Facebook - Getting Started
Looking for an alternative to an oversaturated MySpace? Facebook is a great alternative for the college and professional set. A little more serious than MySpace, Facebook is more than just competing to see who can have the most friends. Facebook boasts over 25 million members, and is the number one photo sharing site on the Web. Here's the scoop on getting started with Facebook...
So What is Facebook?
In February 2004, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg was dismayed that Harvard did not publish a "face book" listing all students, a common practice at other colleges. So he created a site where students could input their own vital stats and upload photos. Within a few weeks, most of the Harvard student body had created profiles, and the project grew to include other colleges. Students loved the idea because it gave them a way to connect with other students on campus who share similar interests. Paypal co-creator Peter Thiel was so impressed by the site that he invested $500,000 in it. By December, over one million subscribers had joined. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard and with investors buzzing around him and a small circle of friends, set up company headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
Facebook has since opened up to high school students and is becoming increasingly popular amongst young professionals. About 4 million Facebook users are over the age of 25. Today, Facebook is a place where users can meet and greet others around the planet, but connections must be formed based on existing real-world ties. While MySpace often attracts musicians and teens (the minimum age is 14,) and concentrates on groups based on shared interests, Facebook seeks the intellectual crowd by encouraging groups to form based on your high school, college, workplace, or even hometown affiliations.
Signing up for a Facebook profile is free and easy. Connect by school, workplace, or geographical location, enter your e-mail address and choose a password. A message to your e-mail inbox welcomes you to Facebook. Confirmation is a simple click and you are there.
Once you access your profile page, you can upload unlimited photos or videos, find other friends who have already joined Facebook, check out cultural events in your area, or visit the Marketplace, where you can buy and sell, seek housing, or hunt for a new job. You can also blog to your heart’s content.
One of the most appealing features of the social networking website is the ability to send others a “Gift” in the form of an icon. A new one is featured daily and users are charged $1.00 for the privilege. However, one Facebook user has created a "Free Gifts" app using Facebook's own programming interface, and it currently has over 1 million users.
A “Poke” allows you to tell another member that you would like to get together. Send one to someone who has an interesting sounding life, and the next time that person logs in, they will have access to your profile for a week, just in case they want to poke you back. The “Honesty Box” allows users to send anonymous messages (like "Your new haircut is ugly" or "Your boyfriend is cheating on you") to others on the site, allowing anyone to get in touch with their inner-cat by being brutally truthful. If you are more on the cuddly side, “X Me” allows you and your friends to hug, kiss, tickle, or send beer.
Another pastime we recommend is to join the “Food Fight,” which was created by David Gentzel. Toss some sushi to someone who would be a likely candidate as a future bud for $1.75 or a cuppa coffee for only $.50. There are over 360,000 Facebookers just waiting toss some spaghetti back at you.
If you are concerned about privacy on Facebook (a big issue with MySpace) you have a higher degree of control over the amount of personal information displayed by using the privacy settings. The settings enable you to control who can see your profile, contact information, groups, photos, posted items, and online status. You can also control who can find you in searches and what appears in your search listing. And you get to choose which parts of your profile are visible to people with whom you initiate contact through a message, poke or friend request.
Facebook is worth a peek for anyone who wants to find a past aquaintance, a current friend, or a future chum. It’s easy to understand why its membership continues to grow, and admirable that it has not yet become the property of Internet mega-moguls Google or Yahoo, although rumour has it that the last offer was in the billions. I suggest you check it out for yourself, then toss me a cake to celebrate.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 12 Jun 2007
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- Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- Facebook - Getting Started (Posted: 12 Jun 2007)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved