Saturday, June 22, 2013

Facebook anniversary

Six years ago today, June 22, 2007, I joined Facebook. It was the third social network I joined and, like the other two, it was originally to promote my podcast. Times have changed.

Because of that connection to my podcast, it’s appropriate that the first message I got on my “wall” (now called the “timeline”) was from a guy who was a fellow podcaster at the time, the host of the Nik-in-Paris Podcast, which was also the first page I “Liked”. In the early days, all of my Facebook Friends were connected to podcasting—fellow podcasters, listeners of my podcast or people who listened to the same podcasts I did.

When my time available for podcasting dwindled, a change started with my Facebook use, too: An increasing percentage of my Facebook friends were people I knew from real life, such as classmates, as well as friends and family on both sides of the Pacific. The podcasting connection remained (I’ve never “unfriended” anyone), but the connections became more solid ones—they were people I interacted with more.

So, over time Facebook became useful to me personally: It allowed me to stay connected with people I’d never be able to stay in touch with otherwise. This is a good thing.

Back when I joined Facebook, the status updates said, in my example, “Arthur is” and people completed the sentence. So, my very first post to Facebook was properly read as “Arthur is Ecstatic the weekend is here.” But that was on July 6, 2007. Before then, I didn’t use Facebook very much.

The truth is, I probably wouldn’t have noticed this anniversary if I hadn’t been curious about my Twitterversary. When I looked that up, I also looked up when I signed up for Facebook (but I cared so little about MySpace that I never bothered to check my information about that, and now it’s impossible due to the changes to that site; check out how empty my page is there).

I’ve joined other social networks along the way, some of which I’m still part of (others, including two from Google, are gone). I joined Google+ when it was still in beta, and I quite like it (their mobile app is FAR better than Facebook’s). I set up a page of G+ for my blog and one for my podcast, and posts to this blog auto-post to that G+ page (click the G+ logo in the right sidebar to get there).

Like Twitter, I don’t now use Facebook as a way for me to promote my podcast. In fact, I seldom even mention it. It turns out, they’re both useful to me in ways I didn’t imagine at first. Actually, I don’t think I’m alone in that.

And that pretty much sums up my short history on social networks. The story, however, is not over. Yet.

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