It has now been just over a month since I joined Facebook and I have a confession. I am addicted! Judging by the number of friends, family, fellow MBA cohorts and academic staff on there too, I’m not the only one.
Facebook is fast evolving as one of the most powerful ways of social networking, sharing photographs, videos, blogs as well as communicating with a truly global network of people. Indeed, I have a modest number of Facebook friends and a few “friend huggers” on my profile. In fact, its now the first site I browse in the morning and I’ll return to it several times during the day. To give you some idea, I use Facebook more often than I use Google, scary isn’t it?
Why am I using Facebook so much? Well, that is an interesting question. At this moment in my life, I have nearly all the people I regularly keep in contact with on Facebook. The site has its own “basic” email service that allows me to send messages to my network of Facebook friends and acquaintances. Sadly, attachments aren’t supported as yet and you cannot send messages to people outside of Facebook. But that’s a minor irritation. I’m now using it so much, that I am using hotmail a lot less, now that’s remarkable!
I also use it as a “Networking” tool. I have approached several Web 2.0 book authors, bloggers, journalists as well as Web 2.0 business early adopters through the platform. I would never had access to such people before.
Facebook has hundreds of groups to browse and join. I have joined 38 in total so far. The groups cover a wide range of topics, from corporate blogging to joining a startup. Whatever your interests, I’m convinced you will find a group available to suit your needs. If not, you can always start your own group and invite others to participate.
Since opening up its API, Facebook now has over a thousand, free applications that you can add to your profile. Applications are organised into a number of categories including, Business, Messaging, Photos and Video. My current favourites include, the YouTube player, Google shared items reader and the Vibrating Hamster (don’t ask!).
Finally, my favourite feature is the personalised Facebook homepage. Or, what I think of as a “Digital Dashboard”. I can see at a glance, all of my friend’s activities on Facebook. My friends can decide how much information to share and what type of information to share. Without interacting with them directly, I can usually discover where they are, or what’s on their mind. It’s Facebook’s answer to Twitter.
In a later post, I will discuss how a small firm may choose to use Facebook as a CRM business tool. Also, I will discuss my concerns on using Social Networks for business.
I have discussed my experiences with celebrities on Facebook too. You can read that comment at the marvellous, Punch Above Your Weight blog.
If you haven’t joined Facebook yet. I suggest you join and give it a go. However, I take no responsibility if you become addicted to it!