Monday, July 27, 2009

Something sane and intelligent about Facebook and blogging

Approximately 5 invitations to Facebook came to my inbox in the month of July--pushing my total in my life to around 12-15 (although in previous posts I made it appear that I get 12-15 invitations a day--pure hyperbole). I have not joined Facebook, and I rant about Facebook every so often. A summation of my theories on Facebook to this point:

1. Facebook is a time suck.
2. Facebook reminds me too much of a high school dance.
3. Facebook could be useful when I move back into the working-outside-the-home world.

I've been passively searching for some healthy analysis about Facebook usage that doesn't come from somebody who wants me to come to the high school dance.

A recent post by media and marketing guru Seth Godin helped me make a step toward clarity about Facebook. If you haven't read or listened to Godin, I recommend him as time well invested, especially these brief YouTube videos.

I am not a business-type person, but Godin's astute commentary on technology and public life offers me more wisdom than most theologians on these topics. I'm sure business types have been reading Godin for years. I found an audio book of Godin's about "The Idea Virus" on a closeout book scrap heap at an outlet mall while driving cross-country a few years ago. I troll for this kind of stuff when I have a long drive ahead of me. Sometimes it's a waste of 3-5 dollars, but Godin was a home run. Godin is refreshing because I grow weary of societal critique at times, especially in my line of work. Godin offers descriptive analyses that drives a reader toward deeper thought. Godin is no Luddite, but he essentially calls Facebook wasted time unless it becomes an avenue for deeper interaction--and his credibility behind his statements on Facebook have few rivals.

In one of the YouTube posts today from Godin's blog, Tom Peters also offers some good thoughts about blogs, which has led me to reflect on what I will do with blogging in the future. Peters calls it one of the most important thing he does in his professional life--something Godin affirms as a powerful opportunity to refine thought processes. I affirm those thoughts, something that I would have said when I started blogging regularly, though not as eloquently. Considering Godin's and Peters' statements, I have found several warnings about blogging that a blog could be held against people, especially in academics, a field in which I hope to find myself in the next few years. I have recently pondered that my blog needs a change, though I can't put my finger on it. Godin and Peters gave me worthwhile reflection points.

1 comment:

Edward said...

Good thoughts as usual. Godin's book, Tribes, is a great exploration of the "groups" that social networks, etc are so prevalent today. My sense of Tribes is that Godin lifts up that communication is at the core of groups developing passion, energy, commitment, etc around a common vision. It is the groups that have effective and efficient ways of communicating that go from just a collection of people to a tribe.

For me, Facebook has slowly changed over the 18 or so months that I have been on. It started out as a "race" to see how many friends I could find from back in the day and it has morphed from that to being a core way that I communicate (with some limitations) with a close circle of friends.

Probably the best thing it has accomplished is that it has re-established our seminary "tribe." There was a very close circle of friends from seminary that A & I lost touch with over the last 10 years since graduation. It was a circle of people we lived with in dorms and whose apartments we spent lots of time at. Because of crazy schedules, new families, crises taking place in our lives, new calls, moving, established calls, etc, it became very difficult for us to keep up with one another. However, since we found e/o on facebook, we have re-established that circle.

I am hoping that a similar thing will happen with some of our circle from SF, but most are not very active on FB right now (the writer of this blog included) and one - KD - says she is on FB, but it is not under her real name.