July 24, 2007

FaceBook - Right Name, Right TIme

I know everyone is talking about Facebook, which is why I haven't jumped up and down too much over here. But the things that I'm finding interesting aren't what I see the Web 2.0 experts talking about.

What fascinates me is Susan.

Because, the most real-world-impacting thing about facebook is its faces.

Because Jenna didn't have a cousin named Susan with a smile and a face and a camera phone two days ago, but now she does.

1 day, one face, new family.

Low and behold, I start the Sessum facebook group and we find that Susan's father and George are first cousins, that Jenna and Susan share the same great-grandfather. And now Susan has put up family pictures and George is staring at faces of an Uncle he never knew -- but in his face he knows, you know? -- and looking into smiling eyes and onto etched hands that remember him forward into now.

That could not happen with the velocity with which it IS happening because of Facebook. It could not have happened with such speed and clarity in the vastness of the Internet through search.

It could not happen with blogging because WE -- George and I -- hog the "sessum" search results on google. The Sessums we sift through are ourselves. Are you talking about us and us talking about you. We would never find Susan or Michael or Fred through blogging, and we would never find them BECAUSE of blogging -- because blog results inundate Google search results. And Sessum results are mostly yours truly.

It could not happen with MySpace either, because MySpaces's search capabilities have remained lackluster, despite press releases and claims to the contrary. And because MySpace is more bling and sing than face.

Similarly, with the Dimino group, with 20-some other facebookians -- two of whom are my nephews and one my niece -- we are finding one another: I am not only their aunt anymore - they are not only my brother's kids: we are creatives. From my family group I learned -- through a probable relative's grandmother -- about the long held belief that all Diminos come from the same village of Sicily, this fishing village.

From there, my imagination gives birth to stories. I am transported.

We are the social Web, family.

When we begin to participate on the Internet's intranets -- like FaceBook -- with others who say yes this is who I am and this is my face I'm on this book with you, then we find each other in new ways. And we become new to one another. And the new becomes familiar.

In groups, through play, the way the web has always worked, we meet and move forward and sideways and through together. We expand. We are evolving from hyperlinked-conversation-based relationships.

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