brian on 2007.08.07
at 10:42 pm
Jeff pulver says he’s leaving LinkedIn for the Facebook. (Yes, actually that’s how the creator refers to it, The Facebook, but I’m going refer to it with out the “the.”) I have been on Facebook for a while, but recently I’ve been considering joining LinkedIn. Here’s why: social vs. professional. On Facebook, I only friend people I can have a non-awkward conversation with. Only people I would or have socialized with in real-life. It’s my offline life, online. As with Twitter, I find it loses value as you add people you only know tangentially, if that. I was looking for a place for personal connections, and I have a blog (actually a couple, and that’s growing too) that the general public can view, without having to know the ins and outs of my personal details.
I like Facebook a lot. If it becomes a business hotspot, I would love to use it as such, but I couldn’t and will not use it as such in its current form. I need a wall between the personal and the business realm. A friends-facing Facebook and a colleagues-facing FB. I don’t want a potential future client to be reading the sexual bragging of my friends on my Wall. OK, none of my friends have actually done that yet, but since FB gives you that ability, it’s something to think about.
I suggest making a simple check box when adding a friend, that is similar to a choice that Flickr gives you (Mark this contact as…  Friend Family) that would allow you to mark someone as business acquaintance and/or personal acquaintance, and then in the privacy settings you would choose what features are visible to which viewers.
Will Facebook grow to allow this Janus1-like ability? Will people flock back to LinkedIn after their first personal/professional crossed signal? Only time will tell.
1 fun fact: Janus–an ancient Italian deity, guardian of doorways and gates and protector of the state in time of war. He is usually represented with two faces, so that he looks both forward and backward.
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