Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Facebook Interview


Recently, a Facebook friend named Adam Lee (pictured right) asked me a couple of questions about Facebook. Said he was writing an article on... well, Facebook! Thought I'd share my response with you :-)

Where do you think Facebook is heading?

Consider the unimaginable ways young people can find themselves becoming billionaires in the digital age: back in the mid-1990s Larry Page and Sergey Brin were 23-year-old computer studies undergrads at Stanford U when they stumbled on a new algorithm for a faster, more free-associating search engine called Google. Today each is worth USD16.7 billion.

Then there's Mark Zuckerberg who started Facebook in February 2004 as an interactive social networking website for the campus crowd while he was in college. I hear Yahoo! offered Zuckerberg USD1.7 billion for Facebook last year - and he turned down their offer. Last I heard, MSN estimates that Facebook is worth USD15 billion.

My point is: these youngsters have been able to turn a simple idea into a complex income-generating engine by identifying two basic human needs, viz., the desire for information and the desire to feel connected. These desires are very much in alignment with the incoming frequencies of the Aquarian Age (the Water Bearer symbolizes the dissemination of wisdom acquired during the Capricornian phase of introspection and consolidation, and the Piscean phase of dissolution and disintegration of ancient taboos).

Today more and more people regard a laptop as an essential personal accessory. Instant messaging, virtually free text-messaging, Skype and a whole array of connectivity tools has been facilitated by advances in satellite communications that would leave our grandparents scratching their bald pates. This is what I call the age of server-assisted telepathy when a planetary mind is emerging from the preceding centuries of technological development. Buckminster Fuller, thirty years ago, called it "accelerating acceleration." By this he meant that quantum advances in technology would soon hurl us beyond the gravitational pull of the tragic past into a comic/romantic future.

Take Facebook's burgeoning popularity: within two years just about everybody I know who owns a computer (and a broadband connection) is on Facebook. My daughters and their far-flung network of cousins are now on my Facebook friends list. For the first time ever, the separate realities of family and friends are merging in cyberspace. And I just saw an interview with Zuckerberg taped in May 2007 where he quoted the figure 45 million as the total number of Facebook users - that was almost 6 months ago. I figure at least 250,000 new users sign up every day!



Where is Facebook heading? Who da fuck knows? Right now everybody complains that they're wasting too much time on Facebook (and a few months ago I was bitching about the same thing too) - but the reason Facebook is distracting people from work is that they're having more fun just playing with each other in harmless ways (try throwing a sheep at me in real life!) Friends I hardly get to see in real life are poking, tickling, cuddling, and loving me - albeit virtually but it sure feels nice! Hotties I've long wanted to meet give me cheap thrills by appearing in my inbox and adding me as their Facebook friend. Faces I haven't seen in 25 years are suddenly among my Top Friends! Wow... why ask where a party is heading when it's in full swing?

What's in it for you in Facebook? What's your story?

I live a long way from the city. In my younger days I was a real party animal. For me Facebook is a 24/7 party without the hassle of driving 3 hours, finding a parking space, and worrying about not getting laid. On Facebook you KNOW you're not gonna get laid because it's all make-believe, all a buncha pixels - but you can let go and sink your virtual teeth into that plump backside on some hottie's profile photo without getting slapped (except virtually of course)... and you can bite five pairs of buttocks at one go if you like. This is something I've long dreamed of doing. I've stopped cursing Facebook. In fact I've just written Mark Zuckerberg a thank-you note. Hope he responds with a $50-million deposit in my PayPal account.

5 comments:

bibliobibuli said...

well said, antares and thanks for being a facebook buddy. i find facebook just so damn useful ... i tend to use it rather than email when i can. it seems friendlier.

i also love this flogblog feature that brought me here today.

gingertom said...

But facebook is not an original idea ... There's been facepic, friendster, faceparty, fridae, gaydar, etc, years before facebook. Anyways, most net users will register to all of them at one go. Hhaha!

Antares said...

Hi Sharon! Sorry I missed Saturday's 'Readings' - had to escort about 60 Orang Asli to a performance of masked dancers from India at Sutra! If ever the thought pops into your head, a hot cup of coffee and a cool dip await you @ #21 Kg Pertak! :-)

Yo Gingertom! In the popularity stakes ORIGINALITY is rarely a criterion - I suspect it's a combination of timing, destiny, and magic. I've been invited to Friendster, MySpace, and Flixster by various friends but somehow I quickly lost interest with those sites (I especially loathed MySpace because the audio and video streaming systems there simply don't work for me - and I hate the stupid procedure by which one adds friends, you have to know their email addresses or surnames!) A site named Tagged worked quite well - until a rumour went around that it was a phishing scam (I deleted my account immediately).

So it's a mystery why I'm still on Facebook - but despite its technical glitches and annoyingly slow navigation, I've had more positive interactions on Facebook with friends... and with family too which is nice because I rarely interact with them in real life. A major part of Facebook's appeal is the clean uncluttered design. Also, I strongly suspect Mark Zuckerberg's mom is a practising witch.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Antares,

You said: 'sink your virtual teeth into that plump backside on some hottie's profile photo without getting slapped (except virtually of course)...'

That is so funny but cute. At least you're honest..he he.

Antares said...

Dear Ruby, nice to have you drop by! These days of 100% proof corporate and political skullduggery, the least any of us decent folk can be is honest :-). Now turn around and let me bite your succulent bum! NGAU!!!