Facebook is a phenomenally successful platform, way superior to MySpace, with much greater potential and (may I say it?) with an unprecedented degree of visual elegance (kudos to the user interface designers who struggle, against all odds, to keep it clean). Yet, even if you’re a cautious user (as I am) adding and removing apps at a glacial pace and joining groups in an extremely selective manner, you may have noticed that some folks you know spend an inordinate amount on it. You don’t need to go lurk at their desk: it’s all in your feed. Have these poor souls nothing else to do than playing with apps? Some commentators are starting to see the first signs of backlash. While I think that Facebook has way too much momentum to call it a backlash, I do have a few rules for myself. And the purpose of the rules is to prevent Facebook from turning into Twitter – i.e., from filling my life with irrelevant noise I don’t need (which is why I don’t use Twitter at all).
- I accept invitations from people I know, and ignore those from people I don’t know. It kind of defeats the purpose to do otherwise, in my humble opinion (in spite of the preferences of “open networkers”).
- In the absence of invitations, I check my Facebook newsfeed no more than once a day, and preferably less.
- And I try a maximum of one new application per week. Yes, per week – not per hour. It’s as simple as that.
What are your rules? How do you use Facebook – if at all? oh, and by the way, how much will they sell it for, and to whom?