(reposted from Facebook Note i wrote earlier today... btw, anyone know how to syndicate a Note out to a blog automagically? see me in the comments)
sometimes I can be the dumbest geek around.
but fortunately, that kind of stupidity actually serves me well. after getting over the fact that i'm no longer the smartest person in the room anymore (used to think so; still do occasionally), i'm now pretty open with my ignorance. I have no fear of asking dumb questions in front of large audiences, or of asking people to repeat themselves 3 or 4 times, and then say I still don't get it. this forces me (& others who waste time talking to me) to keep it simple [stupid]. but it's still easy to flip back to alpha geek mode & make it too complicated.
re: facebook, sometimes I feel like i've discovered some deep truths about social networking and a whole new 'web 3.0' revolution... then other times I realize 'hey Stupid! it's just a damn News Feed & some tags!' and that of course is the wakeup call to know i ain't god's gift to tech analysts.
but here's the thing.
everyone seems to be pointing to the Platform (& the API & Apps) as the amazing Facebook innovation. and they're not wrong, but imho they're missing the true innovation... because amazing as it is, the Platform really isn't the hard part. other people can & will copy that (but it may take longer than they think or hope).
no, the REALLY hard part is engineering the change in human behavior that Facebook has achieved with the News Feed. *that* is what will truly be most difficult to copy.
even getting all the data together to create a 'social event stream' like the Feed is challenging -- Plaxo & others are trying -- but then getting people to put info *into* it & getting them to *look at it* regularly... well it's one thing to build good tech; quite another to get people to make a fundamental change in their behavior.
so that's why I think what Facebook has done is so incredible... it's not just Platform, Apps, & APIs.. it's the Social Graph & the Feed, and how the Platform drives viral behavior on, around, & thru the Feed.
or in other words:
people see shit other people are doing in the Feed, and then they click on that shit.
see? so much better when you Keep It Simple, right?
and of course I do... because I am ;)