Computing Tips: Business Tips for Late Facebook Arrivals

Choose your friends and photos carefully on social-networking sites, but by all means get on Facebook

We resisted for as long as we could. We, of course, being those late adopters to social networking who wondered why there was so much fuss over Facebook.

Once on Facebook, we liked it. Now there’s no turning back. Like moving on from vinyl to eight-tracks to cassettes to CDs , we have moved on from address books to the Rolodex to spreadsheets to Facebook.

But along the way, there are plenty of lessons, especially for those of us who use Facebook for business as well as fun. Let me tell you what I, as a baby boomer and venture capitalist, am learning on Facebook:

You cannot have too many Facebook friends. The more people I know, the more business I’m exposed to.

Not all Facebook friends are equal. On one end are those people with whom you work or vacation. On the other end are those you may see at an event without saying a word. Know who is who.

Pick your friends carefully. Some who like to draw sharp lines between work and play use LinkedIn for work and Facebook for play. Regardless, always think ahead before friending people.

About that Facebook photo. Will people think I’m hiding if I don’t put my own photo on there? Yes. Should I change the photo now and then? Yes. Just put something up there, because it’s in really bad form to leave a silhouette where your photo should be.

Your Rolodex is alive and following you. With Facebook I did in a matter of seconds what traditional telecommunications (phone) and e-mail couldn’t accomplish in days.

Status matters. Achieve authenticity without being self-aggrandizing. Balance honest updates without revealing too much. If you announce you are leaving for the weekend, will someone break into your house? It’s also important to balance business info with personal info.

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