Monday, September 3, 2007

The Lastest "Hot" Facebook Discussion

As I continue to keep out my feelers for hard data about Facebook is actually being used, I feel it necessary to call attention to Alaa Shahine's dispatch for Reuters this morning. The lead paragraph says it all:

More than 2,000 Egyptians have joined a discussion group on Facebook, the popular Internet social networking Web site, to ponder one overwhelming question: "What will you do when (President) Hosni Mubarak dies?"

Once again I think it is worth asking whether or not 2000 constitutes a statistically relevant sample; but, for this particular topic, I think the fact that the discussion group exists at all is worthy of note. To provide some historical context, this is again the sort of topic that was likely to show up on a Usenet discussion group; and, when the discussion involved a government that tended to be "sensitive" about such discussion, most (if not all) of the discussants turned out to be submitting their contributions from outside the borders of the country in question. Having said all that, though, I still hold that this is a data point worth considering!

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