Yes, this is also my current Facebook status. By way of Nick O’Neill at All Facebook, I read a blog by Megan Berry today about the collision of her personal and professional lives on Facebook. It’s an interesting read.
Aside from the irony of blogging about things she did not want her co-workers to see on Facebook (e.g. “Megan is bored at work.”), her post is a nice companion piece to Michelle Slattala’s New York Times article ‘omg my mom joined facebook!!’. Dennis Howlett has also touched on the generation gap caused by Facebook’s runaway success.
I feel uniquely qualified to address the questions Megan raises about the business users of Facebook, being that I’m in my thirties, and I learned to ride a bike before I learned to use a computer. Did you know there’s still a place to hide from us? I think it’s called MySpace.
Incidentally, people in their thirties engineered the interweb as it is today, and even older people poured money into the interweb to keep it alive. You’re welcome.
I understand Megan’s and other die-hard Facebookers’ indignation about the loss of their clubhouse to old folks like me. Facebook started out as a very tightly controlled network, a special place with no kids (high schoolers) or adults (“suits”) allowed. Stanford was one of the first networks on “thefacebook”, so Megan may be an original member. Lately, it’s degenerated into a free-for-all where mom and dad and the boss can see how much you drink.
I also understand that for business people, joining Facebook represents an uncomfortable openness with colleagues. So, I wholeheartedly agree with Megan and Nick and Robert Scoble and everyone else who has called for Facebook to refine its definition of how you know your friends and the privacy associated with each type of relationship.
Until this happens, and it will eventually, you can thank Mark Zuckerberg and his VCs for ruining the college club. Money talks, which is exactly why businesses are all over Facebook. Business sees value in Facebook, as a social tool, as a communication medium, as a platform.
Can you blame Mark for wanting to monetize his idea? What about Sergey and Larry? Or Marc and Jim? Or Steve and Woz? Or Bill and Paul? Or Larry, Bob and Ed?
And for the record, I am not cool, nor do I aspire to be, and I definitely have no desire to prove my youth.