How Facebook Caught on in Ottawa, Canada…

October 6, 2007

Starting from NYC…

I grew up in New York City and now live in Ottawa, Canada. Back in the day, Facebook was only for college students. In other words, you had to have a .edu email address or your university/college had to be listed on facebook for you to be able to sign up. Every time I visited New York, people asked me: “are you on Facebook?” But of course the only Canadian University that was on Facebook back in those days was McGill (mainly because McGill has such a big American population).

Facebook registered in Ottawa, Canada!

Wanting to see what this Facebook phenomenon was, I registered the University of Ottawa on Facebook. I went through the drudgery of listing all the classes & majors available at the school to get us registered. About a month later, the University of Ottawa was added! Success! I was the first person to sign onto Facebook in Ottawa. I needed to get more people to sign on. I started to tell friends about it and managed to convince a group of people.

The Nay Sayers…

Most people though said things like “why would I want to expose myself on the internet?” Most people didn’t see a point in giving away their privacy. Those that were into social networks were typically using Orkut, Hi5, and Friendster and did not want to change.

But, Facebook took over anyway! Why, you ask?

1) Facebook had a clean-cut and predictable interface.

2) Facebook was exclusive. It was only for University/College students.

3) Facebook was amazing for photo-sharing. You would attend a party and then get to share all those photos with your friends.

At the end of the day…

The Nay Sayers ended up being the biggest Facebook addicts… No names mentioned 😉


Posted By: Aydin Mirzaee 


  1. I remember the day you come into the call office and proclaimed facebook to be the new MSN and Hi5 in one, I recall you talking about how it’s great to know who else is in your classes, and that you can catch up with old friends… blah blah blah.

    Well the outcome wasn’t quit what you had predicted, sure I’ve been able to talk to old friends, but that lasted for maybe two days, now I still talk to the same people I used to talk to, but have a huge friends list of useless people I hardly remember meeting. Moreover I hardly think anyone on facebook actually talks to their 140 friends, nore do I think anyone uses Facebook for any accademic purposes regularly.

    Facebook has simply turned out to be a huge waist of time for millions of people. We’ve simply become an anti-social generation more interested in non-physical, non-verbal communication. Yet we’re still obssessed with looking through other people’s pictures trying to get a glimps of other people’s lives, simply put facebook stalking is the newest form of ‘catching up’.

    Where do we go from here? I think it’s about time for people to create new forms of communication that are more interpersonal, and back to private. It’s time for the next generation to interact with one another rather than be so increadibly distant. Otherwise we’re going to have a new generation of stalkers that are going to be internet savey and increadibly anti-social.

  2. […] interesting how I was interviewed yesterday by the Ottawa Citizen for being the first person in Ottawa to sign up for Facebook. Facebook is truly revolutionary, no doubt about it. Any news that’s about Facebook these […]

  3. […] a lot of this stuff sounds ridiculous, I know. But, the world changes fast… I remember when I was first telling people about Facebook in Ottawa, Canada they would say: “why would I join? so people could stalk me?” and now look at […]

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