'Friends' in facebook

Been making more use of facebook in the last few weeks.  Hard not to – when 250m people are using it.

Was discussing it with a few different friends.  One said he uses it to keep track of/ stay in touch with people overseas, ie does not see a lot of benefit in using it with people located close by.

I’ve certainly found it useful in terms of renewing acquaintances with people based overseas (e.g. fellow College grads) – and then staying in touch with them.  Interestingly I had two such friends visit Ireland recently and in both cases we failed to catch up, physically.  So my question was: are you pretending you have more friends than you have?  Or has the technology made you so lazy that you don’t make the effort to track someone down physically when they are here on a short vacation?

The truth is that we all continue to live very busy lives.  On a short vacation to the old ‘homeland’ there is not a whole lot of time for all the ‘one on one’ catchups.  But then I was thinking about it – ‘presence’ would probably have made the difference.  We have the technology (google, brightkite, etc) to be aware of someone’s location e.g. if I’m based in the office in the city centre and the overseas visitor happens to be in town then this may be the easist way to catch up for a coffee or whatever – without any mahor diary planning, etc.

To some this will feel like another invasion of privacy – to others a way fo making the technology work to support physical relationships.  And the technology should be good enough for you to control who may be aware of your presence, in which time frame and even in which general location.  All just about possible now.

Would suggest that www.brightkite.com is worth a look.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Author: Barry OGorman

Barry O'Gorman is an independent business and IT consultant, based in Dublin, Ireland.

2 thoughts on “'Friends' in facebook”

  1. Presence, awareness, smart routing added to ease of use, low costs, reliability and confidence that others will also play will take these ‘new’ tools to a new level.
    One decent smartphone per citizen would help – but phone companies with complex tariffs make this difficult.
    If we could simply compare and contrast – through an independent service – prices between cell and land lines, broadband and cable AND then switch as often as we choose with no penalties and no hassle we would finally have a consumer friendly market. Without this market, we know that with every new service or gadget – “there be dragons”. Funny how tech companies hate transparent, free markets!!!

  2. I think for now the difficulty is cost – were the cost driven down significantly then penetration, uptake, whatever, would be far greater. Technology companies do not have a monopoly on complex tariff structures. In fairness product development personnel within each supplier are constantly looking to offer solutions/ products which are more attractive to the end user.

    I think there have been or are services focused on comparing and contrasting offerings of the different suppliers. However the offerings continue to mutate.

    Within the corporate market my experience has been that the suppliers negotiate on corpoprate rates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *