There's no question, the hottest social networking site these days is Facebook.
I first heard about it earlier this year when a colleague mentioned that it was much cleaner and tidier than MySpace, a social networking site that gives new meaning to the word "messy". I get a headache every time I visit anyone's MySpace page.
For the sake of experimentation, I registered for Facebook and didn't do anything with it. Just left it there.
Then I started noticing that a broad range of people I knew--friends, associates, colleagues, acquaintances and even former students I'd taught--had started to add me to their networks.
I could have crawled the entire Facebook to find out who else I knew was on there, but I purposely didn't. I just let it be and remained purposefully passive just to see if the growth rate in new invites would continue.
I knew Facebook had hit a tipping point when I received an invitation from former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to add me as a friend.
Initially, I thought that this must be a hoax and sent a query to his personal assistant Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who was also on Facebook and was already in my network.
He assured me it was for real and that it's part of an effort by Anwar to reach out to people through online means. (I guess I was in his radar because I used to cover politics when I worked for a local media).
Facebook's recent surge in popularity made me think about its key success factors. A quick analysis would attribute it to three key factors:
i) Clean interface
ii) Easy to use
iii) No "fakesters"--people use real names and most pictures are real pictures
I'm sure there are more, but I like it better than the others (such as MySpace, Friendster, etc...) because of those three reasons.
Wanna be part of my network? Contact me through my Facebook page.