i have to admit that i’ve put off checking facebook. the idea of joining yet one more social networking service was too much to bare. but recent comments by a number of learning professionals piqued my interested to the point that i had to check it out.
i have to report that after a week or so of getting to know facebook, it seems like a great service. i can identify a few macro features that i can point to as huge benefits over most other networking tools.
first is what i’ll call a low threshold to entry. it’s incredibly easy to get your profile up and running. unlike most tools i’ve used, you don’t have to have a “complete” profile before you can enter the community. in fact, every piece of your profile that you complete seems to trigger one community benefit or another. so there’s great motivation to keep going back to add a few more things when i can.
second is the intuitive interface is clean and the user can redesign it easily. so many of the other tools are cluttered and determine what you will see on each screen. what if i don’t have a blog on the network? why do i have to see that blank box reminding me that i’m not a true community participant because i haven’t started a new blog on the community site? (see my comments on blogging below for more.) the interface makes is incredibly easy to understand how i can add new features/applications to my facebook and control what will happen when i do. so i want to use the “my questions” application. i can decide whether my questions and/or answers are displayed on my homepage. what about my friends’ questions and/or answers? They can be added to my homepage as well.
a third feature that i absolutely love is that i don’t have to write a new blog in facebook nor do i have to replicate and republish my posts to eelearning to have them appear in facebook. i can simply link to eelearning from facebook and i can list eelearning’s posts on my home page. my friends can link to eelearning as well just as i can link to their blogs! finally! this has been one of the most annoying things about social networking tools to date. everyone expects you to create a new blog for their community! this has been annoying because the technology has been available to do exactly what facebook does. but nobody has done it until now. this alone will keep me coming back to facebook.
my initial impression is that the possibilities for networking with facebook are very extensive and powerful. am i just in a honeymoon period? what’s your experience?
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Social Networking, So What? – Red Herring
Job Boards Embrace Social Networking and Video – HR.BLR.com
Taking advantage of Facebook’s network – Globe and Mail
Digging Deeper Your Guide to Social Networking Online – MediaShift