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Facebook for business

Facebook is huge.  There has been a lot written lately about the explosion of Facebook activity, particularly in light of their API which has led to a lot of new applications being written.  My Facebook profile is here.

But, many of my contacts don't use Facebook.  They lump it together with MySpace, and, as parents, we've been told by our kids' schools that MySpace is evil.  I don't think that MySpace is evil, but I do think that it is trashy.  I have a MySpace page, but I never use it.

The evilness comes from people using the Internet for nefarious purposes.  They could use MySpace, Facebook, email, spam, spyware, chat rooms, etc.  Kids need to understand how to use the Internet safely, what to post about themselves, who to communicate with, etc.  The problem I have with MySpace is that it doesn't do much for me.  I'm not that interested in indie bands who use MySpace for promotion.  And, I have no interest in hooking up with strangers.

The social network I use the most is LinkedIn.  It really captures business interactions, relationships, and makes it easy to search your extended business network.  Since early 2007, I've seen a huge number of my business contacts get active on LinkedIn.  And, I use it to track my contacts and find and meet new people.  My LinkedIn profile is here.

But, in the past two months, a lot of my contacts have been using Facebook, too.  Facebook really captures social interactions.  It lacks the richness of business relationships that LinkedIn has.  But, it is fun to see what people are doing throughout the day.  There are a bunch of Facebook groups I have joined, but I can't say that I have gotten alot out of the content.  Facebook could become a great business collaboration platform over time, but it isn't there yet.

For now, I think that Facebook is 'interesting' for business.  I am not sure that it is 'useful'.  There are so many new applications out there that I have not been able to try very many.  Most of them are still in the vein of showing people what you are interested in, sharing that, and finding others with a common interest.  That has an analog in the business world, but I still mostly see business people playing with this rather than relying on it.  We'll see how this looks within 12 months.  In the meantime, I like tracking what my Facebook-savvy friends are doing, to the extent they want to broadcast that to their network of friends.

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