Learning About Social Media from Your Desk
While Facebook was originally designed as a tool for college students to network online, today, more than half of its 35 million active users are not college students, as reported in the August 20 issue of Newsweek, “Facebook Grows Up.” The growing population of Facebook users are above college age, and many are professionals.
Two things occurred in the last year to stimulate its dramatic growth. First, registration was opened to everyone. It no longer requires that you be invited by a current user. Second, developers started filling Facebook with tons of applications that people can use within Facebook. Many of those applications are rather silly, but some are quite practical.
So how can you use Facebook in a communications function? Interestingly, in many companies, employees are using Facebook to connect with each others in ways that they need but their Intranets won’t facilitate. In fact a few companies didn’t know this was going on until their IT departments banned use of Facebook at work and were met with huge outcrys from employees who were using Facebook to get their jobs done better.
Several of the podcasts I listen to have created fan groups in Facebook. I find it an interesting idea, though I think each is still toying with ways to make their groups more useful to everyone involved.
For more on this subject (and as your homework), listen to the New Comm Road episode #033 “Building Facebook Communities” by Bryan Person.