Gold Star for Robot Boy

I committed Friendster suicide yesterday. I didn’t want to do it. Felt I had to.

Every time I’d think about my sad, abandoned homepage over there — which I visited multiple times daily from 2003 to 2006 but have only very rarely checked in the past two years because, like everyone else, I’ve shifted operations to MySpace and Facebook — I’d find myself getting sad and wondering, “Why did we do that to Friendster?” I mean, remember the Friendster of 2003? Such a lovely new toy, with its lolling smiley face logo — it wanted to be your friend! And for a while it was that bestest of BFFs — always accessible, aesthetically pleasing, and offering you access to a wider group of potential homeys.

Now, feeling awful about the fortunes of a social-networking site might seem a bit deranged — but there it is: I have felt guilty for having deserted Friendster for quite a while now. Why did we do that to Friendster? Yesterday it was finally time to quit asking myself that question and move on.

And of course we did nothing to Friendster; Friendster did it to themselves. The company had a chance to sell out to Google in 2003 for a reported $30 million. They did not. Instead, Friendster tried (and failed spectacularly) to become more of a dating site, which led to its biggest blunder: Allowing other users to see that you’ve viewed their page, and vice versa. The biggest thrill of the site was scoping for old classmates or girlfriends or coworkers and seeing how their lives have turned out — anonymously. But nobody wants to be spied on, and no one wants to feel like a stalker, even if he is. As of yesterday, that function was still in place.

Anyway, here’s my FDC (Friendster death certificate):

Why, snow, why?!