Last night I stayed up late and read the beginning of “The Starfish and the Spider” by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom. Great book! I started reading it and thinking about Facebook in relation to the book. While Facebook is by no means a starfish, their platform has definitely made them more flexible/adaptable. If an application disappears, someone will simply fill the void. Conversely, there are a few components that Facebook will always control.
The primary component that Facebook controls is the relationships that users have on Facebook. This is the most important component of Facebook. Given that the platform has opened and people will start to spend more time on applications and not just the primary features within Facebook, Facebook will have to make sure that they continue to be the best site for maintaining your relationships online. One thing that they should update immediately is the “how do you know this person” box when you add a friend.
This box still applies primarily to college students. The “Met randomly” box is now the default box that I use when adding friends. I type in how I met them but the fact remains that I actually didn’t meet them randomly. Most likely I met them at some sort of event. If Facebook expanded this just a little I would be able to remove all reliance on other applications for maintaining my relationships. Additionally, I would like to see a feature that allows me to make a note only visible to me about each user. This way I can later search through my connections based on how I remember each person. Just a thought!