Facebook crosses the generation gap, spreads transparency

  • Jon Lund 

Just published my new “Digital view: Life on the Danish internet august 17-23 2009″, and this is fascinating I think: Half of the Danish population are using Facebook. More specific: 2,47 mio Danes visited facebook at least once during the month of June (June, 2009 – research carried out by Gemius).

What’s more: Facebook apparently catches all age-groups – even the youngest, who have left their hitherto preferred native and front-running Danish social networking site, arto.com. Even the eldest: Almost half of Danes over the age of 60 who are online uses facebook! (numbers are all there in the report)

This has lots of implications. The perhaps most important is that Danes in this way are building a shared knowledge about the (increasingly digital) world in which we live. Paving way for a more homogeneous Danish society, I’d say! Not being fragmented into diverse sub-cultures, but knitting the diverse subcultures together in an online meta-community.

Don’t get me wrong: off course we’re not all sitting there, talking and updating and networking each other. But: While you may not be online-friends with your teenage-boys, and while you may not know the exact substance of their social activities (what photos they upload, what they write in their status-mentions), you do know what it’s all about, you’ve been there, tagged that, commented this and this gives you a chance to adopt real-world conversations on how they’re doing. It enables you to reach out, it offers you to build bridges between yours and their worlds.

And what’s more: chances are one of their connections is also a connection of yours. Or a connection of a connection of yours. And that you in this way would be informed should they ever show signs of distress, of a character deemed socially important for you. (This has been a worry of a lot of parents: what if my kids are being harassed by their peers – or even worse: are being approached by seemingly innocent characters who turns out to be pedophiles or the like).

These are all perspectives from an individual point of view. In the world of business, perspectives are almost stumbling over each other. Read a few of them in the analysis.