Gift Giving and Reciprocation – Facebook Gifts

Apophenia has an interesting write up on Facebook’s gifting features.

Gifts are part of status play. As such, there are critical elements
about gift giving that must be taken into consideration. For example,
it’s critical to know who gifted who first. You need to know this
because it showcases consideration. Look closely at comments on MySpace
and you’ll see that timing matters

and

People want gifts. And they want to give gifts. Comments (or messages
on the wall) are a form of gifting and every day, teens and
20-somethings log in hoping that someone left a loving comment. (And
all the older folks cling to their Crackberries with the same hope.)
It’s very depressing to log in and get no love.

If you know anyone on flickr, ask them how they feel about comments. Or on a Gather writing competition (maybe vote for this one <grin>). Win or not, you WANT comments and ratings. They are a gift.

I also recommend the book Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion for an interesting review of the "law of reciprocation". Definitely relates to gifting.