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Analogy of Status Updates

It’s been some time since I took the SATs but I always enjoyed the “analogy” section of the test.  Okay, as much as a standardized test can be enjoyable, it is up there with using a freshly-sharpened #2 pencil to fill in those little ovals.  If you don’t remember, here’s an example:

DALMATIAN : DOG ::

(A) oriole : bird

(B) horse : pony

(C) shark : great white

(D) ant : insect

(E) stock : savings

It seems with growing frequency, I’m pulled into conversations regarding Twitter with many who are just now learning about it.  Great Time article on Twitter by the way.  Yes, I get the often “I just don’t get Twitter.”  I used to think that too when I first heard about the service.  I quickly no longer thought that.  But, recently, I get “Why use Twitter when you can just update your status on Facebook?”  And this throws me right back into the 90’s:  “Do you use the internet?” “Oh yes, I use AOL all the time.”  So back to my SAT analogy:

web : AOL :: Twitter status : Facebook status

Remember the walled garden of AOL, how many users would think that was the web, never venturing out into the wild world of the wide web.  Times change but I see history repeating itself.  The struggle and growing awareness of open and closed systems.  There is a tremendous amount of value being generated off the openness of Twitter than is available within Facebook, where your status network can only be as big who you are willing to have in your personal friends’ list.  The same goes for status in LinkedIn and who you are willing to have in your professional connections’ list.  The situation is certainly more complex than AOL of the 90s but strikingly similar.

  • http://twitter.com/loupaglia loupaglia

    New blog post: Analogy of Status Updates http://bit.ly/LIl5h

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/GraemeThickins GraemeThickins

    is Facebook analogous to AOL of the ’90s? my friend Lou Paglia raises the question in this post at his Correlate blog: http://bit.ly/IVsZH

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://www.jimbernard.net/ Jim Bernard

    Hey Lou-
    Interesting thought. Not sure if this point will validate or run counter to your argument:

    Have you noticed how Facebook status is not the same as Twitter status? I used to have my Twitter updates update my Facebook status and they just didn't match. In part because my Twitter stream is distributed to a smaller group so there were things I would Twitter about that I didn't really want my Uncle Ray to be bothered with. But more than that, the Twitter “voice” at least for me is more informal, much more likely to be absurd or some sort of joke.

    I find the Facebook status update to be different than Twitter because of the reply and “like this” function are super easy to use and the audience who can (and will) respond is big. And people want to discuss it with you–“really? what is going on?” and expect you to respond.

    My brother-in-law was just telling a story about how he had to un-friend someone on Facebook because she was constantly commenting on his status. He felt bad but it was ruining the Facebook experience for him. This just seems Facebook-centric and not very Twitter-like.

    Finally, Facebook status just hangs in there for as long as you let it. Twitter is more a moment in time. My last Twitter was a reply to a buddy and I'm not worried about it sitting out there for days or weeks until I am moved to Twitter again.

    OK, so back to the analogy. Is it the open nature of the web v. the closed nature of AOL that completes the Twitter:Facebook loop? Or is it the huge number of noob users on Facebook?

    Love the blog, by the way.

    JEB

  • http://www.loupaglia.com/correlate loupaglia

    Thanks for the comment Jim. First, what is I interesting is your use cases for Twitter and Facebook are very close to the opposite on my usage patterns. My Facebook exchanges are much more informal with friends and family and while Twitter is sometimes informal, I also have a larger amount of content coverage regarding business and technology topics. I rarely get into those types of conversations in Facebook. In face, I recently stopped auto-posting all of my Tweets into Facebook because many of my friends were saying that they were confusing. Building on that, I've often considered removing business relationships out of Facebook entirely and keeping it for my closer network of friends and family. I haven't done it yet, however, because I think Facebook is going to have to find a way with more clear permissioning to create effective sub-groups.

    To your questions, I think you are spot on. First, I think we would be remiss if we didn't say there is a certain “noob” effect on FB. And that I think is where a lot of my analogy comes from. Many of the users on Facebook aren't in the tech community, so they are venturing out and trying all the new platforms like Twitter and Friendfeed. So often, like with AOL, when you use FB constantly, the natural response you build is “why would you do x, y, z elsewhere when you can do it in Facebook”. The concept of the open web isn't something a lot of people think about, very much like people in the AOL of the 90s didn't think about what I guess we could call “the larger web”. So with that in mind, the open nature of the web and also the ongoing existence of closed-networks drives a lot of the information asymmetry as well.

    The concept of the status feature was where it really jumps out to me in an obvious manner.

  • http://www.jimbernard.net/ Jim Bernard

    Hey Lou-
    Interesting thought. Not sure if this point will validate or run counter to your argument:

    Have you noticed how Facebook status is not the same as Twitter status? I used to have my Twitter updates update my Facebook status and they just didn't match. In part because my Twitter stream is distributed to a smaller group so there were things I would Twitter about that I didn't really want my Uncle Ray to be bothered with. But more than that, the Twitter “voice” at least for me is more informal, much more likely to be absurd or some sort of joke.

    I find the Facebook status update to be different than Twitter because of the reply and “like this” function are super easy to use and the audience who can (and will) respond is big. And people want to discuss it with you–“really? what is going on?” and expect you to respond.

    My brother-in-law was just telling a story about how he had to un-friend someone on Facebook because she was constantly commenting on his status. He felt bad but it was ruining the Facebook experience for him. This just seems Facebook-centric and not very Twitter-like.

    Finally, Facebook status just hangs in there for as long as you let it. Twitter is more a moment in time. My last Twitter was a reply to a buddy and I'm not worried about it sitting out there for days or weeks until I am moved to Twitter again.

    OK, so back to the analogy. Is it the open nature of the web v. the closed nature of AOL that completes the Twitter:Facebook loop? Or is it the huge number of noob users on Facebook?

    Love the blog, by the way.

    JEB

  • http://www.loupaglia.com/correlate loupaglia

    Thanks for the comment Jim. First, what is I interesting is your use cases for Twitter and Facebook are very close to the opposite on my usage patterns. My Facebook exchanges are much more informal with friends and family and while Twitter is sometimes informal, I also have a larger amount of content coverage regarding business and technology topics. I rarely get into those types of conversations in Facebook. In face, I recently stopped auto-posting all of my Tweets into Facebook because many of my friends were saying that they were confusing. Building on that, I've often considered removing business relationships out of Facebook entirely and keeping it for my closer network of friends and family. I haven't done it yet, however, because I think Facebook is going to have to find a way with more clear permissioning to create effective sub-groups.

    To your questions, I think you are spot on. First, I think we would be remiss if we didn't say there is a certain “noob” effect on FB. And that I think is where a lot of my analogy comes from. Many of the users on Facebook aren't in the tech community, so they are venturing out and trying all the new platforms like Twitter and Friendfeed. So often, like with AOL, when you use FB constantly, the natural response you build is “why would you do x, y, z elsewhere when you can do it in Facebook”. The concept of the open web isn't something a lot of people think about, very much like people in the AOL of the 90s didn't think about what I guess we could call “the larger web”. So with that in mind, the open nature of the web and also the ongoing existence of closed-networks drives a lot of the information asymmetry as well.

    The concept of the status feature was where it really jumps out to me in an obvious manner.

  • http://www.jimbernard.net/ Jim Bernard

    Hey Lou-
    Interesting thought. Not sure if this point will validate or run counter to your argument:

    Have you noticed how Facebook status is not the same as Twitter status? I used to have my Twitter updates update my Facebook status and they just didn't match. In part because my Twitter stream is distributed to a smaller group so there were things I would Twitter about that I didn't really want my Uncle Ray to be bothered with. But more than that, the Twitter “voice” at least for me is more informal, much more likely to be absurd or some sort of joke.

    I find the Facebook status update to be different than Twitter because of the reply and “like this” function are super easy to use and the audience who can (and will) respond is big. And people want to discuss it with you–“really? what is going on?” and expect you to respond.

    My brother-in-law was just telling a story about how he had to un-friend someone on Facebook because she was constantly commenting on his status. He felt bad but it was ruining the Facebook experience for him. This just seems Facebook-centric and not very Twitter-like.

    Finally, Facebook status just hangs in there for as long as you let it. Twitter is more a moment in time. My last Twitter was a reply to a buddy and I'm not worried about it sitting out there for days or weeks until I am moved to Twitter again.

    OK, so back to the analogy. Is it the open nature of the web v. the closed nature of AOL that completes the Twitter:Facebook loop? Or is it the huge number of noob users on Facebook?

    Love the blog, by the way.

    JEB

  • http://www.loupaglia.com/correlate loupaglia

    Thanks for the comment Jim. First, what is I interesting is your use cases for Twitter and Facebook are very close to the opposite on my usage patterns. My Facebook exchanges are much more informal with friends and family and while Twitter is sometimes informal, I also have a larger amount of content coverage regarding business and technology topics. I rarely get into those types of conversations in Facebook. In face, I recently stopped auto-posting all of my Tweets into Facebook because many of my friends were saying that they were confusing. Building on that, I've often considered removing business relationships out of Facebook entirely and keeping it for my closer network of friends and family. I haven't done it yet, however, because I think Facebook is going to have to find a way with more clear permissioning to create effective sub-groups.

    To your questions, I think you are spot on. First, I think we would be remiss if we didn't say there is a certain “noob” effect on FB. And that I think is where a lot of my analogy comes from. Many of the users on Facebook aren't in the tech community, so they are venturing out and trying all the new platforms like Twitter and Friendfeed. So often, like with AOL, when you use FB constantly, the natural response you build is “why would you do x, y, z elsewhere when you can do it in Facebook”. The concept of the open web isn't something a lot of people think about, very much like people in the AOL of the 90s didn't think about what I guess we could call “the larger web”. So with that in mind, the open nature of the web and also the ongoing existence of closed-networks drives a lot of the information asymmetry as well.

    The concept of the status feature was where it really jumps out to me in an obvious manner.