25 Things

If you are on Facebook and haven’t had the pleasure of reading a 25 Random Things About Me note about one of your friends yet, you are missing out. Normally not a fan of chain letters or tagging memes, I will admit the 25 Things activity on Facebook is fascinating.

History of Facebook 25 Things Notes
Facebook notes were launched on August 22, 2006, but didn’t receive heavy usage until 2009 thanks to a new viral phenomenon that started off as “25 Random Things About Me.” Memes using notes on Facebook are nothing new, entire websites have been put together to catalog and inspire various memes-most as lame as the emails that have been going around for over a decade.

The Velocity of 25 Things
The earliest entries I can find via various search tools for 25 Things is mid-January. I really saw it taking off in my personal network starting in February. Using Google trends, I compared 25 Things searches to searches for an older site people might be familiar with: 43 Things.

25 Things Chart

As you can tell from the chart, 25 things searches increased rapidly, easily overshadowing 43 Things despite the fact that users won’t find Facebook notes entries doing this search, nor will they find definitive information about the origins of it.

How to Find 25 Things Notes
If you do want to find all your friends 25 things postings, I suggest you follow these steps:

1. Login to Facebook and make sure you are on the main page (click Home if you are not sure).
2. Click the drop down arrow for more feeds (blue arrow next to live feed button)
3. Choose notes.
4. Scroll down and you will likely see activity around 25 Things postings.
5. Click show more posts at the very bottom if you want to look for more postings.

Facebook 25 Things Learnings
There are things we can all learn from Facebook’s 25 Things success:

  • Patience is important in business. Facebook could have easily scrapped notes long ago due to low activity.
  • Never underestimate user-generated content.
  • Viral successes are often luck
  • Providing a platform where UGC viral successes can happen is important

I noticed a lot of people commenting on how Facebook didn’t make sense to them until they started reading other people’s 25 Things posts – this simple meme has created an amazing amount of value for Facebook and their traffic reflects it:

Facebook 25 Things

Yahoo Attempting to Keep Google and MSN Users

Caught this today when performing a search for other engines while on Yahoo. First time I’ve seen an engine attempt to keep their users from jumping to another engine, which is very common practice as indicated by my Actual Top 10 Search Terms of 2006 post.

I was performing a search for MSN search (or “Live”) in Yahoo because I didn’t have it in my Firefox search dropdown.

Here’s what I saw:
MSN Search on Yahoo

I wasn’t paying very close attention and started typing in my search into the Yahoo shortcut search box shown above. Notice it says: “You could go to MSN. Or you could stay here and get straight to your answers.”

I can’t recall seeing this before, so I decided to see if they were doing the same thing to Google (which has got to be one of the 10 most popular search terms on Yahoo):

Google search on Yahoo

Again, notice it says: “You could go to Google. Or you could stay here and get straight to your answers.”

Seems strange to have a Yahoo shortcut for something you were already immersed in. What do you think about this? Is it right? Would Yahoo be pissed if Microsoft or Google did the same?

Mashable Open Awards Voting

I’ve had the pleasure of judging the Webby Awards, the Web 2.0 awards, an international pageant, and now the Mashable Open Awards.

Like many awards, there is the judges choice and the people’s choice (both an honor to win for any website). Below is the form you can use to submit your choice (cast your vote before midnight Sunday, November 30th):