Facebook and (My) continual partial attention

So I hit a new inflection point this weekend. Saturday night, when I wanted to share pictures of my Avon Walk experience, the first place I posted was not to this blog, but to my Facebook account.
Yep, after 4.5 years of blogging and loving it, the first stop was my new FB page.
I’ve become completely enchanted by what I think of as the Facebook small town Twitter stream–aka status updates–that flow of one-sentence bulletins posted by people who are connected to me.
Knowing, for example, that Joe Territo just got back from Spain and Debbie Landa turned 40 connects me more closely to people I like who I don’t have very active relationships with.
At the same time, it’s a gas to see the posts of friends and those more in my current physical and mental community–I l enjoy knowing Anna is picking apricots, or that Rafat misses work.
These little details give me a window into my friends’ lives that just..feels..good.
They’re postcards from the present, and their pleasure is great enough I yearn for my best friends to hurry up and jump onto Facebook so I can read their little stories, too.
I’ve always thought of blogging as a way to join and share in a broad on-going conversation, and I’m hopelessly addicted to it. But I also see that Facebook is becoming that spot where I can check in on people for a second or two–and relish the small social gestures of the real world–now being transferred(for us non-gamers) into a more virtual one.
Yes, Facebook is becoming its own little social ecosystem for me, full of small gestures that the more pragmatic and professional Linked-in–another service I value–doesn’t have on its agenda. And there’s no question but that the open FB APIs–and the cute little tools and applets that have spawned–plays a large role in upping both the communications flow between members and the amusement value they offer to the point where FB–not my very own blog–is the place I turned first to share.

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  1. Roger says:

    Susan, nice post. Thanks. Trader Mike pointed it out to me. I have a blog called Information Arbitrage and just created a Facebook profile and a few groups a week ago, and have been pondering the question of how Facebook, LinkedIn and blogging relate. My intro musing can be found here http://www.informationarbitrage.com/2007/07/facebook-and-li.html. I am really excited about Facebook for many of the reasons you cited, and look forward to seeing how the FB/LinkedIn/Blog relationship evolve in mine and other’s worlds. Best, Roger

  2. Liz says:

    I think it goes further – for those of us who suffered puberty with AOL, it was the screen name profiles and even moreso the away messages that meant so much. I’d say the AIM away message was the original status update for anyone who has graduated college in the last 5 years or so.

  3. Greg Gershman says:

    Interesting that you compared Facebook to blogging; I have been thinking that in many ways, what Facebook/Twitter is doing is really a more ideal form of blogging; less privacy issues, inherent subscription (RSS is *still* too darn technical for most people to bother with; Facebook builds in the function of syndication/subscription without need for explicit understanding of the technology). Blogging on the other hand has for the most part moved to a more media-oriented position (you don’t hear people talking about how to monetize their Facebook accounts…yet!). Anyway, I find the comparison between blogging and Facebooking to be very interesting.

  4. Michael Clarke says:

    Facebook does seem to have replaced Twitter in my affections – largely because no-one in my little diaspora of friends got into twitter but a wave of 30+ new media friends and acquaintances have suddenly charged onto Facebook. And watching their status updates has become quite addictive – I feel like I’m connected again to some people I haven’t seen for five years…

  5. hvu says:

    And what if the social networks allow us to sell our friends?
    Friends For Sale, a facebook community where you can buy and sell your friends! Get in and try it for fun!

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