Facebook – C’mon in, the water’s fine

Once Handshake 2.0 began a Twitter feed, now we are receiving tweets, e-mails and phone calls:  "You gotta get on Facebook."

And then this from Handshake 2.0's Web 2.0 Developer:  "Everybody is on Facebook."

Very interested in efficiency in the content-rich world of Web 2.0, Handshake 2.0 asked a tech-savvy friend for advice.

From a friend of Handshake 2.0:

My friend Anne asked me to contribute to her blog by talking a little about Facebook, and particularly about the five things one should do on Facebook and the five things one should not do on Facebook. She strokes my ego regularly by ooohing and aaahing over what she perceives to be the depths of my technological savvy, and yet she's the one with the sharply-designed website full of actual content. But since she asked… here goes, with the caveat that this is just one soccer mom's take on it.

I use Facebook as a means of keeping up with my friends and family who are strewn across the globe (the distance award goes to my friend Ben, whose home in Bremen, Germany, is almost exactly 5000 miles from my home in Seattle – second place goes to my friend Chris, whose home in Tokyo is about 200 miles closer). As a stay-at-home mom and volunteer, I don't have any business connections to seek out on Facebook, although I gather many people use it for that. However, I see it as the heart of the social networking world – which, for the uninitiated, means that you can (and should) use it to stay in touch with the people in your social circle and share with them as many aspects of your life as you feel like sharing.

Facebook is a BIG swimming pool, though – one that intimidates many of the less geeky who nevertheless want to dip a toe in the water. So in an attempt to help skeptical or even suspicious readers get over their fears and do a cannonball into the deep end, I offer a few tips for your consideration.

Five things you really should not do on Facebook:

1) Accept friends requests from people you don't know
2) Put in lots of personal information if you're not going to tightly restrict who can see it (see #1 above)
3) Feel the need to accept every group invitation you receive
4) Send invitations to everyone on your friends list every time you add a new Facebook application
5) Let yourself get sucked into the black hole (I've spent the last hour on Facebook just because I had to write this post!)

Five things you really should do on Facebook:

1) Save the rainforest (via Lil' Green Patch)
2) Discuss what you're reading (via Visual Bookshelf)
3) Have drinks with friends (via Booze Mail)
4) Support a politician (that one, or some other one)
5) Express yourself (via Get Flair)

And a few more things:

6) Share your photos and videos with friends and family
7) Post links to news of interest
8) Show off what you do in your free time (there's something for everyone!)
9) Find people you've lost or make some new friends
10) Let yourself get sucked into the black hole (it's FUN there!)

Of course, that's the beauty of Facebook – you don't have to do anything but use it as you will. And by the way, none of those links will work unless you're a Facebook member – so trot on over there and sign up.

High Five: Tree Sentiments Do Change
Handshake 2.0's Web 2.0 Developer

Comments

  1. Very interesting blog post from Duct Tape Marketing – 10 business applications for Facebook

    http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/2008/08/27/top-10-business-applications-for-facebook/

  2. Another blog post from ReadWriteWeb – Is Facebook for Business Really Coming?

    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/is_facebook_for_business_really_coming.php

  3. From the American Chronicle, April 2007, 8 Reasons to Start Using Facebook for Business Today

    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/36371

  4. Those pieces of advice in the Facebook post are good, though I don’t
    follow all of them. (I hate adding applications, so I skip 1,2,3,5,
    although there’s nothing wrong with them. I also do the
    friends/personal information/privacy settings a little differently,
    because I’m paranoid.)

    Also, it’s possible to share your Google Reader shared items via Facebook.

    Also also, it’s possible for you to share every new Handshake post you
    write automagically via Facebook.

    And there are hordes of students who would want to be on your friend list.

  5. Another view of Facebook from “Real Dan,” not “Fake Steve,” Dan Lyons:

    http://realdanlyons.com/blog/2008/11/10/a-government-bail-out-for-facebook/

  6. Your words “these links only work if you’re a Facebook member” are the whole message. You don’t get to see what the buzz is unless you want to spend – possibly waste – time creating an account. Exclusive social networking is negative networking. What’s the point? If I can’t try before I buy (even if free) I’m moving onto or creating the next great idea.

  7. And your words–“spend – possibly waste – time”–is the essence of my hesitation in creating a Facebook account/page.

    I want social networking to make my life richer in quality, not poorer in quantity.

    Thank you so much for your thought-provoking comment.

  8. With regard to Facebook for business, “Facebook Tires fo Woo Marketers” from the Wall Street Journal:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122637098500816351.html

  9. To get a DC job now, you’ve got to tell about your Facebook page:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/us/politics/13apply.html?scp=1&sq=obama%20job%20application&st=cse

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