needs a LOT of attention to be effective), many of them are still struggling to embrace web 2.0 for themselves.

Second, I’ve worked with companies big and small and the one thing they have in common is that they are slow to adopt ideas – much slower than the general public. This is partly because of the resources required to manage new concepts and partly because businesses that are successful are generally cautious of moving forward with new technology concepts. For every Twitter and Facebook, there are 20 failed experiments in web 2.0. Hell, many companies barely have more than a brochure website for a web presence and those that do often don’t venture further into the world of web than a CMS and RSS feed. If they are REALLY adventurous, they might assign someone to blog on their behalf.

I do think, however, that social networking is such a revolutionary and important concept in how we as a society interact that its influence on business is inevitable. Businesses that are ahead of the curve and really care about using social networking in the right way will do well to adopt and implement their own strategies sooner rather than later.

I’m just not sure most of them will do that this year, but, like Mr. Gray, I’m hopeful and I do think, just like websites, the vast majority will get there before too much longer.

Cartoon via GapingVoid.

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