I joined Facebook a year ago, built a small network of contacts (mainly political bloggers), and left it at that. Turned to it now and then to look people up. But lately, I'll admit to spending more time. Facebook has become a big-league platform and frankly, it's wonderful to have a still-independent big-time new media platform out there and growing.
Now, Facebook germinated with the college kids - linking campuses and causes, "faces" and wannabes. It's often thrown into conversation by middle-aged guys who need a buzzword or two about the hot social networks. "The MySpace and Facebook crowd." So the names drop.
But while MySpace remains a generally inpenetrable mess (sorry Rupert, you bought a lemon), Facebook has grown up and it now has real professional uses. It's also a pleasure to use.
So much so, that I created a newcritics Facebook group today, rather than add bulletin boards and other features on the site itself. It just made sense. For one, the ease of use at Facebook and its new open platform (you can build apps there now) is attractive. For another, there's a built-in audience that can come to newcritics from the Facebook platform itself. I like that.