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Feb 18, 2008

ANALYSIS: Productivity Value of Facebook

Facebook is a social network. Many potential users fear that they don't have time to check in with Facebook everyday. Let's review its productivity value.

Newsfeed for Instant Updates

A single page updates you on the status of hundreds - even thousands - of friends, family members, and associates.

It takes a few seconds per day to review. You can send short messages, poke people, send virtual gifts - because you didn't have time to buy and send real gifts, and write on their walls. You can arrange dinner and lunch; coordinate weekend events; and coordinate your social life - without long conversations by phone.

eMail Threads

Facebook organizes email messages by thread. Click on a message to see the thread. Quickly see outstanding threads where you still expect responses. No need to maintain email. Each friend maintains any changes. Beats email many times over.

No Spam and Broken Spam Filters

Although you do get requests to become friends, it's easy to confirm, reject, or block people. Spam mail clogs email, but Facebook manages to keep spam out of your Facebook inbox.

Communicating With Friends

If you're taking a trip, a single status setting lets local contacts know that you're out of town; and the destination contacts know that you're coming. Beats vacation notices and legacy means to coordinate.

When you return, an uploaded set of photos instantly connects with interested friends. Friends tag photos to associate images with names.

Christmas and Birthday Greetings

Obligatory Christmas cards become a simple photo upload and posted note. You can control view by friend, friends, or other granular privacy settings. Time savings from printing photos, updating mailing addresses, and stamping mailers - you get the picture.

Birthday greetings turn virtual. Facebook provides alerts and responses can include dozens of multimedia greetings.

The Other Shoe

It takes some time to understand the language and etiquette of Facebook. Further, the privacy controls can be complex. These barriers can be overcomed in days for an average professional.

There have been stories of stupid users doing stupid things. The answer is don't do stupid things.

For conservative, older folks, it takes time for the user to TRUST Facebook. Users ask many what-if questions that address implications of what they do on Facebook, what the results are, and what the long term problems might be. This is a tough challenge to answer all the questions.

The simple answer is to put one shoe in - then the other.


As you discover features, you learn the power of social networking and gain the productivity of this new tool. Facebook saves time.

Enjoy networking.

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