Yesterday we taught the first Facebook class at Stanford, with over 100 student crammed into a temporary room that still wasn’t big enough.
We’ve set up more info on the course here: http://captology.stanford.edu/facebook.html
You’ll see that our course isn’t about the code part of FB apps. We’re focusing on the psychology and metrics of Facebook, and how understanding these two pieces can help developers create superior applications on Facebook–or on whatever platform opens up next (and apparently more are coming soon).
What’s new here is how Facebook Platform has brought the creator and user close together through Facebook product features like Reviews and Discussion Boards, as well as built-in metrics of uptake and engagement. Anyone can see exactly how people are responding to a Facebook app, both individually and collectively.
The feedback loop between creator and user is so small now that we’ve crossed a threshold–an important one. I believe we’re entering a new era for designing interactive products. And that’s why this course matters.
That said, we all agree our new course is risky. It could turn out to be a disaster, not just for a few students but for over 100 students, some of whom came back to school from academic leave to enroll in the course.
So I gotta hand it to Stanford University. This is an institution that welcomes innovation, like this new course. I hope our students appreciate this fact. I sure do.