Saturday, July 19, 2008

Facebook vs. MySpace

Lately I’ve fallen into a bad habit. I’d set up a MySpace, but when I indulged in what I thought was a harmless gesture of returning a virtual friend’s good will, was slammed with cascading windows, which then rendered my Internet connection useless. Luckily, I happened to connect with a very patient Embarq techie who helped me reset my computer back to an earlier date, thereby wiping out whatever malicious tendril had taken root (no thanks to my firewall or McAfee, thank you very much).
A friend asked me to set up a Facebook to keep in touch. She’s on the road a good bit, so cyberspace seemed an easy way to keep up. As a writer, I was also curious as to the benefits it might yield. Facebook also appealed to me because it didn’t house the applications on my computer, as MySpace did. I have enough issues with storage space.
At first, the sending of flowers and SuperPokin’ annoyed me, but after awhile, it got kind of fun. I looked forward to seeing who had bamboozled me or sent me a virtual mojito. The “friends” I made were a caring, supportive bunch, too, overall. It sucked my time away. Time I should have been writing.
Then I read messages on a loop about Facebook deleting the pages of authors who posted their book covers. Apparently, this violates the initial “agreement” (yeah, that blurb that no one reads before clicking “I Accept”). From a business standpoint, I guess I understand this tactic – Facebook could charge more for using their site for business rather than idle chit chat. But I’m sure they’re not ignorant to the easy ways anyone wanting to promote their product can get around that. This blogger outlines his strategy:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Subtle-Selling-on-Facebook&id=1263550 and apparently has proven the value of his page.
Facebook founders are apparently no stranger to controversy, either:
http://valleywag.com/345763/facebook-bullies-writers-not-its-engineers-to-keep-data-private
But the politics of it really doesn’t interest me. Whether or not it is eventually a benefit to my writing career remains to be seen. In the meantime, I’ll keep friending other writers to see how they do things. Hopefully, the thing that will drive my success as an author will be whether or not I am a crafty wordsmith.

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