Facebook puts a new spin on “real-time”

Well — I finally took the plunge and registered on Facebook. It is something I have avoided for awhile, even as Facebook has made crept into the business world. It’s certainly easy to do, and after one or two “friends” have invited you or accepted you to their “wall party,” it’s amazing to see the messages and notes fly! I’m still an infant there, not even qualified to say that my experience rates me as a “novice,” but the time spent there thus far raises several interesting thoughts:

First, I find it overwhelming to think of all the places a random thought will travel as it moves among friends walls/places/pages….and whether that’s a good thing or not. Online etiquette has grown-up over the past few years, and self-censoring is something we all do these days, even in our email. Still….Facebook may be “too” realtime in that sense. I suppose the real issue here is that I can’t imagine anyone caring at any particular moment that I’m currently updating my blog or preparing for a project out in the yard. I’m probably not a good candidate for a Twitter account! ; ) I suspect that this point of view may be altered as I spend more time on Facebook, but that’s my initial impression.

Second is how cool this technology would be for a business team, and in this discipline, and Information Server data integration team. With the right filtering, wouldn’t it be informative to have automated events and notes, driven by each user, showing up on a “Project Wall?” Such technology may exist already, or perhaps even Facebook supports APIs that would make it possible. “jsmith has just compiled DataStage Job LoadFact.” or “droberts has entered a Note about column Revenue in table Q461T711: There is an anomaly in some of the date fields….”. And from the runtime engine (again with filtering), it might be useful to know that “QualityStage Job mergeNames completed at 1:16:42 with no errors.” . We can certainly do a lot of this with instant messaging, but the broadcast capability here is inviting, as is the “no one has to think about it” aspect of event based messages, if possible, being floated throughout the team.

Guess I’m going to have to explore Facebook further…

Ernie

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