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David Loshin

Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK Blog. This is going to be the place for us to exchange thoughts, ideas and opinions on all aspects of the information quality and data integration world. I intend this to be a forum for discussing changes in the industry, as well as how external forces influence the way we treat our information asset. The value of the blog will be greatly enhanced by your participation! I intend to introduce controversial topics here, and I fully expect that reader input will "spice it up." Here we will share ideas, vendor and client updates, problems, questions and, most importantly, your reactions. So keep coming back each week to see what is new on our Blog!

About the author >

David is the President of Knowledge Integrity, Inc., a consulting and development company focusing on customized information management solutions including information quality solutions consulting, information quality training and business rules solutions. Loshin is the author of The Practitioner's Guide to Data Quality Improvement, Master Data Management, Enterprise Knowledge Management: The Data Quality Approachand Business Intelligence: The Savvy Manager's Guide. He is a frequent speaker on maximizing the value of information. David can be reached at loshin@knowledge-integrity.com or at (301) 754-6350.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in David's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

An interesting article about people leaving facebook caught my eye because it resonated with some of the same issues I have had with it - inspired nosiness, misrepresentations of the concept of a friend (vs. connection), the way some people become obsessed and absorbed into it, and other observations.

After I had signed up (prodded by an old friend with whom I had fallen out of touch), I started to see others from my (growingly hazy view of the) past contact me asking to be connected. I guess I just said yes, and ended up with some connections, which led to other requests, etc.

So facebook is a little different than my other social network, linkedin.com, which is valuable to me as a business tool. Facebook does not provide that value, although it is interesting to see what people I used to know a long time ago are doing (hmm, a little nosy there, eh?).

The problem is that there are reasons that I stopped being in touch with a lot of former acquaintences, and getting back in touch with people that I no longer have much in common with is interesting at first but benign moving forward. And despite the few situations in which I am connectede with someone I regret losing touch with, it makes me have to actively ignore people that I have been able to passively ignore for a good twenty years or so.

On the other hand, there are some folks (like my friend Jeremy Epstein) who are building careers out of exploiting social marketing, and from an information perspective, there seems to be a lot of opportunity (check out Stephen Baker's book Numerati for some good examples as well).

I am interested - what is your experience with Facebook - as a connectivity tool, as a business tool, as an entertainment forum? post your comments!

Posted September 3, 2009 10:03 AM
Permalink | 4 Comments |


For me, Facebook has affected the in-person interaction I've had with people. When you follow someone on Facebook, you will have more to talk to them about when you meet. For example, when your colleague or associate is putting up messages about a trip, learning about it makes for a great conversation starter. Without Facebook, your friends and colleagues aren't likely to call you up or e-mail you just to tell you about a trip, nor are they posting it on LinkedIn. Facebook might be the only way you'll find out. Still, the information is useful. If it's a friend, you can share vacation destination stories and use it to decide where to go next summer. If it's a colleague, you can share customer/client stories. Everyone wins with better communication.
Trips are just one example. It's also great to know what your friends and colleagues are working on, changes in martial status, kids activities, etc. For me, Facebook weaves a picture of the big societal trends and that information helps in making certain business decisions.

I saw the article you mentioned as well. Have to admit that I've not used Facebook despite various folks' urgings, and the reasons for others' exodus don't surprise me.
It's always struck me as a relative of those holiday form letters people send out to everyone that they care enough to send a card, but not enough to send a personal note.
Too public when you want to be private - for example, I've heard firsthand of people who have become targets for scams through their Facebook connections; and, in extreme cases, it's too private when people want it to be public - for example, a specific sad situation when someone was making a cry for help - and no one saw it in time.
I know lots of people who love it - but for business, I'd stay w/ business options like linked in - and for personal contacts, email's fine as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, but David, which Star Wars character are you?

Jar Jar Binks.

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