Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tools of the Web - Facebook

After some time I am back with another useful tool of the our Web. This time it will be the biggest and perhaps one of the most controversial site out there - Facebook. This post reflects my personal opinon on the site, what I like and do-not-like on it.

As everybody knows, it is the biggest social networking site with approximately 700 million users, from which hundreds of millions are using it actively. There is simly no way you can ignore its presence. To clarify: I am not saying that you can not live without being a member, just that you simply notice its presence everywhere, due to the blue f letter on almost every site.

One of the major reasons why some people tend to avoid it are the not-so-clear privacy policies. That was also the reason why I resisted quite some time as well. You can read a lot about this on the Web, both good and bad (mostly bad), plus any changes in its policies are covered by mainstream media (such as BBC and others), not to mention the coutless blogs and websites. There is a quite famous quote from the main guy from Facebook (picture) saying something like the age of privacy is over. The speech was as controversial as it could be...

On the other hand, if you consider that if you access the Web anywhere it automatically localizes the city you are in, or if you are using Google Latitude it gives your exact position. If you are blogging or you are a member of any site, you probably already inserted a bunch of private information to the matrix... So it comes down to the question how much you want to share about yourself.

My biggest problem with the site is something else though... It offers a confortable way of finding contacts if you give in your username and password for your mail, Skype or pretty much anything. I am mentioning this, as the first rule on any site is: "Don't give your password to anybody!"  And this one is saying: "Give us your password... don't worry" I find this very strange... but apparently there are people who are donig it...

I was talking about the dark side of Facebook so far, but in fact my impression is more or less positive. As the title of the post says, it is a tool which you can use. Personally I am following quite a few websites and organizations through their Facebook pages, and visiting the links I find interesting. Of course I also have to mention the links and posts from friends and family which help me to to stay a bit more connected, even if I am quite far away from them most of the time.

Also Facebook is one of the major way of communication with our EMABG students. (Hello guys! :) ) Of course it is a supplementary method, but it is as good as email, sometimes even better. So would really suggest to student advisors to give it a shot...

The site is also good for organizing stuff. Of course there are plenty of other sites, some maybe even better for this purpose, but somehow it was my pick when starting the Animal Breeding and Genetics Hub. It worked quite well.

As the last point of this already quite long post I want to mention one more advantage, which is the traffic driver role for the blog you are reading. After every post I post it into my Facebook profile, and in a next 2-3 days there is a peak in the stats. Dissemination works... :)

So this was it. My opinion about the biggest site of our times. Now I am curious about your opinion! Comment below :)

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