I’M RELUCTANT TO ADMIT THIS, but it’s true: I love to hang out in Facebook nowadays. I’m normally inactive on social networking sites, and I’ve quitted social networks when many strangers tried to add me as friends. However, I enjoy using Facebook and I’m fascinated by it for at least seven reasons:
- Business. When Facebook crossed the 100 million member mark last year, I began to explore and experiment with its features (wall, notes, links, photos, tagging, videos, events, groups, pages, etc.) and numerous third-party apps, with the intention of teaching them during my Web 2.0 workshops at NTU’s Center for Continuing Education.
As Mari Simith of WhyFacebook.com put it, it’s a great place for promoting business: “Meet your peers. Find business contacts. Instant gate opener. Build relationships. Raise visibility. Develop your personal brand. Target your niche. Get rapid top Google placement. Place targeted ads. No cost marketing.” (See also: Tom Lindstrom’s Myspace Marketing Tips.)
- Ease of Use. Its interface is clean and uncluttered. If you know how to use Windows, you would know how to use Facebook. All you need is time (or a quick overview session) to discover its numerous features and third-party apps.
- Usefulness. Facebook interfaces seamlessly with hundreds (or thousands?) of useful third-party apps. These include popular Web 2.0 apps such as Twitter, Slideshare, Digg, Delicious, and Skype. My current favorite is the Philosophers + Philosophy app developed by Dr John Abbate from the University of Melbourne. It’s a marvellous way to add my favorite quotes and to discover the ideas of a new philosopher everyday.
- Lost Contacts. I found long-lost friends/colleagues (and they found me) through the “People You May Know” tool.
- New Contacts. I’ve been connecting online with very interesting people from all over the world. For example, my new online friend today is a Spanish priest in Russia!
- Visibility & Transparency. What I say and do online are visible to my contacts. Likewise, what they say and do online are visible to me. What this means is I can easily introduce ideas/sites/other things to them and vice versa. This means we can co-discover (learn) about one another as well as many many ideas, sites and other things!
- Social Mission. I can easily create a Group, Page or Cause to get support for ideas that I strongly believe in, e.g. “Faith without reason is blind. Reason without faith is lame.” (See the Faith & Reason (Fides et Ratio) cause.) I can also contribute to causes that others believe in, e.g. Beth’s Birthday cause.
- 6 Essential Things to Know About Google’s OpenSocial
- Web 2.0 talk at CISAA, NUS
- 8 Legal Things to Know About FaceBook
- Debunking Social Media Myths
- Time’s “25 Sites We Can’t Live Without” in 2007
- Keso’s understanding of Google Chrome
- 5 Ways we consume info in Web 2.0 world