Thank you Facebook
To everyone at Facebook - thank you. Thank you for creating a space where I've been able to re-connect with friends I've lost touch with. That's a big deal for me.
Since moving from the UK to the States a few years ago, I have found email, my blog and occasional IM a useful way of keeping connected to a small subset of friends I've made over the years. However, these technologies and services haven't compared to the amazing power Facebook has to leverage network effects. I love how naturally one long-lost friend has connected me to another, and find it fascinating to observe how certain clusters of friends who have seemed invisible in the Facebook service become suddenly discoverable via a single connection, cascading one after another in a domino effect.
Thinking about it, I've rarely used a service that has brought me so much emotional satisfaction...connecting with good friends is a feel-good thing and it is this emotional value that makes Facebook hard to beat in terms of the gratification other services can provide. So much so, here I am even writing a thank you note to the service (I can't remember doing that for any service...I've written about how "cool" stuff is, or how useful some service might be...but "thank you"? Never).
I created my Facebook account something like 2 years ago (at least it feels like that...) - more out of curiosity than anything else, yet the value I'm getting out of Facebook today seems to be on the up on a daily basis. I was a rare user for most my early Facebook membership and then my sister encouraged me to log back in this summer...so thanks to her too :-)
So...I just wanted to say it again - thank you Facebook.