Fiat Lux

It's Latin for 'Let there be Light'

A Few Facebook (and LinkedIn) Thoughts

on June 24, 2007

I’ve been mulling around a post on Facebook for a day or so. I signed up for Facebook sometime this past winter, but didn’t really do much of anything with my account there until April, when I realized that my 20-something cousins were using it heavily and that if I wanted to stay in better touch with them, that was a way to do so.

Since then, I’ve started checking Facebook more frequently and gotten more aggressive about adding friends. Along with LinkedIn and Flickr, I’m checking it more or less daily now. Sadly, though, my social circle doesn’t seem to be the Facebook target market, because after exporting my entire Thunderbird address book (more than 250 e-mail addresses in all) I found fewer than 20 of those people actually on Facebook. That was disappointing; especially as many of those addresses were classmates from USF. I don’t really expect that my old college friends or my relatives would be on Facebook, but I am a little surprised that so few grad school friends were there.

Aside from not finding a whole lot of my friends there, I like Facebook. It’s easy to use and entertaining, and it lets me share things about myself that I can’t or don’t want to share on LinkedIn. Nick O’Neill has some thoughts on this issue, and suggests that Facebook might “bury” LinkedIn, if they so choose. It’s possible, although if Facebook goes public and gets a big enough warchest, they might just as well buy LinkedIn instead.

This is a really good example of the never-ending dynamic flow between disintermediation and reintermediation, actually. How do you hit the right balance between the costs and the benefits of spreading your information across multiple social networks, versus having everything in one place?

Anyway, if you’re on Facebook and want to friend me, please feel free to do so.

UPDATE 7:30PM: After posting this, I ran across Danah Boyd’s excellent article on the class division developing between Facebook and MySpace. It’s well worth reading.

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