Last year, one of my best friends and her husband were talking about how they posted pictures on Facebook for their family to view and how they managed to stay in touch regularly with relatives in England. I really had no idea what Facebook was all about, except that if it was anything like Myspace, I wasn’t going there. My impression of Myspace has always been that it’s a little seedy. Therefore, when Facebook was mentioned as an online social utility, I steered away from it thinking that it was the same thing.
However, since my friends, who are not seedy, were on Facebook, I decided to to give it a try. I signed up and quickly realized that I could adjust my account settings so that I had complete control over who saw my profile. This was a comfort. Also, the layout of Facebook is clean and organized (aha…perfect for an organizer, huh?!). I was quickly enthralled, but knew few people at the time who were also on Facebook.
This year, however, I found myself re-interested and began randomly searching for new and old friends. To my surprise, my longtime friend from 2nd grade was online and I invited her to be my friend. We are in regular contact now thanks to Facebook. I’m also in touch with her daughter (who is 17) and her older sister.
Still, my impression was that Facebook was mostly for “young” people in their teens and 20s. Recently, I spoke with Lyn Mettler, owner of Step Ahead Web Strategies, and expressed how I felt and she quickly told me that according to comScore (July 2007) that the largest group of users utilizing Facebook is the 25-34 year olds (up by 181 percent over the prior year) and the 35 and older group grew 98%. In fact, accoring to eMarketer (June 2008), 39% of the 35 to 44-year-olds use socials networks and 25% of U.S. Internet users over 40 use social networking Web sites.
So what does this have to do with organizing? Let me tell you!
- Facebook (and a digital camera) has absolutely eliminated the need for me to ever have photos printed again or email dozens of people so they can view pics. By simply posting my photos on Facebook, all of my friends can view, comment and download if they choose. Great for families with grandparents, friends and family in other states.
- You can set your account on Facebook to send you text messages when any or all (you choose) activity happens on your page…you can also reply.
- Staying in touch with family and friends takes on new meaning: The world truly is a smaller place these days!
- If you’re a mom with small children and are part of a playgroup, you can easily send messages to the entire group.
The list goes on and on. I encourage you to find out for yourself. Sign up is EASY and it’s FREE!
WARNING: Facebook can be addictive! Because it’s so much fun and easy to use, you may find that a couple of hours after you’ve said you’d be just 5 minutes, you’re still on. Be conscious of the time, otherwise, instead of being a productive tool it can potentially be a time suck.
More specifics coming soon on how to effectively and efficiently use Facebook and other technology to your benefit to get organized and save time!
Six Degrees = Social Networking Success, by Lyn Mettler