by Abbie Lundberg

Confessions of a Facebook Addict

Jan 04, 20084 mins
Enterprise Applications

To find our Facebook group, go to Facebook and search for CIO Forum.

I love Facebook. I loved it pretty immediately too. That surprised me. I’m basically an introvert at heart (INTJ, for anyone still into Myers-Briggs), so why would I dig Facebook or Twitter, or anything else that exposes my tastes, preferences, thoughts and actions beyond the most controlled of one-one interactions?

Three reasons:

  • Communicating and interacting with friends and colleagues – people I trust, whose interests I share and whose company I enjoy (and who like to play the same games I do!).

  • Creating an engaging space where I can collect and access all my interests and personal “stuff” for my own benefit

  • Harnessing the power of the network effect by connecting with others who share my interests but with whom I might not otherwise become acquainted.

Living Out Loud

To get the most out of these social networks requires a pretty high level of what industry analyst James Governor calls “declarative living.” The more you share about yourself, the more value you get. Roo Reynolds, IBM’s metaverse evangelist, has written that by sharing what he is doing (Twitter), listening to (, seeing (Flickr photostream) and reading (, as well as who’s in his network (Facebook and LinkedIn) and where he is traveling (Dopplr), he gets to “discover interesting things (including wireless hotspots and nearby friends) whenever I land in a new city. I’m never short of new listening or reading material, I never have the frustration of losing a bookmark… I absorb my friends snapshots into my day at my pace, and they form the basis for online conversations.”

I’m not quite ready to expose myself to that extent—but then, on Facebook, you don’t have to. Only your Facebook friends (people you agree to connect with) can see your full profile. And you can set different levels of visibility for different people. So if, for example, you don’t want your professional contacts to know that Pippi Longstockings (the original) is one of your favorite movies (and I’m not saying it’s mine!), you can keep that to your closest circle of friends.

Facebook for CIOsAfter being on Facebook a while, I started joining various groups. Some of them center around my interests in business technology; some on journalism and media. Groups provide me with another way to access useful information and extend my network. But to date there’s been no easy way to find and connect with some of the people I’m most interested in, CIOs. So my colleagues and I have created a new group, the CIO Forum, as a place where we can connect and interact with the members of the CIO community and, more to the point, where they can connect and interact with each other.

If you’re an IT executive, we’d love to have you join. If you already have a Facebook account, just search “CIO Forum,” look for the big red CIO logo and click on the “request to join” link. We answer requests within a couple of hours. If you haven’t joined Facebook yet, don’t worry about it – it’s really easy to do.

We’ll share our favorite articles in the CIO Forum, along with interesting video, photos and links. We’ll start discussions and create an environment that reflects your interests – so let us know what you’d like to see there.

Not Ready for Facebook?

Because we know Facebook hasn’t fully penetrated the executive suite yet, we’ve also started a CIO Forum on LinkedIn. It’s not yet as engaging an environment as Facebook (they’re working on that), but I suspect more CIOs are already there. So if you’re an IT executive and would like to join our group on LinkedIn, click here. Make sure you tell us your name, title and company affiliation. Michael Friedenberg, our CEO, will get back to you (that’s how much he’s into this social networking stuff – he’s fielding the requests himself!).

Personally, I’m completely convinced that social networking is important for business, both to connect externally with your professional networks and as an internal collaboration tool. This will only increase with the appearance of tools like WorkLight’s new WorkBook, which let you transfer corporate data securely to sites like Facebook.

In the meantime, we hope to see you in the CIO Forum!