Facebook, or how to make me trust a website

In Norway, the Facebook networking site has had an amazing amount of press coverage recently – I think I recall two tabloid front page stories during the last two weeks. Well, I've had friends nagging me to sign up for anything since SixDegrees.com onwards and am a rather passive member of several networking sites (truth be told I've mostly registered only to test if they work well in Opera) so another fad would appear to be the last thing I needed..

Last night with rather low expectations (along the lines of Friendster's ugly wannabe-Napster-cool graphics or still-just-can't-stand-their-colour-scheme Orkut) I typed facebook.com in the URL field just to see it.. and, well, even on the web there is such a thing as trust at first sight! A quick-loading presentation page with a brief and well worded presentation (bet they spent a lot of time shortening the text to achieve that brevity) and hardly an image anywhere!!!

So, I've found the Google Search of social networking. And that's a major compliment. It has this un-branded, natural feel Google had from the first time it replaced AltaVista as my web tool of choice (and still somewhat retains).

Nowadays when I'm constantly being Advertised to, Classified by marketeers and Branded by logo-crammed clothes and accessories, I don't trust anyone. Well, I do – but trust depends on not feeling that somebody is using all the tricks in the branding book to Sell me something. When a product has "what you see is what you get" all over it and clearly expects you to make an intelligent choice about using it based on its technical merit – how can you not trust it?

Exploring the "about us" blog and news section before deciding to sign up, I first stumbled across a blog post on Facebook's contributions to PHP. Who in the Facebook target audience is going to understand that geeky gibberish?? How come they post it anyway? Don't they have a marketing department teaching them how to simplify and underestimate customers into target groups? Hey, how great is that!!

And finally a fastcompany.com news article on the founders – man, they have a vision and it isn't for sale for insane amounts of cash. Well, by now I'm sold…

So, getting me to trust a website isn't terribly hard after all.. Facebook just pushed the right buttons. I've registered with my personal E-mail address (something I rarely do) and one of my harder-to-guess passwords (yes, I do use the same password everywhere – for sites I don't care about and believe I will never put important information inside). And for once I've registered with a site I really intend to use. We'll see if it lasts, but I hope so 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Facebook, or how to make me trust a website

  1. Facebook is ok. I use it more than MySpace. However, it annoys me that neither are taking steps to validate their code. Facebook lists 240 errors after login page. MySpace lists 355 errors after login page. It's just sad to see sites with this kind of potential just ignore standards when it's so easy to follow them. You might want to get on to Facebook for a few things here and there. If you click on "Posted Items" you'll notice that the icon above the test..Originally posted by Facebook.com – Posted Items:

    Drag the button above to your Bookmarks Bar to quickly share content with your friends.For more details, click here.

    ..is incorrect and just shows the alt text. I've emailed them twice about this and they reply with a simple "We know about this problem" or "We've fixed this problem"..which they have clearly not fixed, lol.Anywho, they do indeed have a nice clean appearance throughout their site!

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