FaceBooking the Truth

Social Networking is like going to the gym. The more you put in, the more you get out. And if you don’t go regularly, you don’t make progress. Now that I’ve reached critical mass with LinkedIn and have pretty much abandoned the way too vast and, dare I say mass, MySpace, I’ve decided to spend some time on FaceBook. After all, work colleagues and classmates are joining en masse, and although I’ve been on for 2 1/2 years, I haven’t made much use of it. (I’m being leapfrogged!)

While FaceBook seems to have all kinds of interesting functionality, I actually find it quite cluttered and not completely intuitive. While this may be sacrilege to say, here is a quick case in point.

When I joined in 2006, I used my post college e-mail address to gain membership. At the time, I was one of two people in my class who were members. This put me into a “Harvard” network and, because I listed NY as my home, I was included in a NY network. This seemed advantageous because it meant that people could not contact me unless they had some kind of connection. However, because I had chosen to use my college e-mail, I could not figure out a way to join the Wharton Network, which was somewhat disappointing. And, of course, at the time, high school affiliation was not an option.

Well, over time, FaceBook found a way for me to list these other affiliations, but adding networks is a bit more time consuming and complicated. I’ll get back to you when I’ve mastered that.

In the meantime, I decided to take control and create some groups. One for my college class, one for my B-School cohort, and one for the 7 classes who were at at Ossining High School when I was there. Well, the college one was well-received by classmates, who were excited to join. HOWEVER, because I had checked the Harvard Network when I created the group, classmates who had not registered for that network when they signed up for FaceBook… could not join my group. (It took me a few frustrating days and some reading of the fine print to figure this out.)

So… I’ve created a new group. Instead of Harvard 1988, which still exists, this one is Harvard Class of 1988 and is not restricted to members of the Harvard Network. I now have three members… I lost a few in the changeover. Once I’m confident there are no other major glitches, I’ll start to promote it. After all, the more I put in, the more I’ll get out.

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