Thursday, March 30, 2006

the folks at facebook seem pretty cool

the big facebook news these days is whether or not they are worth $2 billion and, if so, who will buy them. wired campus is doing a good job providing updates.

but i've got a different kind of facebook story. as some of you may recall, last quarter, i taught com 300: basic concepts of new media and one of our main topics of study and one of our main platforms of publication was facebook. i thoroughly enjoyed teaching this course and although i have not yet received my student evaluations i believe the students learned a lot. the students worked on a level of creativity that i haven't seen in college students for quite a while.

the final project encouraged students to go beyond academic writing and instead build projects -- facebook experiments with identity, facebook experiments with photo albums, facebook experiments with offline events.

one project was called Best Project Ever and it pretty much kicked ass. it was a group project - thought about, discussed, debated, designed, and produced by nine students: anna h, frankie c, jackie n, jen k, jessie h, jessie s, joleen j, kim m, and kristen h. (that's a lot of students with names starting with j!)

the project was smart. the nine students: a) assembled a list of dream features for facebook, b) asked the rest of us to rank them in terms of what we want to see/use on facebook, and c) designed a detailed print package describing five new features. and then, d) they sent the package to the headquarters of facebook.

this week, facebook wrote back!

first, anikka fragodt, executive assistant to the chairman & ceo of facebook, wrote:
    Greetings Jessie H., Frankie, Kristen, Anna, Joleen, Jen, Kim, Jackie, Jessie S. and David,

    I want you to know that we've received your suggestions. As you guessed, Facebook does receive many suggestions from our users although typically they are done through our suggestions page. I will forward your suggestions to the team dedicated to reviewing and evaluating all suggestions and who knows, maybe one (or all five) of your suggestions will be implemented.

    I hope your instructor (David) gave you a high mark on your final project.

    Best,

    Anikka
rock on, anikka!

then, randi zuckerberg, director of market development at facebook, wrote:
    Hi Jessie & co.,

    I just wanted to write to let you know that we received your team project on ideas for Facebook. I think you did an absolutely fantastic job. It is really wonderful to see that students like yourselves are so excited about our site that you are willing to devote the time to do a thorough analysis of future opportunities for us. You clearly gave this a lot of thought and did a great deal of research - it shows because many of the ideas you sent us are ones that we have been discussing here for months already!!! So, great work - you all could have a great future working for the Facebook product team! I can't tell you which ones, since it is pretty confidential, but make sure to watch the site over the next few months and you may just see one or two new products roll out that are very similar to things you mentioned in your project brief.

    Again - this is really excellent work. Thanks so much for sharing with us,

    Randi Zuckerberg
    Director of Market Development
    Facebook
rock on, randi!

what a great new chapter to an already great course. congrats to all com 300'ers! let's follow what happens, eh?

13 Comments:

At 3/30/2006 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is TREMENDOUS! wow. i'm glad to know those people at facebook have class and they recognize good work when they see it. nice job(s)!
-sarah

 
At 3/31/2006 3:32 AM, Anonymous Frankie Calkins said...

!!! that is awesome! i didn't realize they sent more than one message! i didn't really expect to hear from them but it sounds like we may have really hit some ideas on the head! i'm excited to see what happens but no matter what i'm glad we did the project! great class silver and i wish i could be in your class this quarter! :( Hope all is well!

 
At 3/31/2006 9:37 AM, Anonymous david silver said...

sarah: i told you this class was awesome! =)

frankie: rock on, it's great to hear from you. and, it's official, you are the first person to comment on my blog AT THREE THIRTY IN THE MORNING. let's meet up this quarter - at the very least i want to see one of your team's games. and congrats again on such a cool - and persuasive - final project.

 
At 4/09/2006 3:28 AM, Anonymous Lee and Sachi said...

Yay! David is blogging- and very well I might add! I saw you had linked to TwinF and came to check out ur site. Very nice work!
Right now I'm on the SW coast of Thailand using myTreo 650 smartphone to get on the internet via a mobile web connection. I though you might b interested David. :) I hope we'll b able to hang out more when we get back home. See ya!

 
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What an exciting story!
I was wondering what kind of features did you suggested to Facebook in order to make them react that nice way.

 
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