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February 1, 2009

I’ve been asked a couple of times in the past few weeks what I use Facebook for and why I think it is a good communication tool and so since people are interested I thought I’d post my answer here.

I personally use Facebook to keep in touch with my friends. Friends from different periods in my life, friends who no longer live nearby and friends who I’ve met online. I am a selective Facebook user. I don’t accept every Tom, Dick or Mary who friends me and likewise I don’t friend people who I have no real intention of actively communicating with.

What I like about Facebook as a communication tool is that I can keep up to date with the small, everyday things in my friends lives that I wouldn’t get to know in a weekly, monthly or yearly email or phone call. I guess it helps me feel connected to my past and this is something I found very important when I moved cities a couple of years ago.

You’ll notice that I’ve not used the word “network” yet and that is because I don’t use Facebook to network. I have a very strict rule of not friending anyone who I work with. My feeling is that Facebook for me personally is just another, very useful, way of communicating with my friends and family.

I am however not completely against the use of Facebook in a professional context. I think there is an argument for the use of Facebook as a networking or marketing tool. When I walk around our library on a busy weekday afternoon I would say that Facebook can be seen on at least half of all computer screens. My feeling is that if our readers are already using Facebook then giving our library a presence on the site can only help our cause – rather than making them come to us, we’ll go to them.

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