Gen Wise Perspective

Gen Y's perspective (pun intended) on our journey through work, life, and everything in between.

Archive for the category “Facebook”

What causes Facebook hating?

Image from Fast Company article: "Facebook's Zuckerberg Nearly, But Not Quite, About-Faces on Privacy"

So many things come to mind.

Kim might not like this post based on her favorable Facebook post earlier this week, but I always have something negative to say about Facebook so I started to think about why that is.

And I realized that my Facebook hating can be summed up to one main problem that I have with it.

Because of the way Facebook is set up, it forces you to choose: personal or professional?

I’m not referring to brands, but individuals. It’s difficult for people to use Facebook for both personal and professional use. It crosses too many boundaries and blurs the fine line between what’s appropriate to share (in a certain context) and what’s not.

You might think I’m talking about all the “youthful folly” (as described by Zack Whittaker and Ed Bott in a ZDNET article) from the college days. Yes, that’s part of it, but you don’t even need to take it that far.

I take issue with the fact that if I want to be Facebook “friends” with people on a business level, then they’re also able to see aspects of my personal life that people I associate with in the business world just don’t need to see.

Maybe I want to share things with my family and friends, but I don’t want to share those same things with someone I do business with. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t give me the option to choose which “friends” my personal information is shared with. If we’re Facebook friends, you’re ALL seeing what I post…unless I want to go through a list of 800+ people and set individual privacy settings (yeah right).

Why do the people I’m connected with for business purposes need to see pictures from my cousin’s wedding? Or what I dressed up my dog as for Halloween?

If someone from the business world “friends” me, they will be able to know things about me that are irrelevant to our professional relationship. Maybe it’s harmless but it’s still my personal information that I don’t necessarily need to share with someone who I don’t know beyond the business world.

I’m fully aware that this could just be a rant coming from someone who’s part of the first generation of Facebook users (when it was for college students only), but I think that’s the point.

It used to be clear that Facebook was a personal platform to connect with friends and peers. Now that it’s being used as a business communication tool, you have to make a decision about the direction you want to take it: either you’re going to withhold information to keep your profile on a professional level, or you have to keep your “friends” list to people who you only know on a personal level.

That bothers me. I don’t like that I don’t have full control. Facebook took away the option for me to use the channel as a business tool. Keep designing Facebook with teenagers in mind, Zuck. Just beware you don’t become the next MySpace. (Sorry, just had to throw that in there).

What do you think? How have you overcome this problem? Is there a way to find a good balance? Seriously—I want to know.

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Did Facebook get it right this time?

A few weeks back, I wrote about how Facebook was launching a new “social inbox” feature. At that time, I was a little annoyed with Facebook, since it seemed like they were trying to take the place of my beloved Google. Although that has not launched yet, Facebook has come out with some other new changes.

On Sunday’s 60 Minutes, CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the newest layouts for Facebook profiles. The new layouts have personal information at the top of the screen, instead of on an info page. They also have while also having a similar look to the new group pages. Group pages have advanced in that now you can upload docs, have group chats, and give out mailing-list style notifications. This is great for organizations of large sizes that need a place to talk and ask questions that no one else can see.

These new changes lead me to think, could Facebook be making big changes for the better?

Usually when Facebook unveils a new look, you get hundreds of thousands of people who take to the internet to complain about it. They think the new layout is confusing, or they feel the changes are unnecessary. There are even sites the usually help you switch back to an old layout. But these new changes make me like Facebook more. I like that there is an information bar at the top that tells people who you are and what you do. It’s up to you how much or how little to put there, so no one can complain about their privacy being invaded. There is also a bar underneath the information bar with your most recent tagged photos. This can show all of your friends what you have been up to, and what is new in your life (don’t worry, you can still make your pictures private if you want to).  Overall, I feel the new look is growing with the times, showing what is important to people in prominent places on the site.

What do you think of the new Facebook profiles? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Photo courtesy of Mashable.

If you still haven’t changed your Facebook profile and want to, you can change it here.

Team Facebook vs. Team Google: Which side are you on?

I don’t mean to pick sides, but this is an interesting topic.

Today, Facebook announced the launch of their e-mail/inbox service. Even though they are calling it a “social inbox” instead of e-mail, each user will have an @facebook.com address. Honestly, I’m not too excited about it.

Although I am a social media nerd who is obsessed with new ways of meeting and interacting with others, it will be hard for me to want to use a Facebook e-mail account. To me, Facebook is a place to see what is new with my friends and family, and keep up on the latest events my friends are attending and promoting. If I want to talk to someone personally and privately, I send them a message. It’s as simple as that.

Besides that, Facebook doesn’t really have the privacy issues under control yet, and I am always constantly checking to see how mine are set to make sure I am not giving out information I don’t want to. I’d say step one would be to get privacy orders managed. That way you have the users trust and they know they can trust the service. When I polled my Facebook friends/Twitter users yesterday, 90% said they would not use a Facebook e-mail/messaging account because of privacy issues.

Another point that was raised was that G-Mail already has e-mail under control for many. With the amount of free space available, a chat option integrated, and fast connectivity already in place, most G-Mail users will stay right where they are.  And how could you blame them? I am totally on Team Google for that reason alone. I don’t need to set up an entirely new e-mail account, let alone have another account I have to check.

Don’t get me wrong, I still spend countless hours on Facebook each week. I just feel the need isn’t there for an e-mail account. Maybe once they roll out the plans for it there will be more rationale behind it, but for now I am on the fence.

What do you think?

In other e-mail related news, AOL announced a new launch of their e-mail service. You can read more about that here.

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