social-networking Ok, I’ve meant to do this for awhile, but I can’t see any reason to wait any longer.

I’m abandoning Facebook.

imageTry as I might, there is just nothing of value in Facebook for me. The groups are the only redeeming item on the system, but you have to put up with tons of senseless “apps”. Apps that would’ve been fun back in college when playing quarters or beer bongs, but not when I’m trying to build serious business connections.

While some have made a pretty good case for Facebook, it doesn’t change how it’s viewed by business, or how useful it is for me. I’m astounded at home much time everything takes and how limited everything is. Not to mention the data-ownership question. Just ask Robert Scoble on that one.

I’ve been coming to the conclusion from using many, many different social tools over summer and fall of last year that “social networking” is just an activity. Yep, that’s a “duh” realization, but it’s more than just that. All these “social network” sites are merely a combination of groups on steroids, or worse – simply customizable “home pages” for the masses.

To build real associations with people on a professional and personal level requires interest, dedication, and tools. Facebook could loosely be called a tool, but I think of it as a toy. Tools are designed to do a specific function, and to it well. Twitter is a tool. Blogging is a tool.

I’ve suggested before that my blog is my social network. While that may be incorrect, it is a key tool in my social networking activities. It’s one of three things that are within my control that will never change. My blog address, my email address and my mobile phone number. These are the key pieces of communicating with me that people will never have to re-learn or worry about changing. On these three things, I can build the rest.

The rest is up to me, after all, and how involved in different communities and organizations I want to be. With a blog I can post my views and opinions. With my email address I can interact with just about anyone I share it with, which is everyone, and the same for my cell phone.

I choose to augment this triangle-foundation of my social networking with tools like Twitter, Utterz, IM, LinkedIn, Technorati,, Clipmarks, and several more. I use each for one or two things – the things they do well. None of these are a one-stop-shop for social networking and social media goodness.

Maybe you can point out where I failed with Facebook. I’m always looking to learn – what should I or others be looking for in Facebook? How to approach it? If there really is something there I’m interested in hearing it.

UPDATE:  I just wanted to add that I’m leaving the account in place, but will not be active on Facebook.  I am interested in what everyone does with Facebook to gain value from it, so don’t hesitate to give my $.02.  My Twitter tweets update the “My Status” every time I tweet and I’m notified of Facebook mail if that is the only way you choose to contact me.  Cheers!


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