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Facebook helps keep people connectedPosted Friday, December 3, 2010, at 6:27 PM
What's up with all this Facebook stuff?
Surely Facebook has got to be just another fad or a passing thing, doesn't it?
What on earth are all of the people spending hours and hours a day looking at this Internet site that is known as the Facebook social community?
They are browsing the site at home, at work and mobile in their vehicles, at the grocery store, at school, at church, just about everywhere over their smart phones.
And, if you think and your boss thinks you're spending a lot of time mulling over your Facebook friend's activities and checking on their status posts, you're not alone.
Hitwise has some new stats that qualify as more than impressive even by Facebook standards.
Facebook now accounts for 25 percent of all pageviews and 10 percent of all Internet visits. That's a 60 percent increase from a year ago.
Trailing is Google, with 7 percent of Internet visits and YouTube with 3 percent. Those two also combine for 11.7 percent of pageviews.
The data indicates that social networks -- led by Facebook with half a billion users (including 100 million in the U.S.), Twitter (nearing 200 million users) and YouTube -- are becoming the dominant habitat for many web users.
Facebook has some competitors, such as Friendster, MySpace and Second Life, but they in a different league and not so viewed in the Internet world.
There are plenty of Facebook issues dealing with governance, privacy and policy, and the possibility of becoming too powerful.
Started in a Harvard University dormitory room in 2004, Facebook was designed as a way for college students to connect.
Initially restricted to college students only, Facebook opened its doors to high school students in 2005 and welcomed the public a year later.
During the next year, it grew from 12 million to 50 million users.
iStrategyLabs, a digital marketing agency, now says users in the 24 and younger demographic comprise a shrinking share of Facebook's U.S. membership.
It's not because they're going away, but because their parents and grandparents are flocking to the site in droves -- and they're bringing friends. Lots of them.
Facebook users can join groups and networks, become fans of various entities, and use their judgment and the site's privacy settings to decide how public they want their information to be.
I'm a frequent Facebook user and do enjoy the ability the social network has afforded me to re-connect and re-visit with many high school and college friends.
It's also been a good way to say connected with family who live elsewhere.
Quite honestly, Facebook is key tool that I use in my everyday job as a newspaper reporter/editor.
There's not a day goes by that I don't learn something or glean something off of Facebook that is beneficial in my job -- whether it's a news tip, a tidbit of information, or a piece of good old gossip that is interesting enough for me to at least check out.
There are some of my friends who have more than 2,000 Facebook friends. I don't chose to enter into that kind popularity contest, but to me Facebook is a good thing.
I've only got about 440 FB friends who are a diverse group from all walks of life.
Among my "friends" or "likes" are also pages for some of the area police and fire departments, local entertainers, businesses, area and state politicians, churches and charitable organizations.
I have a friend who is more than 90 years old and she posts her status on a pretty regular basis. You've got to love that.
I've even been "friended" by a cute, female dog from Linton named Daisy the Wonder Dog.
She proudly proclaims in her Facebook bio -- "My name is Daisy ... and I'm a Wonderdog! I love going for car rides, meeting new people and smelling things!! I get too excited when I meet new people and sometimes piddle but it's not my fault, cause I don't mean too."
I've branched out and launched a business-related Facebook page titled "Nick Schneider, writer, journalist, photographer."
Things are going well and it's been a very helpful place for me to also gather a host of news tips and story ideas and share online links to my stories that are published in the Greene County Daily World.
Please check it out.
To learn more about the whole Facebook experience and join the many "friends" worldwide go to "Facebook 101: The Basics" at http://www.gcflearnfree.org/facebook101.
Have some fun, kill some time and learn.
I look forward to, perhaps, having some new friends on Facebook.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at email@example.com or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages...
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