I've been holding off venturing into the social networking sites for a couple of reasons.
First, they have a seedy history of scary privacy practices with terms of service that either change noxiously with little warning, or give away the personal information farm as a matter of course.
Secondly, social networking sites are surpassed as locations for phishing, social engineering, links to malware-loaded locations, and other sundry evils only by porn sites and web urls that offer freebies of some sort.
With many friends (real ones, not just social networking friends) already on "The Facebook", as I like to call it, I decided to take the plunge and set myself up an account, the thought being that I could use it as another avenue to drive traffic to Red Gecko. There's only so much Digg and Reddit can do for a fellow, y'know?
So as we begin this adventure, I'm keeping an open mind about where this may go. Already, my Facebook friend list is a mixture of actual friends that I speak with regularly and high school classmates that I haven't seen or talked with in (exactly) 30 years. That strikes me as kind of odd.
Shouldn't there be something in the middle? Maybe people I worked with in 1994, or Army buddies I haven't seen since taking off the pickle suit in 1982. Perhaps some of the scores of folks I incarcerated during my 15 years of corporate investigation, or a trio from Microsoft engineer school.
I'm at the tail end of the Boomer generation, probably the dividing line between people who remember 5 channel television and leaded gasoline, at the crossroads where if you're on one side of the street you need your kids to help you program that newfangled VCR, and if you're on the other, like me, you have your own data center in an downstairs office and pre-ordered the new iPhone 3G S because you wanted to have it last Friday but there was no way you were going to stand in line outside of an Apple retail store with those idiots that slept on the sidewalk the night before.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
We'll see how the whole privacy thing progresses, too. I'm a little disconcerted that I can see pictures and wall writings from friends of friends of friends, and frankly, I'm sometimes disinterested in the things that I write, let alone missives coming from 16 degrees of separation away. And I'll let Gmail deal with the flood of spam that gets generated as the result of the harvesting bots roaming through the Facebook site.
I'll probably use Facebook mostly to be an instigator, a talent long held but with endless possibilities in electronic mediums. At Red Gecko, you've made an effort to come read my words, so you deserve whatever you get. On Facebook, I can sneak up behind someone who doesn't even know me and annoy by proxy.
Oh, the places I'll go.