Monday, November 08, 2010

the social network

i have recently watched the social network. excellent movie. excellent writing, excellent acting, gripping drama and so fucking relevant. excellent movie. in fact, i left the theater thinking this: will our kids grow up and be shown this movie in schools, as a historical overview of their social environments. i mean it brought to mind the bigger question of whether facebook will become the default interaction environment?

i mean, how many times do you email a friend to touch base? maybe to share docs and stuff, but just to say hi, or organize an outing, or to share pictures, facebook is the place to go. think of this: how many times do you find posts on facebook where people post something like "lost my phone, inbox me your numbers" or "got bbm, my pin is xxxx". so facebook is becoming the default mode of communication, more essential than a mobile phone.

which brings to mind another interesting conflict (got a few hits in the news recently): google vs facebook. why would a search company have beef with facebook? two points, (a) small one, google is trying to flex its social muscles, with things like buzz and latitude, etc. so facebook's dominance is tough to break. (b) big one, facebook is a world closed on itself: google can't search it. google's search capability, linked to its ad revenue, is the company's bread and butter. the fact that google had its applications open to facebook but not vice versa, finally dawned on them as a point of contention, and now they closed the interfaces. in other words, if facebook won't share info, google won't share either. interesting.

so this takes me back to my original point: will our children be facebooking or googling? which one is more important? the case for google is simple: it democratizes information. the ability to reach a very specific piece of information quickly and with relevant results is google's secret. it's an amazing ability that can't be binged or yahood. for facebook: it's simple as well, it's simply connecting people. the ability to get and keep in touch is amazing. i think that google is more important, but that's the engineer in me. some will identify facebook, for those who value human interaction more than human intellect.

one thing has to be kept in mind though, which is sometimes missed. both these companies work towards one common goal: money.


Vivian said...

I enjoyed the social network a lot as well. It was a pretty cool movie! I think the reason facebook is so popular because it's young and "hip". You can update status, have your friends see what you're up to on a site devoted to having others know what you're up to. Why hasn't anybody thought of such an idea before? It isn't that novel, social networking, yet that is why Mark Zuckerberg is genius.

The Critical Thinker said...

If you liked this movie you might like 'Holy Rollers'. I recently saw it on netflix, it was pretty good. One thing I noticed, I like the Eisenberg kid as a mild-mannered even somewhat wussy nerd. His persona in 'TSN' made me sick. He was smug, full of himself and came across as pompous ass. I know its just a movie but I like to really get emotional involved when I watch them. And that kid made me want to ring his neck.

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