Friday, May 28, 2010

Facebook Friends

So yesterday my personal Facebook profile signed up the 400th "friend." What does it mean to me?

Not all of the friends listed there are personal friends: some are colleagues I met through study and work throughout the years, some are neighbours, or friends I met online, or friends I grew up with or met at varsity, or fellow writers. Some are family members (my brothers, sisters and our inlaws, kids and cousins) and a few are fans who just like my work and wanted to track my writing activities.

I use Facebook as a way to keep in touch with people in my life, with this blog providing a bit more detail. I chat with some people often; for others Facebook may very well be a tool for us to keep in touch without having a desire to see each other in person.

Weeks and months may go by without our communicating at all, and then there are people who worry if they don't see online activity from me. What it boils down to is that, Facebook has become a good way for people who care about me to keep track of my activities.

No, I don't say much that is personal on FB. But I stream some of the articles I publish on various sites on FB ( on my profile and professional pages), so even if you don't know how I feel that day, you can see I published 3 articles on the sites and hosted online conversations, so I must be OK.

I'm also finding that the database of these friends actually has some business benefits. Yesterday I posted an announcement on my FB profile that I was looking for news stories for the BizTech Africa site, and within the hour I had emails from about 8 PR managers, a phone call from a comms manager of a large multinational tech company and an invitation to tour a tech business site in July. Oh, and there were two new press releases in my inbox too. It's hard to beat that kind of response, and Facebook made it possible, because I didn't have to track these business associates [ some of them changed agencies), and I didn't have to give long explanations why I'm getting in touch with them after so long ( for some it's years). The general response is, great to see you're doing well, let's do business:-)

Anyhoo, I hope that this information is useful for you, if you're trying to decide whether to join Facebook or not, or if you're still trying to work out how you can use the service for your benefit without irritations like Farmville etc.

I'd also like to hear from you how social media, and specifically Facebook and Twitter, are working out for you - both in a personal capacity and in a professional capacity.

P.S. The focus of this post is only on my personal/individual profile, not on the Fabebook pages and groups that I run either for myself, or for my clients., which generally have more members, but the connections are not personal and I don't personally know the majority of the people signing on them. These people are usually attracted by the subject matter, and in general, they may not even know my name.

P.P.S Arthur Goldstuck, of World Wide Worx, has released the annual research reports The Mobile Internet in SA 2010.

The report for the first time defines the Mobile Internet, based on a framework agreed to with the Mobile Marketing Association, and also for the first time provides a size for key segments of that market.

Visit World Wide Worx


po said...

400 friends?!

Woah. I have far fewer, and most of them are random people I went to school with who live in other countries now. I am actually interested to know what they are up to with their lives, but i guess i only need to check in on facebook about once a year for that.

I think the only reason i still use facebook is cos i miss Twitter and I can do status updates on facebook, and seek attention in a mild online way :)

Anonymous said...

I have 430 friends but I have had Facebook since high school and have been collecting since [and deleted a good few this passed weekend]. For me I use it purely for advertising my blog to my friends (who don't even comment) and playing CafeWorld. i really do like it when old friends pass by my wall and say something about high school- reminiscing is fun and its really cool when you are thinking of someone that you can just go on their page and not only ask what they're up to but see it too.

But my rule on Facebook; if I've never shaken your hand, given you a high five or hugged you. I won't add you on Facebook- what is the point of someone you don't know contacting you? Mine is also set on private and you can't search me on there- so I think I am a relatively good minded person on Facebook.

Damaria Senne said...

LOL Paula. I love your approach to Facebook. But it also tells me that you personally know many people. 430 and counting is a goodly number:-)

Damaria Senne said...

Paula - it was me Damaria above. Sorry I used my brother's profile ( I manage his blog too).

@po - I have a personal twitter account, but somehow, I haven't been able to really use it effectively. Part of it is that I really don't have a lot to say, so I just post links to my articles there, which is kinda boring.

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