Facebook is the Key to the Mainstream

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

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As usual, Chris Brogan has a very good post regarding people in the real world and social media. The basic idea is that “normal” people live in a different world than the social media crowd:

Sometimes, it’s worth flashing a bit of a public reminder that even though it seems like lots of us are deeply passionate about this space, most folks don’t exactly understand what we’re talking about.

He goes on to ask whether normal people have heard of Twitter or LinkedIn or even if your local pizza shop has a blog. I highly recommend that you read his post because of his “be a bridge” idea. You do not need to convert people like an evangelist, but if you show them the way they may follow. This are great ideas, but I think he is underestimating how close the mainstream really is.

Enter Facebook

What are the social applications that the mainstream uses? MySpace and Facebook. Facebook is a social network, and it has an applications platform. Facebook is also very mainstream. My sister-in-law uses it. My friends from high school and college use it. My friends from high school are a perfect example of mainstream users. These people are school teachers, accountants and stay-at-home moms. These are people who thought AOL was the internet. They barely use IM and if they do they may have issues with it. However, when I finally joined Facebook and set up my profile, a few had asked what that FriendFeed thing was and why do I have this RegularGeek blog thingy.

I got confused. I had no idea what they were talking about. That is because I take the integration for granted. It was there, and I am used to seeing these things. My high school friends are not used to seeing a FriendFeed stream. At that time, it was just an interesting thing to note. On Monday, SocialMedian launched their Facebook application.

socialmedian + facebook have now been brought together.
Which means you can instantly let your Facebook friends know whether you like or dislike a news story.

That is when I saw what could happen. SocialMedian added likes and dislikes to their posts a few days ago and the Facebook integration followed directly after. This combination is opening the social news space to a large group of people. People do find news interesting, and the headline from SocialMedian could draw people in. I received dozens of SocialMedian subscribers from Facebook within a few hours, and I am not that popular (you can find me here). The basic idea is that people will now see whether you liked or disliked a story on SocialMedian, and it includes the headline. This tends to convince people to click through and see what was so interesting.

I will admit, I did not initially understand the point of the likes/dislikes on SocialMedian. However, I totally understand it now. Harnessing the power of the social network in Facebook gives an application access to a huge potential user base.

Of course, now the question is, how do you hook your application into Facebook?

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7 thoughts on “Facebook is the Key to the Mainstream

  1. My wife and I run a standalone baby photo gallery and a blogger-hosted blog in lieu of the traditional photo album and ‘baby book’. We have to remind family members that it’s there some times and I went so far as to set up a mailing list for new posts.

    Contrast this with my sister in law who puts her baby updates on Facebook and gets a lot more comments and interaction pretty much immediately! There are obviously pros and cons to each approach but when it comes to connecting with people online it’s hard to beat Facebook nowadays.


  2. Daniel,

    The mailing list is a great way to remind people that the blog exists. However, I think your sister-in-law has you beat. Tons of people are starting to share more stuff on Facebook. The user base may not be growing as rapidly, but I would argue that people are spending more time there.


  3. I agree 100% ! Facebook is a gateway to the Mainstream. That’s why most EA’s have left it, making room for the ones graduating from Myspace and the ones who aren’t “savy”, but hear Facebook is better than Peanut butter and Chocolate 🙂


  4. Solacetech, I am not sure if the early adopters left Facebook for any particular reason. I am not one that likes to throw sheep or anything silly like that. Early adopters were never the target either. And there is now way that Facebook is better than peanut butter and chocolate 🙂


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