What does Facebook, Itouch and Calamari have in common? The answer is Greek Gods!
This evening I helped one of my daughter’s with her homework. The assignment was to take pictures of religious icons and places within our town. She had two denominations to photograph, Jewish (which is a low degree of difficulty for us!) and ancient Greek.
In case you have not noticed, there are few believers in Zeus in suburban New Jersey— or are there?
New Jersey is also the world capital of the…. you guessed it…. The Greek Diner. No Greek diner worth its Gyros would be caught dead without appropriate statuary of the Gods. We took a quick trip to the Livingston Diner for our assignment. Since I felt it was just slightly awkward to run into a diner full of patrons take pictures of the scattered statues and leave. We decided it would be best to have a dad/daughter dinner. Thus, with the help of Apollo we had some “quality time” between taking pictures and munching on fried calamari.
Since Facebook time is favorite topic in our house I asked her what she liked and disliked about the world’s number one social network. When we got home I asked the same questions of the other children. The answers were fairly consistent.
So, to the executives of Facebook – here is some free market research for you.
Cyber safety has been taught at home and in the school since they first started using a computer. They insist on using social networks and messaging only with people they know. The protections built into Facebook gives a sense of safety, security and control to the Tween/Teen group.
Games – Not so much
Facebook games got three thumbs down. Any activity that was not messaging, status updating or picture uploading rated very low with the Spencer gang. I would conclude that there is a huge opportunity for Facebook to expand into the collaborative gaming market. The problem is wading through the noise and junk applications.
A missing element in Facebook:
Better personalization. They all expressed desire to have Facebook “skins” and create a more personalized page environment for their friends. I would call this Facebook meets MySpace.
Communication is the key:
I was actually surprised to learn that all three of my children have virtually stopped using email! Their main messaging mechanism is Facebook messages and Facebook instant messaging. I asked them why? They told me everyone that wants to message them is on Facebook and it is easier to remember a friend’s name, than their email address. One daughter and son admitted to using email when they want to be more “official”, such as emailing a teacher.
Since getting hooked on Facebook they have stopped using AIM for instant messaging.
My son told me simply – “Everyone I know is always on Facebook, even during school” Even during school!? It seems the wireless use of Facebook in a mobile environment is creating an always-connected social network. The other school mechanism is WIFI. Thanks to the Apple Itouch, the school WIFI network is serving as the Facebook network. Facebook statuses now change, class to class.
Do your own personal research and let me know what you find out!