I've been using Facebook for awhile, mostly by the "learn by doing" method. When I first signed up I searched for friends using my high school graduation information that I had filled out on my profile. Almost immediately I connected with a classmate. She used both Facebook and MySpace and encouraged me to sign up for MySpace to see photos she had posted. I felt more uncomfortable than at home in MySpace so I haven't done anything else with that account. Signing up for my account however, did provide me with some troubleshooting info for asisting a patron with problems using MySpace so I didn't feel I wasted my time.
I now have lots of family "Facebook friends" spanning 3 generations and feel like it has brought distant family closer. I especially like the ability to share photos and tag people in photos. I also enjoy reading posts from my library friends and other high school friends.
I thought the tutorial suggested on the Nebraska Learns 2.0 post was very valuable and I'm also including the link for other friends that read my blog.
Facebook for Grownups
Initially, I left applications alone until prompted to use "We're Related". That application became extremely annoying as it started sending me frequent e-mails to add more relatives. Changing settings did help with that problem. My niece introducted me to Hippopost, a postcard applcation that will send "snail mail" postcards to USA and Canadian addresses. You can upload jpg images and write a message. You have to choose an ad from one of several sponsors but there is no cost involved. It takes 2 weeks or more but it is a fun way to send a picture postcard. My niece uploaded pictures from her computer in Germany and sent postcards to her grandparents in Nebraska. I like FREE! As part of this month's exploration into Facebook, I decided to add the Visual Bookshelf application. I had blogged seeing this application when I was exploring LibraryThing during the first "23 things" and one of the application's creators commented on my blog. I like the layout of this application and easily wrote a review of a book and published it to Facebook. I think some of our Facebook using patrons would enjoy that application. And for fun at home, I decided to play with the Farm Town game application since I had seen several of my friends play that. I wouldn't say I am completely hooked on that and will probably never have a virtual farm as spectacular as some I've seen. I'm too busy trying to keep our real farm looking nice. I am currently growing sunflowers on both farms!
Our library doesn't plan to have a Facebook page anytime soon, however I really see the value of a page such as the Perkin's Library at Hastings College. Since Facebook originally was limited to users with .edu addresses, a large number of students could be reached through event invitations. Susan Franklin has almost made me want to jump in the car and drive the distance to her library. Our small rural church has a Facebook group and I used the event invitation option to remind people in the group of a potluck dinner. It generated lots of responses even on short notice.
In summary, Facebook is a great thing for reconnecting and staying networked to friends across the country, learn more about people I know through work and to spread the word about events at work and in my personal life.
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