While watching VH1 Soul and catching up on the Google reader, I came across a Fortune story that caught my eye: Finding cracks in Facebook. Fortune writer Jessie Hempel sets the stage for the story with an interesting lead paragraph:
“Late last year Mark Zuckerberg, the 24-year-old CEO of social-networking phenomenon Facebook, got onstage before a Madison Avenue crowd and declared that he was leading a once-in-a-century media revolution. Long story short: The revolution hasn’t panned out. Six months later, advertisers could be forgiven for mistaking Facebook for a smaller MySpace or a much larger Friendster (remember them?). And far from changing media as we know it, the virtual home of Superpokes, Funwalls, and other such time wasters is showing cracks in its foundation.”
Hempel’s piece gives Facebook its due for being one the fastest-rising dot coms in history shortly after, but when I read it I couldn’t help but think of two things:
- Joshua Porter’s Blog on The Usage Lifecycle
- Where is the Love? The song. And not the Black Eyed Peas version (no offense BEP). This one by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.
Porter does a nice job of walking readers through the stages of the lifecycle from “Unaware” to “Passionate Use” and provides examples of sites which are really creating passionate users. People commenting also added “Boredom” and “Notices Superior Competing Product” to the process.
While Porter’s post was geared towards designing for the Social Web, I think it can be applied to many things. It’s what the media does with companies (In this case Facebook). It’s what we’re doing with our Presidential Candidates, and I think it’s what companies do with employees at times.
The recent grad turned new hire learns a few things, spreads his or her wings, shows everyone what they’ve got, and as soon as they become comfortable and start experimenting, people start looking for their “cracks.”
Like Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, members of Gen Y have traveled an interesting road in our first few years, and only time will tell what the future will bring. Hopefully not too many of us will be left at work asking: Where is the love?