Friday, June 29, 2007

Fiddling with Facebook

I'm not entirely sure why certain types of social networking technologies make me nervous.

Maybe because technologies like Twitter and MySpace, with their emphasis on "friends" make me feel exposed. Unpopular.

These technologies remind me of wandering into a party where you don't know a soul, you feel out of place and you pray that you don't make a fool out of yourself.

I find myself at a loss for what to do in these environments. Do I reach out to people I barely know that I've talked to through the blogs? Do I try to recruit my friends? Family? Co-workers? How will my reaching out be received?

Brent Schlenker invited me into Facebook. I finally got around to opening an account. There's lots of stuff in there - photos, video, etc. I'm not entirely sure how this thing is supposed to work or what to do with it yet.

I suspect this is because Facebook does not solve any particular problem I currently have. Blogging, thus far, fills my need to reach out to the greater professional learning community.

There are groups that I can join. I went digging around for some eLearning groups and didn't find anyone I recognized. Again - wandering into a party where you don't know a soul and you're not certain that you're welcome....

Still - if I'm gonna keep up to date with this Web 2.0 thing - I gotta be willing to experiment. Even if it makes me uncomfortable. Even if I have no pressing NEED to.

The only thing I've figured out to date is how to add people. Thanks Harold Jarche and Cammy Bean for being willing to play with me. I hesitate to spam the other people on my e-mail address book if they are not already in Facebook. If you are willing to play - drop me a line with an e-mail address and I will send you an invite. We can figure out this beast together....

I'm finding that the social software thing really brings my social anxieties to the forefront. The habits that I demonstrate in real life (as dysfunctional as they are) seem to make an appearance in these environments too. Hopefully, as I play in these environments, I may be able to mitigate my natural tendencies towards introversion.

3 comments:

Cammy Bean said...

I feel like it's the blind leading the blind in FB right now. But I'm happy to blindly wander with you!

I feel a thrill when someone wants to friend me. I have arrived....somewhere. I am a part of...something.

I'm just not yet sure where or what that is.

TRACY HAMILTON said...

Hi Wendy: Feel free to search me out on Facebook and be "my friend". I've been using it for quite a while with friends so I would be glad to be another person for you to connect with.

Tracy Hamilton
http://discovery-thru-elearning.blogspot.com

Karyn Romeis said...

Hi Wendy

I have a facebook account, but it's not related to work - it's more of a friends 'n family thing. However, I hear you on the connections thing. I have joined several ning communities, and regularly get requests for friendships there, but, to be honest, I haven't yet figured out what those communities actually do. I also have a twitter account, where, once again, I keep adding people to my friends list without actually ever having "got" the whole twitter thing. I also got invited to join the LinkedIn network, which is a purely professional thing - no cross pollination with social circles and noble causes. Even there, I'm not sure what to do with the contacts I'm making.

Perhaps all will become clear in time...