When I saw an interview with the young man who created Facebook.com (a hugely successful social networking site) on "60 Minutes" I signed up the following day just to check it out. It's similar to MySpace, but is geared more toward adults rather than teens. One of the first things a new member is encouraged to do is search the site for friends and acquaintances. Since so many folks have become Facebook members, it's quite likely someone you know — or used to know — can be found there.
Well, I haven't had time to do any searching on Facebook, but I've previously had some interesting experiences being reconnected with people I've known at various times throughout my life.
For instance, I've gotten together with some long-lost friends from Hollywood High School, an employee I had in the 1960s, the widow of one of my three step-fathers, and a half-brother I never even knew I had. The school chums were found via being listed on Classmates.com, but most of the others found me by typing my name into Google. (Type in your own name to see what might come. Also, try typing in your phone number.)
Signing up with these and other social networking sites requires a valid email address and a password. However, don't use the same password you use with the email account. Create a different one for each social networking site. However, if you want Facebook to check your email address book against its member database, you will be asked to give them your email password as well. I believe this is safe with Facebook.
I enjoy Facebook mainly because my granddaughters have lots of family stuff posted there,
along with many comments from lots of friends they grew up with, many of whom also have their own pages,
photos, and blogs on the site.
Making Friends Online
It's also fun to meet strangers and get acquainted by reading one another's personal profiles and exchanging email messages. In fact, it's not uncommon for single adults to use Facebook's or MySpace's free services to find a potential soul mate, rather than signing up with one of the traditional dating services which are not free.
Of course, an inherent danger in meeting strangers online is being conned by someone who pretends to be something he or she is not. MySpace has had more than its share of sad headlines about guileless youngsters being taken in by various predators. For what it's worth, MySpace's management recently issued a press release saying it would install stronger safeguards for keeping problem people off the site.
In any case, there is no substitute for using common sense and maintaining a certain degree of paranoia regarding anyone encountered online. Personally, I've met lots of strangers online and have made some wonderful friends in the process.
A more recent anomaly of "sociqalizing sites" is that commercial entities are posting blogs that are actually ads, complete with promotional images and WWW URLs — all for free. Could this be a way to promote your small business?
In summary, I'll say that I enjoy the free sites but I still prefer paying
Network Solutions to host my own 500+ page site.
© - Donald Ray Edrington - All Rights Reserved
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