The Facebook conversation is overflowing: Over the weekend the NY TImes had an op-ed column titled The Fakebook Generation, written by a recent Dartmouth graduate. Facebook is characterized as the "popular online study buddy (that) has so distracted college students for the past four years." The author contends Facebook is not to be taken seriously.
Tim O’Reilly has just posted a piece on his blog called Good News, Bad News about Facebook Application Market: Long Tail Rules, which analyzes Facebook applications. According to research on nearly 5000 Facebook apps, 87% of the usage goes to 84 applications. O’Reilly has published a new report called The Facebook Application Platform that is available on their site for $149. [Chris Anderson posts in response to O’Reilly’s post that Facebook Apps are Not a Long Tail.]
Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 posted Facebook’s Core College Student Users Laugh at Attempts to Use it For Business in response to the NY Times Op-Ed piece. If you want to get a feel for the two sides of the Facebook argument, at least as it relates to being a business networking tool, read the comments. And there’s a fine post by Steven Richardson at Legal Technology Blog favorably comparing LinkedIn with Facebook. Finally, Charlene Li at Forrester talks about Facebook as an advertising medium in Facebook Flyer test results. Charlene posted slides of a recent titled Big Brands and Facebook: Demographics, Case Studies and Best Practices on Slideshare.
The blogosphere and mainstream media are giddy over the rapid emergence of a new platform with limitless possibilities and a wide and interesting set of demographics. Especially one run by a Harvard dropout that has been valued north of $10 billion. My view is that the business community prefers a narrower demographic and some limits on social network acceptable behavior. So for business networking LinkedIn seems to have the better model – not the more valuable model, just the more productive model. Ultimately LinkedIn will adopt some of the features and platform capabilities of Facebook, while maintaining its straightforward appeal.