April 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Posted in internet, life | 3 Comments

Wow, what a time-suck. Fun, though.

I’ve been trying social networking sites on the web since sixdegrees.com. That went under. Then Friendster. Eh. Myspace? Didn’t do it for me. Livejournal … that’s more like it. Then I got my own wordpress blog, and this has done pretty well.

I must say, though, Facebook is compelling. It certainly seems to do things well that these other sites just didn’t do as well. It seems that through their concept of a “network,” it is a lot easier to find people you know. And the interface is not nearly as annoying as on myspace.

On the one hand, the stuff I see here is stuff I’ve seen elsewhere. They just seem to do it better.

For those of you not in the know, it’s not a blog site. So I won’t be replacing this blog with Facebook. That’s not what it is. It’s like everyone is in a big room, and you can see everyone and what they’re doing. You get little news updates called “stories,” and they say that so-and-so just, for instance, added this application. So you either ignore it, or you say, hey, that application sounds neat. Or a friend of yours adds another friend to their list, and you say, hey, I didn’t know they were on Facebook too, I’ll add them to my friend list.

I guess the thing is that they assume that completely open free flow of information is the norm, and it’s up to the users to limit that flow to the privacy level they want. For instance, I don’t have my email address visible there. Anyone who wants/needs to know that either already has it, or knows where to find it.

The advantage to this is that you don’t have to do much to network with people, find people you know, etc. High visibility and open exchange of information is the defualt, and you have to figure out how to limit that to your own comfort level. In these other social networking sites, you have to exert effort to figure out how to be visible and find people and exchange information. In Facebook, it’s almost effortless.

And it’s exactly what I’m looking for. I decided about a year ago that I would take steps to establish a public web presence. This is exactly what I’m looking for. That’s a good thing about livejournal, by the way. Want to look at your friends’ blogs? It’s all on one page for you. They do that well. Facebook does this well.

Another thing it does well, it integrates other web stuff. For instance, I’m posting this blog entry from my Facebook account. (If your blog is on LJ, you can post from Facebook, your friends can read your posts from your Facebook profile. I don’t know about your friends page.) I’m accessing my iLike from my Facebook account. I’m reading PHD comics from my Facebook account. (Ok, you can do that on LJ, too.)

Sorry to bore all you folks for whom Facebook is old hat. Now I have to get back to work. Criminy!



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  1. Thanks man. As you probably know, I don’t know thing 1 about Facebook or anything else. Can you look at people’s public pages without registering? Maybe I’ll go over and check out yours.

    Still not ready to venture into “public” on the web myself. My cyber-mother won’t let me cross the e-street.

  2. I don’t know. I never saw anyone’s Facebook page before I registered.

  3. As a general rule, you can’t see anyone’s page on Facebook until they “friend” you, although there are occasionally people that have set their page viewable to all.

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