Social Networking, and Interesting Applications

As some of my Microsoft friends are doing, I'm checking out Facebook and trying to understand why I should care. I'm on LinkedIn, and that has served a purpose for me of being notified when people have job changes. A month ago, I checked out Facebook due to a few Microsoft employees inviting me, and it's been enjoyable. It is very social, yet not goofy social. I started off by joining the Microsoft "network", as well as finding some "groups" that I can identify with. I've also found that there a lot of people on here. For example, there are 20K Microsoft employees on here.

One thing that I find interesting is their application model which allows for 3rd party app's to be added and shared. One that I recently found (via Randy Holloway) is the Interactive Friends Graph (built by True Sparrow Systems). This is a cool app that looks at how my friend network is mapped as a group and individually.



I wished that I had thought of this one. It's interesting because of several points:

  • The app is just plain cool - initially due to its visual delivery in the context of my life via my friends.
  • As I highlight each node (as in the screenshot above highlighting Don Box), the app will show that friend's connectivity in my network.
  • You can also click on a friend node and get some standard Facebook related profile info and activity menu.
  • Each node is a Flash app.

I also like this notion of Facebook's application plug-in model. It's intriguing. I can see where this will be a playground (perception to the end users) for companies to show off their technologies as well as attempt to impress the end users with their innovative thoughts. Hopefully, we'll begin to see some app's that are using Virtual Earth. I'd love to see if they would support Silverlight. Gonna check into that.