My friend asked me, "What are the differences between facebook and the Web? Specifically, why would one chooses to post a photo, a video, or an article on facebook instead of on the Web (e.g. on Flickr/PicasaWeb, on YouTube, or on blogspot), or vice versa?" This is a very good question, and it points to the essence of facebook. So let me try to provide my answer here.
Both options (facebook vs the Web) are viable and each has its own merits, but there are some fundamental differences. As such you may want to use a certain option in one situation but another option in a different situation.
One of the differences is the visibility of the postings. If you post
something on a blog site, anyone on this world can see it. But if you
post something within the facebook universe, then you can control your posting to be seen only by "Your Friends", "Your Friend's Friends", "Your Network", "Everyone" etc.
Another difference is notification . If you post something on a blog
site, no one will be notified (unless they use a technology called RSS
to subscribe to your site, which not many people would do). If you
post something within the facebook universe, facebook will "feed" the
news about it to your friends. This is a very nice and non-intrusive way of sharing, because if people do not log into facebook and read the news feed, they won't be bothered by your feed. On the other hand, if they do read the news feed, they have a nice summary about everything that is happening to their friends (in the universe of facebook, I mean), including yours. As such facebook helps strike a delicated balance between the "urge to tell" and the "need to know". You won't be perceived as a shameless self-promoter (which I admit I am :-). This is also one of the reasons why
facebook is so engaging. By feeding news about a certain user to her or his
friends, facebook prompts more interaction among the users.
For example, I tend to post personal photos only on facebook, so that they are visible only to my friends, and that the news about their posting will be fed to my friends. On the other hand, if I blog an article, I always blog them on my blog site (http://leeyuiwah.blogspot.com), but I may also post it on facebook. While I don't mind the world to read my blog article (actually I would love them to do so!), I also like my friends to see the news feed about my posting.
This article has been blogged both on my blogsite as well as on the "Note" page of my facebook profile.