I’ve never really got much out of Facebook. Quite likely because I’ve been Doing It Wrong; so I’m trying to fix that.

What happened was, I got on Facebook back in 2007; in the early days I accepted friend requests from almost anyone and in particular anyone who worked at Sun. This turned out to be a bad idea; every time I stuck my head in there, all these people I didn’t know were shouting and poking and tagging, and I kept getting messages from strangers asking me to become their fans.

So, I’ve decided to try to make it work. The last few weeks, I’ve been spending an hour here and an hour there pulling up my Facebook home and profile pages and unfriending anyone who wasn’t a, you know, friend. I apologize to anyone whose feelings might have been hurt. My hypothesis is that Facebook works great when you’re only friends with people who, when they post pictures of their kids, you actually want to look at them. Or, as someone said over dinner tonight, with people who you’d walk across a bar to talk to if you saw them. Or whatever.

It’s still pretty noisy in there; but I’m going on pruning and hoping.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Hub (Jan 20 2011, at 23:33)

In some TV show, this is called motive ;-)

All of this make sense.

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From: mike bradshaw (Jan 21 2011, at 00:34)

My rule is: have we met physically, if yes then I will accept the friend request. If I am not sure about the person (or don't want them to see my updates) they get added to the restricted profile group.

I have mostly given up on Facebook, but as it is the major event organisation engine here in Finland, you kind of need to have an account.

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From: Jim Millen (Jan 21 2011, at 01:18)

That's pretty much how I use it - as a personal tool for friends & family to keep in touch. I've also blocked many of the applications, so I don't see nonsense from Farmville or whatever. Works pretty well for me, don't feel any inclination to spend hours on there but it's useful when I need it.

I do have a very few professional contacts on Facebook but I've used lists so they're excluded from much of what I post for genuine friends. IMO LinkedIn and Twitter are far better tools for maintaining a loose network ranging from colleagues through to "met at a conference once 3 years ago" contacts!

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From: Tony Fisk (Jan 21 2011, at 01:53)

One of those tasks which gets less appealing the longer you leave it

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From: Michel S. (Jan 21 2011, at 03:41)

Tim, you're likely well-known enough that a solution might be to set up a FB page for yourself, for your fans, and keep your FB profile for real-life friends?

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From: Martin (Jan 21 2011, at 04:58)

You can create a fan page then... that would be more appropriate for people that want to "follow" you (à la twitter). I do not know the requirements though.

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From: Walter (Jan 21 2011, at 06:46)

It took me over year to unfriend Facebook.

After joing in early days, never really using it as i found the whole creepy, I was unable to delete my account. No matter what I did facebook wanted remain my friend. Finally after months of trying I managed to delete, unfriend forever, deep six that alter world. But there was yet another step. I had to wait 14 days before I would be deleted. BUT if you even responded YES to the question "Do you really want to delete... " it would mean another 14 day wait. The solution was to ignore F)$;$; Facebook before it finally got out my face.

Good ridance!

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From: Jason Lefkowitz (Jan 21 2011, at 07:00)

You can shut people up on Facebook without actually going to the trouble of unfriending them. Hover the cursor over any update in your feed and a little "X" button will appear in the top right corner of the update. Clicking that button will let you hide all updates from that person, or from the application that generated the feed post (in the case of auto-generated updates from apps).

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From: Shane "Baggins" Curcuru (Jan 21 2011, at 07:59)

I mostly use FB to post all those slightly off-kilter bits that I hope my friends will find funny (or esoterically useful), but that I don't necessarily want to be instantly and permanently indexed in the great big Google in the sky.

Thus friending people who are, well, friends or at least amusing acquaintances is the rule of the day.

Totally understand trimming friend lists, and also wish there were a "block all applications from showing up on my status list" checkbox. All I want to see is actual content my friends post, not their games or quizzes.

(LOL anti-spam q?)

(Looks up FB to see if I still make the cut...)

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From: Christopher Mahan (Jan 21 2011, at 12:28)

I don't friend anyone on facebook that I would not invite for a party at my house.

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From: Jason Treit (Jan 23 2011, at 14:51)

+1 to Leftkowitz's suggestion. Take a sober look at what your friends and family are sharing these days. Walling off your network doesn't rate to be a better experience than filtering the front page ad hoc.

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From: Onno (Jan 26 2011, at 09:14)

I do the same once in a while. Trying to maintain some separation between LinkedIn (professional networking) and Facebook (personal networking).

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