[Springboard] Facebook pros and cons — and help sorting it out

David Dunn dmdunn1 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 30 16:31:18 CDT 2010

Hello colleagues.

I'm duly settled in Chicago: I know where to sleep, where to eat, where to brush my teeth and where to go to get online. Life is good. Pam and Marge are hustling to prepare for the first wave of colleagues. I put my weight to the wheel finally this afternoon. You'll see stuff start to flow tomorrow.

I'm still wrestling with Facebook. For all of the hoopla, I think it's a mixed bag and not at all intuitive. So here is my short list of pros and cons, plus a couple of sentences about what I think it's good for. 

• Facebook is popular and has lots of members who can access peoples,' organizations' and groups' pages
• Facebook is free
• Facebook has some clever ways to facilitate networking and spreading the word about something of interest
• Facebook has a simple way to keep friends up to date on what you're up to.
• Facebook has the ability to handle discussions, communications and audio-video-photo media
• Facebook is especially attractive to younger generations
• [what would you add?]

• Facebook has powerful privacy controls, but they're not that easy to figure out
• Facebook has a learning curve re how to actually use it
• Facebook has a complex user interface that takes some getting used to
• Facebook tempts us to share more of our personal information that it's prudent to share online
• [what would you add?]

On balance: what's Facebook good for?
• Facebook is good for scanning a lot of information on what Friends are doing and thinking: it's a "news stream or 'feed' "
• Facebook is also good for easily sharing information with the people you want to share information with. Why wait until Christmas?
• Facebook is especially good in making connections and spreading the word about things you value.

…and not good for?
• In my opinion, Facebook is not a replacement for 
	a "wiki" like our Repository, 
	the ICA USA website (ica-usa.org) or 
	a face-to-face virtual meeting platform (like GoTo Meeting, etc.)

Bottom line
I think I'll personally stick to using Facebook as a sort of public face and portal to things that I'm interested in. For the Archives Project, we'll post photos and brief updates to the Facebook page, add photos to my Gallery and Flickr, and add my own and colleagues' blog entries to Spiritjourneys.org.

See the two attachments for help getting on top of Facebook. The first is visual-spacial, the second is rational-verbal.

To be continued.


David Dunn
dmdunn1 at gmail.com

Creative direction and spiritual companioning

My Facebook page with International Conference Center photos

My "MobileMe" gallery with the same photos, available to download

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