Facebook

A colleague of mine asked what I used Facebook for and well when I thought about it, it did seem a bit weird saying to ‘update my status’ and to keep in touch with friends. Most of my friends live 5 mins away from me or I work with them and see/speak/IM/email them almost weekly. The advantage to Facebook is seeing what my 25 year-old hairdresser is up to while travelling around the world and judging by the photos a lot of alcohol is involved. I don’t think I would of kept in touch with her by email or any other means so it proves that Facebook does have some value. I also announced to my friends about this blog on my status because for some reason I was too embarrassed to say anything about it in person. As I see Facebook as a social networking site I’m sure some view it as a way to communicate with colleagues about work. A few colleagues have mentioned that all the company should be on it and that is how we all get to know each other (I work for a US company and most of them work from their homes all over the US). Mixing work with pleasure could be a bit risky – I have a few colleagues on my Facebook which is fine as I see them as friends but to have my CEO on there would be asking for trouble. Seeing pictures of myself drunk or my status updates when I’m moaning about work could change everything.

But with this thought, does this mean that sites like Facebook are moving into a new era of companies using it for work purposes. I noticed the other day that Alfresco (a content management site that I use at work) has an ‘Alfresco Facebook Platform‘ which allows documents to be uploaded or viewed via Facebook.

As time goes on does it mean that the youth of today will leave it behind and find a new social networking site to use and the likes of Facebook will move towards working for corporate companies instead and the older generation (like me) who find it hard to stay in touch with old friends. In an article on the BBC site with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, he is quoted in saying “Social networking (he’s tried it – and thinks it may eventually be more for the old than the young)”.

Maybe one way to stop this migration of the young could be that companies use Facebook as a platform for their intranets. Facebook could create a platform and ‘lend’ itself to companies. All employees could be listed and it is password protected. All the usual Facebook elements are there: status updates, photos, mini-feed, the wall and each member of staff could have a profile page. I’m sure other options on Facebook could well be banned like ‘What’s your stripper name?’ and ‘Booze Mail’ but for companies based all over the world this could be a fun place to get to know your colleagues. Then the original Facebook could be left as a social networking site. I believe my company and in particularly my website colleagues are looking at creating our own intranet loosely based on Facebook with photos, status updates etc. This will be great for us but I’m sure not all companies will have such expertise to create their own ‘Facebook’.

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