Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 17, 2008
On my Reviews of Everything site, I wrote a review on Facebook, around the same time they started advertising.
Now I’m more months into it, and I’m still wondering about the overall value of Facebook as a true social networking site. Here’s my issue; there’s not much networking going on at all, let alone socializing. The site is replete with groups that either are set up to recruit people to become friends with, or groups whose overall purpose is to satiate their lascivious tendencies (go look that one up; not a word I get to use often).
I’m certainly not a prude, but there are only be so much of this sort of thing before one gets bored. I’ve created two groups of my own there. One is for support of people who have diabetes, as I do, and the other is for people to post their blogs and talk about blogging in general. On one of the groups, I have maybe 25 people who’ve signed up, but mainly it’s just me talking and posting links to news about things related to diabetes. I can’t get a conversation going to save my soul. On the other group, some people are finally sharing their blogs, but no one wants to talk about anything, only to share their blog. On that group I don’t necessarily mind so much, as I love looking at new blogs, but I can’t believe people would join these groups, then have nothing to say.
I only have one friend on Facebook who’s actually found a group that has people who have real conversations, and it’s more of a group that does the same work as she does, so of course they’re talking shop. I’d love to join a group in one of the industries I’m a part of myself, but every group I looked at had no one talking to anyone, only a lot of people posting links to try to sell something.
Frankly, if this is what social networking is about online I’m kind of depressed. There was more conversation back in the old BBS bulletin board days; how many of you remember that? Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, Black Planet, Izania,… nope, so far I’m not all that impressed.
Of course, I’m not leaving Facebook any time soon, because of only one thing; that Scrabulous thing, the game that’s actually Scrabble. Now that I can’t get enough of, and if that’s all I have, then so be it. It’s not overly social either, but at least it’s fun.