February 20, 2008

The Facebook phenomenon / tech round rable

Lots of people use Facebook. I had to get an account as well when I realized most of my INSEAD buddies were getting on it. But different people use it very differently, I belong to the "very-conservative user" category. Let's see - here are my characteristics on facebook

1. No superpoke, superwall whatever. I don't want any wall littered with forwards. So far I've only ever sent 1 mass forward, and that was by mistake because I was trying to checkout an application.

2. No applications - "am I hot or am I a pig", "tree leaf sniffers club", "polar bear fetish society" - whatever they are, I don't care. No applications for me.

3. No wall messages - I only have 1 wall message and I don't leave wall messages. I'd rather mail my friends, and in lesser cases I might send a private message.

4. All privacy settings set to "friends only" - very limited external profile, very little access to outside the network and friends list.

To me, Facebook serves the following characteristics

1. A way to "consolidate" all friends in one place and see what they're up to
2. Photo albums - my biggest interest. Just the ability to put photos, tag them, and also see others' albums - that's pretty much the only reason I check out facebook once in 1 or 2 days.

I don't see my habit changing much in the coming weeks or months - unless Facebook provides certain features that make it more "official" like LinkedIn. I'm not exactly a 18-something that desperately needs all the "coolest" features. But many people make heavy use of it - people I see in my class and cannot imagine they would use Facebook that much. Their pages often full of applications, forwards, wall posts and what not. Guess I'm just super-Facebook-boring. Shoot me.

There are 2 topics I really want to write about but just have no time, so maybe in a few days. And then there's the whole LBS vs. INSEAD post that people want. Again, am too swamped to think straight.

Today we had an interest round-table discussion with senior managers from Microsoft, Google, HP, Cisco and Oracle. It is also one of our forays to reach out to tech companies and ask them to look at INSEAD more seriously. For too long we've been the hunting ground for investment banks, consulting companies and diverse industries. It's time for the techies to step in as well.

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