Guest post by entrepreneur and blogger Clara Shih, who is speaking at Harvard Business School and Web 2.0 Expo this week for the launch of her new book, The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff (Prentice Hall).
As individual users, we all experience and appreciate Facebook very viscerally -- sharing a photo, wishing someone a happy birthday. As developers and entrepreneurs, we may experience Facebook more tactically, continually optimizing based on new features that become available. What I spent the last year writing about in The Facebook Era is articulating why Facebook is so universally appealing and how it is transforming our culture, behavior, and relationships -- both between individuals as well as between companies and individuals. My hope is with a common language for us to describe these profound changes taking place that we as a developer community can be more strategic about the kinds of applications and businesses we build for this vibrant Facebook ecosystem.
For starters, I challenge you to think about a couple things:
Of course, there are many more issues beyond these which we need to be thinking about. I look forward to hearing your thoughts - and invite you to participate via Facebook Connect on the book's website (and on the Facebook Platform Page). I started out wanting to write a book about business and technology -- The Facebook Era is both of those, but it's also about a sociocultural transformation. Similarly, as developers we cannot be successful thinking only about business and technology - we have to understand the people using our applications and how their behavior and preferences are changing.
In 2007, Clara -- with Facebook engineer Todd Perry's help -- developed Faceforce (now called Faceconnector), an application that integrates Facebook profiles and social graph data into Salesforce CRM, as a weekend project. Clara is currently Director of Social Networking Alliances and Product Strategy at salesforce.com, inc. and blogs at thefacebookera.com.