Facebook is the second largest social network, and growing fast. In Web 1.0 terms, what is it?
Fundamentals of Social Networking
Users create an account at Facebook and invite their friends by email. A user can also receive an invitation by email and creates an account at Facebook. If the second user invites their friends, the community grows virally. Without friends, the new user sees little - since privacy settings block strangers.
Facebook allows users to see the activiites of friends. That's the home page or a personal news feed. It also allows friends (and strangers, if you allow them) to see personal activities and interests. That's the user's profile. The mini-feed is a key panel of the profile. The merging of mini-feeds from all friends results in your personalized news feed.
The company is moving toward a social platform. Among other uses, this allows other websites to participate by reporting activities to Facebook. Thus, you can see friends playing games, shopping... whatever.
Here is a list of Facebook terms translated into legacy web 1.0 terms.
Header Tabs - at the top of the page for managing contacts and communications
- Profile - your page of your friends, groups, activities, and interests - i.e. what the public sees
- Friends - your list of friends
- Networks - your networks; you join one region only, but can select new regions; also networks by work or school that require confirmation using an email with the domain of the network
- Inbox - similar to email with actions to link, poke, friend (i.e. friend as a verb), etc.
- Home - News feed - current activities of your friends on a single page - i.e. merged mini-feed of your friends
- Privacy link - detailed methods to control access to profiles
Applications - Left Menu for uploading and posting content
- Photos - simplified photo sharing, but very popular
- Groups - similar to email groups, but no email digests. Has walls and forums as primary panels.
- Gifts - shopping mall to buy gifts for friends
- Marketplace - classifieds forum similar to Craigslist
- Notes - blogging/writing tool without a rich editor. Can import blogs and auto-sync. Originally intended for view by everyone on Facebook. Now the default is set to friends and networks.
- Posted Item - shares stuff using the URL address of a page, video, photo, or any content on Facebook or the Internet
- 3rd party applications - thousands
- Pages - a business account so that a business can build a circle of fans; also a page to monitor traffic, buy ads, and track results.
Panels and Parts of a Profile - similar to personal pages of portals like myYahoo, but shared with friends and visitors
- Friends - list of friends
- Networks - list of networks for this friend
- Photos - unlimited, uploaded albums
- Video - unlimited, uploaded video clips
- Mini-feed - activities of a user
- Wall - forum around one person - others post on your wall.
- Thousands of 3rd party panels
Not every profile has every feature. Each user controls what to show, to whom via the privacy link at the top right.
- Poke - a flirty action usually with a friend that is sent to their inbox; 3rd party apps allow virtual gifts, hugs, whatever
- Send message - via Facebook inbox and optionally to the user's email
- Add as friend - request to become a friend via inbox
- Wall post - post message that is visible to user's friends, networks, and possibly more folks - on a friend's wall, it's a personal message; on a network, page, or group wall, it's a means for self promotion.
- Wall to Wall - an Instant Messenger like chat, with photo and video share. But is the chat visible to friends on both side?
- Upload photos - unlimited uploads. Facebook claims more uploads than the sum of all other photo sites.
- Photo tag - upload photos, and tag friends in the photo; visitors then click on images of the friend to see other tagged photos
Viral Means to Communicate
- What are you doing? - self-report to the Mini-feed on the profile page and the personal news feeds of your friends
- Import notes - from a blog; Facebook has rudimentary writing tools and depend on import and sync to support writers; anyone can read and/or import your entire blog; notes visibility depends on privacy settings
- Create a Group - members join and communicate via forums, posts and replies, photo sharing, video sharing, and wall posts.
- Post or Reply to notes, posted items, group forums
- Wall post - post message that is visible to user's friends, networks, and possibly more folks
- Create Pages - a business creates a profile with forum, photo, event, and video features; also allows creator to monitor traffic, buy ads, monitor campaign results.
- Beacon - means for 3rd party sites to report activities into the Mini-feed - such as playing games at ..., shopping at ..., reading novel at ...,
- Create an App - means to connect 3rd party content or activities to a profile, such as an RSS feed from a publisher, a network game, ... users learn about apps from friends, participate, and auto add apps to their profile
- Advertising - buy advertising to reach members
Facebook seamlessly combines forums, email, groups, photo and text sharing, and more around a personal portal of your immediate friends. (My profile at Facebook)