I imagine I am about the last geek in my age range to find Friendster for the first time, but when I heard about it, about a year ago, I just did not get it. But a friend of ours had sent me an invitation to join her "friends" and I decided to go ahead. I wasn't actually expecting to get any benefit myself, it was more like when I receive a request for my contact info. I respond so that the person will have accurate information about me. Boy, did I have a surprise coming.
So I signed up for friendster and became a friend. Immediately I noticed that a good friend that I had fallen out of touch with was listed as a "friend of a friend". Within a few minutes I had found another few old friends, but this first "friend of a friend" was the one who responded in minutes. We opened a chat and traded highlights from the past 4 years in about 10 minutes. I had this wonderful feeling afterwards.
That's the power of the Internet. Forget all of the marketing and the "web special" deals, the best thing about the Internet is how it connects people. Without it, I know the address for my friend's parents, who I'd have to bother to ask for a current phone number or address. Or I might bump into someone who has kept in touch with her at my high school reunion next year, but with the Internet I reconnected with her that day.
Another part that was a lot of fun was reading the profiles of people who I would call acquaintances. Especially in college, there were a great deal of people that I knew who they were, I shared classes with them, but I was not friends with them per se. However, six years removed, it's really fun to read who lives where, works where, and what they are doing.
I also must give friendster a big hand for making it so easy to use their service. I would guess that the chat function that I used is relatively new based on the "Beta" tag, although FlickR still says Beta and it is not a spring chicken. However, the fact that we were able to have an instant message conversation without worrying about installing software, or who's using which provider, made a huge impression. I may be the last person in the world to find it, but I think the timing was