Saturday, December 03, 2005

Friendster vs. Google

I recently logged onto Friendster, for the first time in months, on a lark, and the next day I got a Friendster message from an old high school acquaintance who's on the service. This puzzled me, because Friendster's messaging interface bites hard, and because you can get my email address within seconds via Google. Surely anybody who wants to get in touch with me, and who knows my name, should be able to email me...

Then I realized that my time in academia's showing. I have a personal home page, as does everybody else in (North American) computer science academia. When you want to look someone up, the first thing you do is Google their name. But the vast majority of people still, a decade after the web revolution, do not have home pages. (Maybe this is a good thing for those of us who do, since it makes it easier to find us.) Most people don't live in a well-indexed world. They live in a world where the people from their past simply disappear, and it takes something like Friendster, or Facebook, or whatever, in order to reconnect them.

It seems obvious that this is both bad and fixable...

1 comment:

  1. At the same time though, sometimes you just don't think of contacting someone until you go on Friendster or something, and then you suddenly think of a million people you haven't heard from in ages.

    Kind of like when you used to be on Napster, and you thought of one Guns n'Roses song you used to like, and suddenly you want them all. Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean.

    I like your site, you're on the 'roll!