[#1 in the run of 100 posts suggested by Chris Brogan]
First, a little history.
Facebook started as a social networking site for Harvard College, founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg as a way for students to connect, spread news and keep in touch. It became so popular that soon all of the Ivy League schools were using it, then many other universities got on board and before long it was open to anyone with a university email address. Facebook membership spread across the world and in September of 2006 the platform was opened up to anyone above the age of 13.
In late 2007 the site was reported to have more than 55 million user accounts.
So, how do I use FaceBook? I guess you could say I use it in a number of ways.
it is rare that I have anyone on my FaceBook friends list that I haven’t met in person or haven’t ‘dealt with’ on some level.
I’m not one of those people who lives to add people to their friends list. (example) When you get up to 4000+ ‘friends’ you’re making it impossible to track what your real friends are doing and you’re pretty much just opening yourself to an information overload that no-one can possible handle.
Getting in touch
You can search FaceBook using email addresses or person’s name, making it easy to find people throughout the network. Once you find someone they get a notification that you’d like to add them as a friend which they can approve or deny.
You wouldn’t believe how many old friends I have connected with through FaceBook that I wouldn’t have connected with normally. It’s good to get in touch with people, find out how and what they’re doing and where and why they’re doing it.
Facebook is good for conversation initiation too. You can say hi to someone and they can look at your profile to find out more about you.
I’ll sometimes look up someone particularly interesting or influential to add them, or at least to see what networks and groups they’re a part of.
Also, for the hardcore friends on your list, if you send them a message on FaceBook they’re twice as likely to get it because they get notifications of it’s arrival on their phone and in their email. This s something I keep in mind when needing to relay a message.
Keeping in touch
It’s really easy to email from FaceBook, they recently opened up the email system to email outside of FaceBook network. Just type a name (assuming they’re in your network) or click on a profile.
You can see what a person is doing too, if they update their status message or posts, this way, all you have to do is check your news page to see what your friends are doing rather than mailing them.
I try to maintain contact with most people on my list whenever I can.
Like a lot of people (I hope) I guess I’m something of a FaceBook parasite. I rarely look for groups. I often join groups because my friends did. We have stuff in common, otherwise we’d not be friends, right?
Through the groups I can branch out into other groups, join discussions, get notifications, updates and events.
Keeping others up to date
I like to believe (whether it’s true or not) that there are a couple of people out there who are interested in me, what I do and what I have to say.
I post links to interesting stuff I have found, articles I’ve written, events I’m attending, thoughts I’m having (that’s a rare one). Lately I’ve added an application that shows the RSS feed for the TechBurgh blog and a link to the blog just so that people know what I do.
Call it gratuitous self promotion.
Anyway – these are a few ways that I use FaceBook. How do you use it?