I have to admit that I, like many others, have struggled with Facebook. How much should I participate? Should I friend my boss, co-workers, subordinates? Should I talk to my kids about their activities on Facebook? How much should I share, and with whom? Is it a replacement for LinkedIn?
If you believe Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is only valuable if everyone shares, like an open dorm with same-sex toilets. But haven’t I moved beyond the dorm phase?
Then comes Facebook places.
My experience so far with Places has been mixed. Is there value to see who the other two hundred people at Logan airport are? Maybe bump into a long lost acquaintance for a quick lunch before a flight? That would be cool.
But is it worth broadcasting where I am, or incessantly checking into new venues and being tagged as “Farmville 2.0” or, worse yet, unfriended because of my openness with where I am? That would be uncool.
I firmly believe that presence and location services is at the center of this wave of innovation – whether it’s to find a place to eat nearby or bump into old school chums, the combination of GPS, Internet, and wireless is as life changing as the Military Global Positioning satellite constellation, or even the Internet in 1995.
As for privacy – we may well be on the path to Zuckerberg’s vision of the global dorm…and that is downright scary. An interesting debate on that is going on right now at The Economist.
As for me, I continue to experiment, vacillating between “show only me”, “show friends” and “show friends of friends” my location. Or as this recent Facebook post pointed out:
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