Sunday, June 28, 2009

Non-friend of Friendster (NFOF)

I’ve chosen to examine Friendster for this week’s activity. I vaguely remember hearing about it in 2003, but was in my own little obsessed world of a new faculty member, so paid little attention to anything other than TiVo as the time ;-)

The target audience for Friendster was basically anyone who was internet-savvy and interested in meeting others for dating, friendship, something more, etc. It was launched to compete with, with a basic premise that you’d have more luck meeting “sound” FOFs then just blindly searching online for unknown others as potential romantic partners.

One interesting factoid: Friendstar launched in 2002 and was initially popular among gay men, Burning Man attendees
(which as a sociologist, absolutely delighted me, lol ;-) and the random bloggers of the universe at that time.

The problem was, it grew to such popularity so quickly that the site regularly crashed, frustrating users, plus there were no filtering devices, so friends and bosses and classmates were all hanging together as “friends.” Another key factor that led to Friendster’s demise was the rush to be “most popular” and collect countless friends. In fact, some enterprising collectors set up fake sites and for some reason, these “Fakesters” outraged the company.

The convergence of all of these issues led to Friendster’s demise, but while it crashed & burned in the U.S., it surged in popularity in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

If I had been on top of my game, would I have considered creating an account and using it? Most likely no, for I am a late adopter ;-)

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