X ways Facebook works for me

I’ve only been on the Facebook for a few weeks, but I’m loving it and am trying to migrate my friends from other networks on there too. Here are X ways (I hate top-10 posts), I dig this social network.

A way to keep track of my closest (and most distant) friends

I used to keep mailing-lists, but this way is much better. The fact that you set your schools, like in Linkedin, also makes it easy to track down long-lost high-school-buddies.

A replacement for Flickr

Flickr is great, and the Facebook interface still needs work. But I love that you can tag people in pictures and set privacy-settings for certain groups of people, e.g. family. For now it is free, but I see it going towards offering a premium version soon.

A personal weblog

I haven’t tried this yet, but it seems like a great place to write about your holidays, etc. and only have your friends read it. An alternative is Vox.

A mail and message-client

I already wrote a little about this on Kari’s recent post on Inbox Zero, but I think Facebook’s closed messaging system is a great way to combat spam and feels very intuitive. I do wish there was an api to get my messages into a mail-client.

An rss-aggregator

Just like in Jaiku or Tumblr, you can add rss-feeds for your blog(s) and twitter-messages to Facebook. Just one warning. I find too many updates of friends annoying and I’m sure they feel the same way. Therefore I only link to twitter.

A marketing-tool

Facebook publishes daily poll-results, like on what demographics use Facebook and how, what people of different ages and sexes think of their appearance and intelligence, etc. Very useful, I think. You can also run your own (paid) polls and Jeremy wrote about a way to check your hotness. Alternative to the latter: hotornot.com

One necessary policy, I think:

Only accept those you know and that know you

I know it’s very easy to grow to a 1000 friends plus, however that is not the purpose of Facebook. Instead, it’s to keep you updated on what your real friends are doing and vice versa. Sticking to those you know also minimises the risk of spam-messages and annoying updates on people that you really have nothing to do with. Note, that I consider myself an extroverted introvert, so this policy may only apply to similar personalities.

Completely disagree with this policy? Check this post on growing your network to crazy proportions.

I’m sure there are many features that I don’t know yet. Discovered a cool one? Let us know in the comments.

Vincent is a sometimes-social co-author on Tech IT Easy. You can find out more about him on this blog’s initial announcement or on his site.


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  3. The Future of Television, Facebook it isn’t.
  4. A (Sci-Fi inspired) vision of Facebook's (or equivalent) future
  5. My favourite Facebook-app

5 Responses to “X ways Facebook works for me”

  1. Fidji SIMO says:

    Really good article Vince.

    Concerning the last item, I think that it completely depends on how you want to use Facebook.

    For some, it is a way to market themselves to their network, and in this case, the bigger the network is, the better: it is often the case among the youth, who prefer to display an image of themselves rather than showing who they really are.

    For others, who want to use Facebook as a way to keep track of friends, it is definitely mandatory to select the people you are following, which is why it is necessary to make a choice on how we want to use Facebook upfront. I know a lot of people who wanted to keep track of their closest friends but who kept on adding people: they ended up by removing more and more information from their profile (which by the way is really bad for Facebook business model) because they didn’t want the people they barely know, for example at work, to see their pictures during parties, or know everything about their sentimental life. The problem is that there is a “social pressure” to accept people: if people at work add me, they won’t understand why I don’t accept, even if I want to use Facebook to communicate silly things with close friends.

  2. Vincent van Wylick says:

    Thanks for your comment, Fidji. I agree that this certainly doesn’t work for everyone and (probably) applies mostly to “those young kids” for the reasons you mentioned.

    There was actually an interesting poll on this subject on Facebook, where you could see what ages and sexes had the most friends on it. I forgot to print it to pdf however, and I’m not sure whether/where the results can be found.

  3. Vincent van Wylick says:

    I found the poll on a blog: here.

  4. Fidji SIMO says:

    Unsurprisingly people between 18 and 24 are highly represented. Again, I think that if Facebook wants to appeal to older people, they will have to provide better personnalization tools depending on the different networks (work, close freinds, etc…).

  5. Vincent van Wylick says:

    For any demographic personalisation matters. The challenge will be not to over-complicate the features and dilute the core-principles of the site.

    The founder of Facebook is 23-24, so the high results there are not so surprising.

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