Michael Hirschorn delivers a good clarification what excactly Facebook is and is not compared to other SNS’s as myspace.com and linkedin.com.
It is neither ‘too cold’ as linkedin.com or ‘too hot’ as myspace. Linkedin is cold because “the very nature of the [business-networking site] concept becomes self-defeating: The subset of people you want to schmooze with and who want to schmooze with you is simply too small, and too difficult to separate from the much larger group of people you are trying to avoid or who are trying to avoid you.”. And myspace is too hot: “Gathering friends on MySpace requires nothing more than banging through a lot of profiles and “friending” everyone you find, (…) On MySpace, the flood of pseudo-buddies and marketing come-ons disguised as offers of friendship quickly becomes suffocating. ”
“Facebook is getting the temperature just right, and in the process has been able to give social media real social capital. This is because Facebook prompts users to explain how they know one another. It’s no idle feature, since, as you quickly discover, allowing users into your circle allows them to track your moves on Facebook and vice versa. Even more compellingly, it allows you to track, if you wish, their interactions with other users, all from your own user page.”
As a second valuable feature Hirschorn underlines Facebooks strict registration process, allowing users to be free of spam, practically giving users a mini-web likable because it is, namely, free of spam. And as facebook opened up for the widget development it made possible a spam free mini-web, where users are contributing to form new communities within the facebook community.
But are the other SNS’s outdated? Is myspace too hot: not allowing differentiating between friends, is linkedin to cold: not allowing smooze between close friends?