Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 31, 2008
Either tomorrow or Monday, Facebook will be eliminating the networks function of their site. For those who don’t know, networks gave you a chance to initially link up with people who had something in common with you, such as region of the world or country, college, high school or business. When I first signed up, I picked the network where I lived, and it gave me a chance to look through that network to find other people living in my area that I might know. I also was able to sign up for my alma mater’s network because I have a specific email address associated with the college.
With that gone, people are pretty much going to be relegated to having to find friends by popping in their names or email addresses and doing the individual search. Some people might find their friends in one of the many groups that are there, though, if you remember my post on Facebook, the groups are all overrated (even mine, unfortunately).
Of course, there are going to be some other changes, which Facebook probably needed to make, and probably what MySpace needs to think about doing some day. Many people who haven’t seen the news are going to awake tomorrow or Monday and wonder where everything is, and what’s going on. I think the networking thing is the most significant thing they’re doing, though, and I’m curious how new people will be greeted. I won’t see it, obviously, so I hope I get to talk to some new people to see how they got in, and what they think about the process.
Of course, I’m still hoping Facebook does something with their servers, because it’s still one of the slowest moving sites I deal with. Maybe they need to take a page from Google at some point, but I think they’re hedging their bets, wondering just how far social networking groups like theirs will be relevant, especially as everyone starts to notice that, though there are lots of members, there’s very little real participation between those members. I wish them, and me, well.