I sympathize with those who don't get Facebook and other social media sites like MySpace and LinkedIn. In fact, when I first set up my Facebook profile, it was more motivated by professional experimentation than a real desire to participate. But I have to admit it. Now that I've grown more comfortable with Facebook, I've genuinely enjoyed connecting with old friends and learning more about my business associates. I enjoy learning about the things my friends and acquaintances are doing, reading, and listening to. I've found it fascinating to get new perspectives on long time business acquaintances. I was also able to say hey to a few friends I hadn't heard from in a while and reconnect with a some folks I knew in school.
One of the main features of a Facebook profile is the "Friends" panel. It displays six of my Facebook friends with a link to view them all. So as not to create any awkward jockeying for friend ranking (remember Sienfeld's speed dial position episode?), the six friend images are randomly sampled from all my friends each time I view the page. This considerate little feature reminds me of people I might not normally think about--and if I'm so inclined, I can jot a quick "Hey--how are you?" on their wall. Another prominent feature of Facebook is its News Feed page. It tells you whenever a friend adds another friend, or joins a new group, or posts a link, or adds a new application, or updates their profile, or changes their status, or just about anything else they do on Facebook. In a silly way, because of features like this, I really do feel a little more connected to my friends on Facebook.
Based on my initial positive experience on Facebook, I decided to jump in with both feet. I've been adding more and more details to my profile. I've even added Facebook applications that pull information from my blogs, del.icio.us links, and StumbleUpon pages. My Twitter feed is set up to automatically update my Facebook status. Of course, my profile wouldn't be complete without adding in the "New England Patriots Fans" app--Go Pats! There are a lot more things that can be done on Facebook like joining groups and networks, creating events, buying stuff, and looking at my friend's photos and videos.
If you'd like to get more detail on what Facebook looks like, I've taken screen grabs of my Facebook News Feed and Profile pages. But the best way to familiarize yourself is to just set up a profile and start using it. If you already have a Facebook profile, or are inclined to set one up now, feel free to add me as a friend (please include Web Smart subscriber in the personal message field when you add me as a friend).