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FutureNow Post
Monday, Jul. 30, 2007 at 9:11 am

Facebook Follies and LinkedIn Lure

By Bryan Eisenberg
July 30th, 2007

jeffandbryantug.pngMichael Eisenberg (no relation), a partner and blogger at Benchmark Capital, is in need of a new name for his blog, Six Kids and a Full Time Job, now that a 7th has arrived — talk about a full-time job! — shares his experiences with FaceBook and LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is valuable and connects me to many entrepreneurs and potential recruits but, anecdotally, the “senior staff” is hanging out on Facebook and searching for contacts!

Jeffrey and I have been doing some similar experimentation. Jeffrey’s been focused on LinkedIn (here’s his profile) and I’ve been frolicking on Facebook (here’s my profile). GrokDotCom readers should feel free to befriend either one or both of us.

While LinkedIn currently has a greater volume (in numbers) of our “friends,” the velocity of requests on Facebook has been much greater as of late.

Are you on either one?

Many are thinking differenty about Facebook than they do about LinkedIn. Others are concerned with how much time they waste and how to manage it. According to the Telegraph, over 70% of businesses in the U.K. have blocked Facebook from within their company.

What’s your experience with both? Have you used either one successfully in your business? What do you think the future holds for either one?

Add Your Comments

Comments (22)

  1. Bryan,

    I have built a bigger network list in Linkedin simply because they have been live longer. But lately, I’m seeing that Facebook will accomplish the same goals of Linkedin, with a few bonsuses.

    1. It’s funner. Yes, I know that’s not a word, but it should be.

    2. It’s totally free. Linkedin has “free” and then paid.

    In the end, to me, it comes down to usefulness and time not wasted. Whichever one is easier and solves the most problems for me will win.

  2. At ADS, all of our staff have both Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, and use them for different types of communication. We use LinkedIn for business to business contact and getting business answers. We use Facebook for more friend-type of activities such as keeping in touch with college chums and keeping a pulse on the non-business business types (i.e. those who are not management). This is changing, however, as more and more business people join Facebook. Both are valuable however, so choosing one over the other is not an option.

    The important thing for us is to maintain a single outward face on both so we don’t send mixed messages about who we are.

  3. Facebook = Fun – It acts as an enabler for new conversations

    LinkedIn = Ghost Town (for me)

    ‘Nuff said.

  4. Contrary to wasting time, I’ve lately started using Facebook as a productivity tool, sort of like a personal dashboard. I update my status to show whether I’m available for interruption or working on something that requires continuous focus. I also find the To-Do application to be handy.

    I can understand how it might be a problem for some, but I think given a little time, it may prove to be more flexible (and thus valuable) than LinkedIn. Although, I must admit, the new “Answers” feature at LinkedIn could be really useful.

  5. I agree with FaceBook being more fun (or “funner” as Jim said it). Also, from a developer’s point of view, FaceBook has an API that let’s you integrate FB into another site, whereas I believe LinkedIn doesn’t offer such an option. I am currently working on a social networking project and we are seriously considering FB as a core component of the site.

  6. “Mood is a thing for cattle and loveplay,” says Guerney (sp?) of Dune. Likewise, I am of the opinion that if you want to have fun you should blog and enjoy the freeform way relationships develop in the blogosphere.

    If you want to reconnect, make sure that your resume items maintain a life of their own, and weave your own safety net– LinkedIn is your site. Being on a number of social networking sites is good for companies and individuals. I plan to keep an eye on my social networking sites and I hope they become more integrated with each other in the future.

    It is a little ridiculous to have to sign up for 10 different sites to “favorite” blogs, promote yourself, stay in the game, keep up with buddies, be political, and communicate on the net. Soon it will all merge. Just like some ICQ programs will feed from all other messaging software, the social networking movement will grow not only from diversity, but compatibility from site to site.


  7. Bryan, you mentioned that Michael Eisenberg needs a new name for his blog. Here it is:

    Stop Making Babies, Stupid!

    If you’ve seen the misery caused by overpopulation, you’ll understand. And vice versa.

    This comment is not flippant. Overpopulation is the most serious problem faced by billions of people, including you, me, and Michael.

    Measured against the popular boogiemen out there, like atomic war, terror attacks, and nasty epidemics, overpopulation is the grand daddy of all of them.

    To keep making babies after making two is a crime against humanity. No one has that right anymore.

    Thanks for bringing up the subject, as each of us should have the juice to stand up and tell others to stop spewing their seed all over the place, wantonly increasing the already overburdensome pressure on the little remaining forests, fish, air, and water left on Earth.


  8. And is anyone actually making some profit out of these connections? OR is it just random networking?

  9. Sean,

    Edelman PR seems to be trying to cash in by promoting a “social media index,” which ascribes value to these “social” tools (from a broadcasting perspective).

    I’m glad some people are getting value out of Facebook in terms of growing their professional networks and managing their lives, but I don’t plan on using it for anything professional anytime soon. For me, it takes the fun out of sharing new music, videos and whatever else amuses me with friends.

    LinkedIn, on the other hand, has helped me to help people in my network while they’re getting a job. And I can see how it would be valuable when hiring. But, unlike Robert Scoble, I fail to see how Facebook has become “the new resume.” To each his own, I guess.

    (Easy for him to say, though. I don’t know Scoble, I’m not his Facebook “friend,” and I don’t need to see his resume — he’s not yet applied to Future Now, and his blog’s enough for me to get the idea. Besides, Bryan and I are nice guys, so I’m sure we’d be open to him doing a guest blogger spot now and then. ;) Honesty, though, it’s ridiculous. Why not say “Google’s the new resume”? You’ll find out more about your Robert of choice from Google than you ever will from either of us. I digress… )

    Facebook has helped introduce me to marketing-related groups and to hear about new events. Still, the more we open up our lives, the more we give up. Personally, I don’t see how one can use Facebook for BOTH friend marinating AND professional networking without annoying people on either side of the fence. Unless, of course, you just keep joining stuff and you don’t post anything (read: “booooo-riinnnng”).

    Whether they be friends or “friends,” connections or “connections,” quantity does not equal quality in MyBook.

    That being said, you can always add people then delete ‘em once they get annoying :)

  10. Em,

    Tell that to the Muslim community! They are already close to being in the majority (voting) in a number of European countries. I am sure they will reasonably consider your demand. What color burka would you prefer?

  11. I’ve been a LinkedIn fan for a couple years and was skeptical of Facebook’s value.

    But, Facebook is started to show itself useful and increasingly the business community is joining. It has several benefits over LinkedIn:
    1. It’s easier to invite friends that you are acquainted with but may not have a current email address for.
    2. Profile pics make it convenient for matching faces with names.
    3. Deeper privacy customization.
    4. It’s more fun.
    5. It’s free!

    And the main downside: When the business and after-hours worlds overlap, additional care must be taken to manage the impression you’re giving. This isn’t a problem if you act similarly in both worlds, but if you have a wild side that you’d prefer to stay tucked away, you’ll find it impossible to control the images that your “after-hours friends” post of you.

  12. I know hardly anybody reads the fine print, but Facebook clearly states in its Terms of Use that “the Service and the Site are available for your personal, non-commercial use only”.

    “Non-commercial”, folks!

    Sure, if you do use it for business, they’re not going to hunt you down and kill you. And sure, some people ARE using it for commercial stuff. But that would be a clear violation of their Terms of Use. Harmless? Maybe. But think how you’d feel if somebody violated one of YOUR terms of use in your products or services (e.g. blatantly duplicating copyrighted material).

    This is a significant issue. I recently considered creating a Facebook group as a community for my clients to share ideas and ask questions. It’s a piece of cake to set up in Facebook, but I couldn’t honestly justify to myself that it was for “non-commercial use only”. So I didn’t do it.


  13. Facebook, of late, is surely creating a lot of buzz. The number of invites that are coming in from Facebook have increased although this increase is marginal because Linkedin and Facebook have only just started acquiring people(users) in India.
    As I see it there is a marked difference between the two, at first sight, and this percieved difference persists as you use both the products.
    Facebook is like the notebook you carry to your college….and LinkedIn is like the Official file !

  14. I’m a huge proponent of networking, however like to have my fun and personal life private. This is where I’m divided on how to set up my Facebook profile. As of now, it is simple with no piture or content other than the basics, and the connections I have out there are varied.

    I’m an effective and respected professional in my thirties, but not married with children. I have varied tastes in music, movies, fun and friendships that I want to express in my Facebook profile, yet don’t wish to be negatively judged by those I may want to work with but not necessarily hang out with.

    I adore my friends and connections who are pierced and tatooed techno djs – who by day work as programmers, graphic artists or advertising art directors. In an ideal world, all would be evaluated by their professional value and personal ‘tastes’ considered personal, but we still might have a ways to go before this is the case.

  15. Nice reading about your experience Bryan, I think LinkedIn is more professional, and facebook is more like a place to chill out for youngters…

  16. LinkedIn is more like a specific site dedicated to business people and they will surely get the right information out there.As for facebook it’s meant for everybody,just imagine it has more than 124millions of people registered to it up-to-date.Its Awesome!!

  17. I think linkedIn has a special purpose to be, but facebook is is just for anyone and anywhere for any age groups. thats the reason its gaining so much popularity.

  18. LinkedIn’s CEO is founder Reid Hoffman. Dan Nye resigned on December 18, 2008 after less than two years at the helm. Hoffman, previously an executive vice president of PayPal, also remains Chairman of the Board.

  19. In fact,there is no absolute winner; both Facebook and LinkedIn excel in different scenarios. It all depends on what you need to do.

  20. I think linkedIn is better for individuals, as a advert for their resume

  21. I see linkedin as more of a business tool and facebook as a ‘personal time’ tool. Linkedin is great for contacted other likeminded professionals.

  22. Linkedin has started to get on my nerves. Lots of people keep contacting me about jobs etc. I think I need to look at the privacy settings! Facebook is ok though.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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