31 March 2013
I've been trying all sorts of things to make Facebook interesting. Some of you will know that I was super sick (puking my brains out) in China in early January this year. This left me bed ridden and bored for 3 days. Out of utter desperation and having exhausted all the news sites and comics books and tech journals - I turned to Facebook, the anus of the internet. I like my friends/family, but if I'm honest I just don't care *that* much about everything that's going on. Who does, really, after all if they're your friends you'll hear about the important stuff eventually, anyway... So I've never been a really good Facebook user. A lot of the people I know on Facebook through a shared passion for technology. This makes keeping up with them a worthy endeavour because I might learn about some interesting facet of the technology world. I figured Facebook was as good an outlet as anything. So I've added them, but I wasn't doing a good job in keeping up to date until January. Since January, I've been taking a new approach, however, to expand the scope of the content on Facebook. I've started "friending" perfect strangers or casual acquaintances. Anybody who "friend request"s me I accept. Some requesters are spammers, of course, but as often as not it's someone who knows me via the books, blogs, conferences, twitter, etc. It's a small world, after all.
The results have been really surprising. My friends expand my world view but only in so much as they themselves like certain things, and my friends don't typically like things I vehemently dislike. That's sort of the nature of connecting with someone - familiarity and trust. So, nothing venturd, nothing gained, in following my existing friends. Perfect strangers, on the other hand, are wildcards. Who knows what they'll put up? I *really* like the content on my wall these days. I suppose this must be obvious, but try "friending" perfect strangers. You'll probably make some real friends in the process.
I'd still argue the level of discussion on Twitter's better simply because it forces conciseness and allows a conversation to iterate and evolve very quickly. (I couldn't write this post there, after all!) By befriending perfect strangers, though, I've at least expanded the scope of content on Facebook. Maybe the discussion'll be improved, too.
I also use Google+, and on Google+ my content is essentially wide open. I thus don't really need to friend anyone because it's wide-open and out there for people to see. The scope of content there is thus very good.
The final benefit is that - as I'm interested in the variety of content on the Facebook wall now, I've almost accidentally been able to better follow my family and friends' content, too! Small wonder, that.