Without wanting to regurgitate everything else that's been said about Facebook - two thoughts on why, in my honest and humble opinion, this particular social network tool is succeeding where others have failed (or succeeded qickly and then failed).
1. The best of everything else
I think of a single thing I'd add to Facebook (or take away for that matter). They've cherry-picked the best ideas from the rest of the Web over the last 3 years, watched carefully as MySpace, Friendster and LinkedIn have risen radically and plateaued painfully. It doesn't offer any features I can't find somewhere else, but does everything in one place - better. It does Friendster, better. Twitter, better. Arguably Flickr, better. It is easy enough to satisfy my mom's social networking requirements, and deep enough to satisfy hard core geeks (who have resisted relentlessly only to give up in due time - Danie!).
2. Bridging the gap
And on that note, Facebook has put me in touch with people I never dreamed I'd hear from again. That is it's most compelling feature - it's innate ability to re-connect you with significant humans from your past (and present I guess). I don't get spammed on Facebook, the platform is smooth and easy to use. It is a sure winner. C'mon, tell me you haven't sought out your ex's yet...
I wish Mark Zuckerburg and team the best - they are going to be very, very wealthy people very, very soon.
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