Neil Padmore is the director of Frampol IT. He lives and works in Harare and is passionate about communication, technology and community. Find out more about Frampol at http://www.frampolafrica.co.zw/.
Facebook is known as a social networking web site. It connects people by enabling the sharing of information within a user’s network of friends, and… it’s free.
Web-enabled phones, tablets and laptops have meant an explosion in internet connections, and people are relying on this quick, portable access to share their lives with each other.
Facebook for Friends, Family, Fun
Facebook is definitely the way for family and friends to share their lives through multimedia – pictures, videos, messages, events, instant messaging, video and voice calling…you name it.
By making communication so quick and easy, Facebook has found a welcome place in our hectic modern lifestyles, a fact evidenced by the 1.1 billion users, who use it in 70 different languages, and, through advertising generate the company more than $5 billion per annum.
For the ever diminishing number of non-Facebookers, it can seem somewhat daunting. Over time, interaction with the site becomes second nature, but if you are flummoxed by it all, here are definitions to help you cut through the jargon:
Profile = The personalised page of a user – you have to create one to start using Facebook
Post = To type a message or place a picture on a wall
Wall = Notice board of a profile or page
Like = Show your approval of a post/picture or page
Status = A thought/suggestion/comment that you want to share with all your friends
Friend = A person who is linked to your Facebook page
Facebook in Business
The internet has meant that traditional approaches to reaching consumers have been eroded. Businesses (mine included) are finding it more and more critical to approach their audience via social media, with Facebook assuming priority of place on the list of platforms. Facebook gives organisations of all sizes and types, from churches, to political movements to banks to hairdressers the opportunity to meet their customers eye to eye by:
Hatebook or Greatbook?
The scale, complexity and anonymity that the internet affords makes it not unlike the wild west. There are riches and excitement for us all, but we need to watch out along the way. How we manage our online interactions is a matter of personal security and wellbeing. Here are some common pitfalls and dangers:
Getting the Best from it
Be aware of your audience – you are reaching more people than you imagine! As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t want what you are sharing to be posted across Borrowdale Road with your name on it… then don’t post it!
Manage your friends – although Facebook is amazing for rekindling lost friendships, some people end up with a glut of ‘friends’. This doesn’t translate into real popularity or success. What it does do is clog up your news feed with too much content and too many voices. Try to keep a lean ‘friends’ list and rely on people you know and trust to populate your news feed.
Protect your information – You must ask yourself now ‘Do I want the whole world to be able to see my pictures, posts, and information?’ If the answer is no, then check and change your privacy settings, and be careful not to share your real address or phone numbers.
Live in the real world – Make sure that you are living in your world, and enjoying every minute. Don’t live in other people’s! Turn off your notifications, and set aside time for Facebook to do fun, face to face activities, rather than the other way round.
Neil Padmore is the director of Frampol IT. He lives and works in Harare and is passionate about communication, technology and community.