Clara Shih has been planted with an idea. The idea of the social network. The idea of Facebook. She has made it her mission to place this idea into others, and she has been very successful. When I first learned about Clara in 2008 there where already 100 million users on Facebook. Now, with the help of Clara, there are now (as of July 2010) 500 million users of this disruption (as Clara describes it) in the social and business landscape. This sudden disruption has now become something else, and, with the second edition of her book out, I think it is now official that we are living in “The Facebook Era”.
Clara is the creator of Faceconnector (formerly Faceforce) the first business application on Facebook. Clara holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in economics and computer science from Stanford, and has a Master’s Degree in internet studies from Oxford, where she studied as a United States Marshall Scholar. It was in her native Hong Kong when she first realized that Facebook was changing the ways in which people, people for all ages and backgrounds, were interacting using the social network. No matter who you were or where you came from, the social network gave human beings another way – a very enticing one – to allow humans to connect, to belong, to have identity.
There are a few social networking portals on the world wide web, but it was Facebook that took the lead and where people, as no time before, were willing to place their information – there lives – out there for the world to see. As other technologies have done it the past (telegraph, telephone, PC’s, internet) Facebook has permanently change the way people will communicate. Coming from a business perspective, Clara sees Facebook as CRM (customer relationship management) and is providing insight into how the social network can be used to generate business. Learning to manage your internet social network (your Facebook) will become an important factor in our everyday lives and may even determine success socially and in the new business landscape.
The 20 billion dollar and growing Facebook company is now in ownership battles and was the subject of the Fall 2010 major motion picture “The Social Network”. More and more people are becoming aware of the Facebook phenomenon and more and more people are becoming part of this social network. 500 million people, though and very large number, are only 7.5% of the worlds population. The Facebook Era is upon us and Clara Shih’s book is a good resource if you want to learn more about these interesting times in which we now find ourselves.