newsweek today: facebook

I just finished reading today's Newsweek article "The Facebook Effect" (cover dated 27Aug07), and it feels like they got it right. Facebook's goal is to serve a profile for every internet user (really). 23-year-old Mark Zuckerburg keeps saying "it's not just for students anymore."

While I love his "social graph" theory - online networks should clearly and in-detail model pre-existing relationships in real life - the article shares my lament that the older generation newcomers might be undoing it. It's not natural to add your mom as a facebook friend. Like the social equivalent of inviting your parents over for a beer with friends, and spending the time chatting up The National, "shoes" on YouTube, and Jon Stewart.

Having turned down a one billion dollar offer from Yahoo, Facebook is betting it's going to make it (IPO in less than two years?). We'll see if does without watering down the safe-boundaries feel that made it win in the first place (come on - there's a graveyard of similar sites that didn't make it).

Meanwhile, I'd love to know if anyone is doing studies on online social networking in church/religious communities. (an explicit example: MyChurch.org)