Society places a high premium on "acceptable uniqueness". The term would've been solely "uniqueness", but there are forms of uniqueness that are not acceptable.
Social convention precludes us from say, prancing around the streets naked while crying. The way that we've been brought up starts from our childhood when our parents taught us what is acceptable or not.
Later on, we develop our own sense of guidelines and evolve these basic values which have thence formed our core foundations.
The most striking factor when it comes to uniqueness that brings success, monetary or socially, is uniqueness that is good.
Uniqueness That is Good
- The Good Samaritan is an example of going beyond the status quo in a good way by being different. The parable goes to describe a hapless individual who is robbed, stripped and beaten on a highway. The status quo is enforced by the Priest and a Levite who both refused to help the man. Both of which are products of the social constructs and conventions that can be reflected today.
Society works in such a way that we ascribe value to things or to people who bear uniqueness and merit.
This is nothing new and this behavior is a critical socio-psychological component that keeps us sane.
So why (or how) do others who seem to possess a certain form of uniqueness able to convert this social capital in more concrete terms?
Being unique and different is good, but being able to use that uniqueness in a manner that would benefit others is better.
Contemplatively, facebook is not really unique because of its origin.
It is a social network, just like the others before it.
What made it different particularly for Filipinos, is the ability of the platform to coalesce and glue together people as if they were in the same room - albeit digitally via the Wall or through Status Updates.
It does this in a meaningful manner where there is continuity and reference - unlike Second Life.
Friendster and MySpace lacked this functionality prior to facebook's inception. Needless to say, they followed suit when it was already too late.
To people who now use Facebook, - it's not even a social media platform, it's merely "a tool where all of my friends and family are".
Thus, it's uniqueness can be said to exist in its functionality more than the category that it has been placed in.
Being Different is Good
Being "unique", "different" or even "weird" enables us to express an existential need to be "me". But if one wishes to utilize this "uniqueness" for commercial purposes, you must be able to do so and demonstrate its value on a prima facie basis.