OK, I Joined Facebook

I had to wait until TJIC left, but I joined Facebook today mainly so I can better monitor my kid's page.  The deal was that he could have a Facebook account but only if he accepted my wife and I as friends and we had access to his pages.

Having gotten an account, I am having nearly as much trouble trying to figure out what I can usefully do with it as I had when I signed up for a Twitter account (dropped within a week) over  a year ago.  Anyone who has ideas of how it might be useful (given that I am not in a business that runs on contact or relationship management) is welcome to send me those ideas.  Also, all you Facebook cultists are welcome to send me "friend" invites.  The least I can do is humiliate my kids by dwarfing their friends lists.   The email on my account is the same as for this blog, which you can get by mousing over the contact button on the top bar of this site.


  1. Isaac Crawford:

    I have friends scattered all over the world, and I find facebook a really easy way to see what is going on in their lives from day to day. It's a one stop info page for all of my friends. It looks like the classified section could be useful too. That's about all I can think of for usefulness though...

  2. m:

    Ditto Isaac. I actually keep my business contacts on LinkedIn and my non-business contacts on FB. That way I can post embarrassing stuff on FB that my employer doesn't know about. Probably not a big deal for you.

  3. Foxfier:

    Distant relatives and friends, or those you don't get to see often.

    People you knew in high school and aren't *totally* adverse to speaking to again.

    Oh, and some fandoms:

  4. Nick S.:

    Keep in mind that Facebook's privacy settings are getting reasonably decent- your son can put his friends in a group and not put you in it, then he can post things that you won't even know are there.

    Just sayin'.

  5. Carl:

    Facebook? Usefull? Bwwa ha ha ha! If you found twitter to be frivolous then facebook is just a step above in relevance by virtue of your new ability to stalk all the hot moms at your kid's soccer practice. If you're not into that then your brand facebook account is just another one of the zillions of generic-named stillborn profiles cluttering up the search results.

  6. Craig:

    Is anyone else not finding him on there?

  7. Xmas:


    I created a fan group for Coyoteblog...


    If Coyote joins the group, I'll make him the officer of the group.

  8. Flatland:

    This is by far the best way for me to stay in contact with people. I am not a person who has long conversations on the phone. As a result, I've been staying in daily contact with my grandmother through the Scrabble game (now called Lexulous).

    I don't see the point of Twitter. I never signed up. Facebook also keeps changing to appear more like Twitter anyway which drives me nuts.

  9. NJconservative:

    Facebook is a wonderful way to reconnect with all of those people you have avoided for the last 30 years. I started with it for the same reason you have, and the only result is that many of my peers from high school have decided that the only reason I have not remained in touch with them is because Facebook didn't exist. You will soon discover that Facebook makes you choose between being rude and being bored.

  10. Flatland:

    Oh... And don't worry about being liberal with the hide button. There are people who want everyone to know everything that they are doing. Those people I quickly put away since I can't stand people who think I should know that they are baking cookies or taking their kids to the pool.

  11. Dave:

    Facebook is a way to stay in touch with old friends, classmates, relatives, and other people who interest you for one reason or another.

    There are also a number of prominent people on Facebook who accept "friend" requests from anyone who solicits them. Greg Mankiw, for example, was known for this, until he canceled his account. What your "friendship" with prominent people gets you, of course, is beside the point (it gets you nothing.)

    Facebook becomes, as with everything else, what you make of it. Some bloggers I know have Twitter update their Facebook status page every time they put up a new blog post. Some of these bloggers swear that this practice drives traffic to their blogs. Other Facebook users complain bitterly about Twitter spam filling up their Facebook pages.

    As for privacy settings: your son, if he is at all smart, will quickly figure out how to set up his privacy settings so that you can only view a truncated version of his page. If he is blithe and oblivious, then perhaps this won't be an issue.

    Finally, as it pertains to monitoring your son, be aware of the log: if you are friends with your son, you can see what is on his Facebook profile as well as what his friends have posted to his profile (assuming he does not figure out the privacy settings). However, and this is the key part, you won't be able to see what he posts to HIS friends' profiles, unless you are connected to his friends as well.

  12. CTD:

    I work at a small college and Facebook is indispensable as a tool to communicate with students (both current and prospective). They ignore email generally, but put something on the Facebook profile, and everybody on campus knows in about 10 seconds.

  13. Jim:

    Initially I found FB a nice way to reconnect with old friends and classmates, but quickly discovered that it's a royal waste of time. If I were my employer, I'd ban it. As it is, I use Leechblock in Firefox to stop me from checking it between the hours of 9-4. I also rapidly grew tired of the endlessly stoopid quizes. "What font are you? Take this quiz and find out!" "What Simpson's character are you? Click here to find out!" etc. ad nauseam. I also resent the ad banners which lie and say, "Jim Challenged you to an IQ test! Can you beat his score?" when actually he did no such thing, and when you take the quiz it tries to trick you into paying $$.

    Bottom line: FB is socially useful but primarily serves as a distraction to real work. I'm constantly surprised at friends who, while at work, find the time to update what they're doing several times a day, and wonder what the point is.

  14. Kevin Jackson:

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet: Facebook is a reasonably effective photo album. It has the edge over sites like Flickr because of the tagging: when you look through photos of someone, you can see the ones they've taken as well as the ones they are in. In fact, that's probably the best way you'll find of keeping track of what your son is up to: when people take a photo of him, upload and tag it, it'll pop up on your homepage.

    Other than photo sharing, I use Facebook as an e-mail application, with the option to broadcast. If you have a particular social circle that's largely on facebook, you can manage one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many communication easily.

    (Apologies for sounding like a facebook sales rep.)

  15. Tucker:

    Still haven't found him. Searching "Coyote@coyoteblog.com" hasn't yielded any results unfortunately. Coyote if you read comments drop me a line @

    In regards to business, Facebook can help by acting as a flashier email. Posing open ended questions and personal observations (no matter how minute) can be a great way to bounce ideas off of your circle of friends. It would be interesting to see you go back & forth with your readers in a manner that invites everybody.

    Even as a college student I CANNOT tell you how embarrassing it is to have parents write on your wall. Use this to your every advantage. =)

  16. elambend:

    How about using the photo section to show us a pic from your reunion wearing that snazzy Princeton striped jacket.

  17. John Moore:

    I have accounts on both facebook (more recently) and twitter, and facebook seems a lot more useful. I have "friends" who: share my hobby (storm chasing); are current and former colleagues; or are just my friends. And my daughter is there so I can write on her wall and embarrass her!

    How to find coyote, I don't know