samedi 29 décembre 2007

Hey! Stop biting me

Ok its all about Facebook, and I'm obviously not the first one to have something to say about it.

But I'm 40 years old and that definitely puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to collecting faces you more or less know!

The thing is, most of those who started living around 1967 are quite rarely into knowing what is really going on, on the web. And should they know, they haven't really been infected with the Web 2.0 virus making them believe (realise???) that their opinion counts and that existing is all about appearing on the web.

So when I looked up all my school mates only one appeared... (well done Delphine) so how was I to compete with all the "newbe's". I ended up scraping all the younger people I new, family came in handy of course, and I've reached the mild score of 31 "friends".

Thats when it finally bore into my head that facebook was more than just about collecting faces. I started getting poked and superpoked, walled and super walled (a great new spam like tool), challenged and even bitten again and again.

I started realizing that getting into Facebook wasn't the only challenge to a 1967er, a new generation gap was sniggering at me just a few steps in. The thing is challenging another "vampire" every evening really seems to amuse my younger comarades. But I don't feel the slightest lingering within me to do the same...

In fact I initially went on Facebook to know what it was all about because one of my subjects (I have Knowledge Management focussed company) was social networking. I'd already tried more professional oriented services such as linkedin or the french viadeo but Microsoft is betting on Facebook so I had to give it a try.

So what can a big company learn from a service such as facebook compared to linkedin or others?

Well I see at least two things. The first is that collecting faces is more "catchy" than collecting names. In fact it is good fun and browsing through a friend's friends is easy enough to quickly find faces you recognise. If a large company wants to set up a social network for boosting interactivity, including that feature may help.

The second thing that can be noticed is that getting older people (thirty and over) to collaborate in a web 2.0 fashion is far from natural. Just showing them how great it is won't be sufficient.

But... and this but is really important, the new generation thrive for this way to work and if a comany doesn't offer such services, it will be missing a real opportunity of using its younger employees' talents.

So I suppose it must be accepted that companies should start seriously looking into putting up new such services (even if over 70% of its employees will probably never use it) whilst focussing on what the new generation are interested in. If the service is designed to interest everybody it will probably be a failure.

It a nutshell companies may have to start thinking about Web2.0 generation oriented services rather than just web 2.0 services.

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