The seduction was slow, and I played hard to get. And quite frankly, at times I thought for sure that I didn’t want to fall in love…with Facebook. But, I must admit, I’m now head over heels.
It started with occasional visits, guilty little glimpses into that once-college-only world. A few connections to some friends. Over the months, I wasn’t even really aware that I was slowly building up my “social graph” there, but recently I noticed the velocity was picking up, as fraternity brothers, high school friends, coworkers, and even my next door neighbor connected with me there.
Also, along the way, I came to know the Facebook team, folks like Dave Morin, Luke Shepard, Josh Elman, and Julie Zhuo (and many more) through events like the OpenID Design Summit. Heck, I even got to build a relationship with Mark Zuckerberg, in part by accidentally stumbling on to his Twitter account, which led to a bunch on exchanges with him. (Including this awesome tweet, in which he let me know he’s a fan of our weekly video podcast The Social Web TV.)
And Facebook, which could have used it’s market leadership position to attempt to build “Walled Garden 2.0,” instead has been moving boldly down an ever more open pathway. My friend David Recordon said it well recently in a post entitled Facebook in 2010: no longer a walled garden.
But, at the end of the day, it is the great product the team has built that kept pulling me back (via the way it has engaged my real-world friends from various facets of my life). Tonight, I was delighted to see the new design. It addresses all of the things I was most hoping would be improved. I know I will be giving more of my attention to this app (at the expense of more traditional media).
Okay, I’ve gone over the top with this post, but I’m glad I got this off my chest. Why is all of this significant? The Web is going social (with a big help from Facebook), and the Social Web is going open (along with Facebook). That means we’re on the cusp of a massive wave of change that will unleash an innovation explosion.
Oh, and the “pie” is about to get much bigger for companies like Plaxo (my employer) and many, many others. The zero-sum game is not what we’re playing.