Thursday, November 11, 2010

One important difference between AOL and Facebook

I have noted in several instances (example) that the 21st century Facebook is very similar to the 20th century America Online (AOL). One example - in the same way that companies used to tell you to go to their AOL keyboard, the businesses of today tell you to go to their Facebook page.

I was making this point in a comment to an AppsLab post, and Jake Kuramoto noted two important distinctions between AOL and Facebook. You'll have to go to his comment to see his first distinction (I don't want to completely Griggs him), but I'd like to quote part of his second point.

Facebook is replacing web sites for many small businesses due to cost. Instead of continuing to pay web hosting, maintenance, and SEO costs, businesses can start and cheaply maintain Facebook pages.

(See the rest of Kuramoto's comment here.)

While Jake is comparing Facebook with standalone web pages, his comment implies an important distinction between Facebook and AOL. Back in the AOL days, businesses had to pay some cash to get some virtual real estate on AOL. Today, you don't have to pay any money to set up a page on Facebook. Larry Ellison didn't have to pay a dime to set up the AppsLab page. I didn't have to pay a dime to set up the Empoprise-BI page. I'm not sure how much the AOL keyword "Empoprise-BI" would have cost me.

Of course, you could pay some money for a Facebook page if you wanted, even if all you do is buy a book or two. Or three. Notice that all three of these books, either authored or co-authored by Jesse Stay, have Facebook pages. It seems like an obvious point, but some people forget.
blog comments powered by Disqus