Doc Searls said something interesting in this post about Twitter and Facebook:

I’m sure there’s something on Facebook that does the same thing. But Facebook is AOL 2.0. It’s heavy and complicated and wants to run my life. So I mostly avoid it. My loss perhaps, but that’s beside the twin points of live vs. static and light vs. heavy.

I often wonder with Facebook: is it a fundamentally different experience for me, a person who started using Facebook in my 30s, than it is for all the people who got a Facebook account while they were in college because it was what they were *supposed* to do (according to the cultural norms established at their school)? Do they find it restrictive the same way that we who explore the open web do? I think (this is just a guess and I’d love to hear some feedback from some people who actually are in this category) that they probably love it and don’t see these characteristics as non-open, but rather as all-in-one-what-I-need. Very AOL 2.0.

5 thoughts on “AOL 2.0

  1. I find Facebook needlessly cumbersome and convoulted, but I am now an old man and getting about as crotchety as Dvorak, heaven help me.

    The kids seem to dig it.

  2. I also signed up within the last year, also being in my 30’s. I had a rough idea of what it was but finally decided to take a look having low expectations, I can say my expectations were never met. I just don’t get it, I guess it’s a way to connect to other people, but I would rather have face to face connection then this. It seems like it’s just one step up from IMing. I know I’m probably in the minority considering how popular it is.

  3. I got facebook as a freshman in college, (even before I got myspace) and I must say that I never really found it constricting, especially because one can do so much more on it today than when it started. I mean, being able to add hundreds of pictures was one of the coolest things ever in 2005. You also have to realize that most people in college have no idea what web 2.0 is. For most people, a site is a site.

  4. when i first signed up for facebook it didn’t have apps or feeds. it was just your friends, your school, your info, and your pictures. funny, that seems to be all i still use it for. it is an excellent way for me to stay in touch with people all over place these days.

    i also found it to be a very power social tool while working on my second degree. it was simply accepted that everyone had an account and if you needed to ask someone a question about a class, you could find them easily. you could even search by class number (if the other person had entered that info, most did).

    i can see where coming into it now would be very frustrating, there is a lot of superfluous bullshit on there now.

  5. I signed up for it while still in school as well. I don’t think anyone has the same level of passion for facebook as they did back then.

    “We” keep using it because its whats available and it’s reached the critical mass. It’s nothing more than a way to keep up with folks though.

    Back before it became open, it was a place you felt comfortable posting goofy pictures and sharing funny stories. You “knew” these people even when you really didn’t.

    Add professional contacts into that mix, and it’s just got a really uncomfortable vibe to it now.

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