"Facebook is an English-language social networking website, popular among college students. It was originally developed for university students, faculty and staff, but has since been expanded to include everyone, including high school, corporate and geographic communities.
As of December 2005, the website had the largest number of registered users among college-focused sites (at over 7.5 million US college student accounts created with an additional 20,000 new accounts being created daily). It is the number one site for photos, ahead of public sites such as Flickr, with 2.3 million photos uploaded daily, and is the seventh most trafficked site in the United States, according to comScore's Media Metrix.
The name of the site is based on the paper facebooks that colleges give to incoming students, faculty, and staff depicting members of the campus community."
One thing that makes this site popular is the necessity to have some kind of an official connection to the organization or institution whose network one wishes to join.
Through our Stanford alumni email address, for example, we have been able to join the Stanford network, which includes students, alumni, staff and faculty.
We are not sure that there is any benefit to us through this network at the moment, but just imagine what a powerful tool this is - or could be - to get the word out about something to a specific target audience of any kind. Just imagine if you were a college fundraiser, for example, and had access to this kind of a university network. Many things would quickly become easier.
One can argue about whether or not the new digital age is - as some allege - actually creating "new" communities. But for already existing communities, there can be little doubt that online networking sites are vastly increasing the opportunities for better communication among members of those communities in the future.