First, a few of you have e-mailed me privately asking about the address to my old blog.  As far as I know, Microsoft hasn’t yet erased it… so you can read the last year or so of my rambling about the Web at (yes… christ was my alias at Microsoft for 3+ years.)

So why are we going to build useful Facebook applications?  And why are we targeting Facebook?  Given that there are a lot of answers to that question, I’ll just tell you the abridged story of how I got here over the next few blog posts.

First, why social networking?

My fascination with social networks began in 2003 in business school at the University of Texas when classmate Cory Garner introduced me to LinkedIn.  It was fascinating to me that our relationships could be codified and made useful.  Even more fascinating was the fact that our colleagues’ colleagues were now within reach.  Keep in mind that before the world of LinkedIn, we had little/no transparency into our "second-degree" contacts.

Cory and I worked on a few business plans in the social networking realm that were very much ahead of their time.  One 2003 plan was remarkably similar to xobni, for instance, but we didn’t pull the trigger.  I think at the end of the day, we both were interested in getting our degree & moving on.  It probably didn’t help that we didn’t know a single unemployed developer between the two of us.  But I digress.

I have nonetheless been a huge social networking fan ever since.  I’ve participated in a number of them as evidenced by the fact that the first page of a Google search for me yields membership in LinkedIn, Facebook, Pipl (?), Crunchbase, Spoke, and

Ugh.  But I’ll talk more about that later.

The point is that I love how social networks mesh with our real lives.  The major players have platforms that can truly enhance our lives in meaningful ways.  And as I’ve searched for entrepreneurial opportunity over the last 3 years, I haven’t seen anything that arises the passion that I have for social networks.  I figured if I’m going to do something, I might as well choose something I love. 

Add to that the fact that social networking is adding millions of people worldwide.  It turns out that the need to keep up with friends is indeed a universal part of the human experience.  Aside from being a personal passion, social networking has the Growth necessary for big commercial success.

So this is it.

Later, I’ll talk more about why I like Facebook (today), why I may or may not like it later, and the specific opportunities we see in social networking.

Onward and upward!