Page 2 of 2

Re: Wild Earth Magazine?

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:08 pm
by edfrank
Joe,

You and James are both right and wrong about the value of social networks like Facebook. They are essentially what you make of them and how you use them. As for me, I do not have a Twitter account. I don’t text message. I have a MySpace account, but haven’t used it for months, because of the lack of technical sophistication. There is not much that can be done with Twitter or MySpace, but Facebook is different.

I know people who spend hours every day clicking on little icons in the thousands of games that are available for free on Facebook. There are people that update their status dozens of times a day. There are hundreds of silly quizzes you can take that can while away the hours. But you do not need to participate in any of these activities. I have played the games occasionally to relax or have a bit of fun, but there is no reason that you must play for hours. I take a few quizzes if they seem interesting or funny. Facebook can be a waste of time, but it doesn’t need to be if you have even a slight degree of self control.

The Facebook screens are basically in two parts. One is your profile. On it are tabs to photo albums you have posted, video albums, notes, links and other materials you have posted to Facebook. On your wall are short summaries of links or comments you have posted, or that people you allow to post on your page have posted. For example I have posted a couple of notes to Phil LaBranch about clown activities. You control the content on these pages.

The second basic screen is the newsfeed screen. Here are posted all of the messages, comments, and so forth of everyone you have friended or from groups you have joined on Facebook. I have friended many people and joined many groups, so the messages posted on my wall are numerous. But even if I have 300 messages, it doesn’t take long to scan through the list. Many of them are not individual posts, but likes or responses posted to these messages. I can read those that catch my eye, or click on any included links to read what has been posted. You do not need to read everything, or respond to anything posted there. The number of messages you receive is directly proportional to how many people or groups you have added and how communicative they are.

One of the annoyances people comment upon is that when friend play games, those games tend to publish notices of their activities on all of their friends walls. However simply by clicking on an x in the upper right corner of these posts you can opt to have them never appear again on your newsfeed screen. I block all of the games as they appear, so it isn’t a problem for me.

What can you get out of it? Facebook was designed to be a social network, so one function is the social aspect of Facebook. I know as I have moved around, went to school here and there, that there are many people I wanted to keep in touch with, but somehow never did. There are family members scattered across the country. If they are on Facebook and you friend them, you have reestablished those long lost links to old friends and family. You need not talk to them every day, but you do see their posts and status updates and are reminded of their presence. You can send each of them messages or post to their walls. That long lost connection, no matter how tenuous, can be reestablished thorugh Facebook.

What I use it for largely is to find news items of interest. There is so much posted online – thousands of newspapers, blogs, websites and so forth, you can’t hope to find everything on your own. I have friended people who share mutual interests in trees, ENTS members, and joined many conservation groups, and science groups. Through this network of people who share interests, I find many news items, and resources that I otherwise would never have located. They post these on their individual pages and then they appear in my newsfeed. Every day I find a half dozen or more things of interest to me I otherwise would never have seen. Those related to trees in some way, I often repost to the Eastern Native Tree Society Facebook group, a smaller portion of them I may post to the ENTS BBS as well.

There is casual conversation and back and forth discussion and silliness. A few days ago someone posted a list from the BBS of the 100 books everyone should read, along with a suggestion it be posted in your “notes” section of your profile highlighting those book you have actually read. I did this and shared the list with other people. There were comments on my list, and others posted their own lists. In one piece of silliness, Jennifer Dudley, a fan of Jane Austin and I were having a conversation. I ask if Jane Austen was related to miles Austin the Wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, and also ask what team did she play for.

I know there are people participating in the ENTS BBS, who became interested in the group through Facebook. The Facebook ENTS list is more of a daily summary of links I find interesting or others find interesting than it is a back and forth discussion as is found in the BBS. But I believe it is worthwhile. How these social media outlets are being used by groups such as ENTS is rapidly evolving. I am trying to keep ENTS a part of that process and find ways to better utilize social medium forums like Facebook to further the goals of ENTS. There are 500,000,000 active Facbook members, so the phenomenon should not be ignored. In summary, Facebook can be a waste of hours of time for individuals, but it can also be a useful tool. How you use the medium is up to the individual.

Ed Frank

Here are some Facebook Statistics:

People on Facebook

More than 500 million active users
50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
Average user has 130 friends
People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

Activity on Facebook

There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.

Global Reach

More than 70 translations available on the site
About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application

Platform

More than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries
Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications
More than 550,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform
More than one million websites have integrated with Facebook Platform
More than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month
Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook

.

Re: ENTS/Facebook Intergration

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:32 am
by James Parton
Ed,

Despite me having some " allergies " to social networking sites like Facebook, I can see use for them. Especially for group activities. If it can get more people into ENTS and into trees I am all for it.

I have two groups on Facebook. ENTS and NOD.

Re: ENTS/Facebook Intergration

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:50 am
by Steve Galehouse
James, Ed, ENTS--

I agree with James---I just take suphedrine for the allergies.

Steve