Facebook: Hiding in Plain Site

I’ve now “hidden” three different people on Facebook. (Hiding a face seems to defeat the purpose, huh?) I found this feature by accident, but it’s a great device because it enables me to shut down people posting like those fake chattering teeth that sit on a table in novelty stores.

I’ve lost total interest in linkedin (though I now have 67 billion connections, or whatever), and Facebook seems like a coffee shop I might spend five minutes in once a day (make the latté to go, please). It’s effective for quickly staying in touch with some friends and colleagues, and it can be pretty funny at times. But you have to be very careful with your basic sarcasm (someone commented that they were running an effective listening program, so I responded with “What?”), though that isn’t as bad as the sheer volume of others’ inanity.

Apparently, some people continually post their twittering, links, notes, pre-cognitive mood swings, and involuntary bodily sounds, all automatically. One guy just appeared 12 consecutive times over a brief time frame, narrating tiny bits of something he’s involved in as a constant stream of consciousness—or unconsciousness. (It was either “hide” him or hide from him.)

When my son said this was a huge “time dump,” he wasn’t just kidding. How much time is this sucking out of people’s lives?

I’ll continue to hang around, though I’m growing bored. However, I do, apparently, now have 54 friends, and I plan to ask them all for money, or threaten to post something every nine minutes.

Who knows? Maybe they haven’t yet found the “hide” feature.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

18 thoughts on “Facebook: Hiding in Plain Site

  1. Alan,

    I find facebook a great tool for social and friendly interactions.
    I feel you would enjoy twitter for the same reasons you enjoy facebook (http://twitter.com/TeamBuildingNY)

    Linked In, i am slowly turning my virtual back to that also.

    WHat all of these social sites are is for a mere utility. Another tool or Golf Club in our bags. WHen I am on these sites connections and friendships are formed.
    Additionally the ability to increase my knowledge from hearing various viewpoints that I would never had heard within my area.

  2. I see business potential in FB, seems like it is more of a social outlet. Try ning.com which allows/already has custom social networks. Everything from Cello players to small business.

  3. But I don’t want a social outlet. My point is that these platforms are not wise time investments IF the buyers for corporate consulting service don’t use them for decisions, which they don’t. My market is not composed of cello players.

  4. I am primarily in a sales support role (technical background with the ability to explain technology in business terms) with some consulting within the sales support role and direct consulting with end customers.
    I use linked-in as a way to keep track of old work colleagues as people move around so frequently, and have not found it to be that useful for business networking or driving business.
    I look at facebook as a non business tool, used to keep up with lives of family and close friends, (but not to replace actually spending time with them). It has never struck me as being the right type of tool for business as it is too informal and has too many frivolous aspects to be taken seriously.

    Linked-In takes up about 1 hour of my time each month, and facebook takes up about 2 hours a month, and neither are viewed as part of marketing or sales strategy.

    Now if people want to spend time playing mob wars, poking people or playing poker for pretend money then I hope they have fun, but I also hope they are not wondering why people are not beating a path to their door for their services.


    Kelly Eric Frigstad

  5. Social networking is the future don’t you know… get with the times, man!

    Seriously, I’m supposed to be in the core demographic for these things (mid-20s, tech obsessed, business owner) and I find them all to be a colossal waste of time for business.

    I suspect that many others have found this too, but the media hype would have you believe that we’re behind the times if we spend our time actually working and building relationships instead collecting Facebook friends/twittering our every action.

  6. You raise an excellent point of mass discrimination in the US: You need to be “labeled” as part of Gen X or boomer, or whatever. We’re people, not items in a drawer.

    Beware of those why hype for their own purposes. Suddenly, on Facebook, people are promoting books all over the place of their “friends,” and the books are just, to put it kindly, not good.

    So, you and I are out of the loop!

  7. Alan, (& Others)

    I recently deleted my Facebook account.

    While it was great for catching up with old mates I found it absolutely useless for any form of B2B marketing or sales whatsoever.

    (But I’m definitely not the expert on Facebook)

    I wrote to you a week ago telling you that I had won 6 figures in revenue from LinkedIn about a week ago.

    That is now in the 7 figures.

    (I run a team of 14 consultants in the engineering field, so no surprise that I need the big contracts)

    How did I do that?

    Taking your advice actually. I realized that this was the only social media site I could use to connect and contact economic buyers.

    (People who can sign off on $600,000 without blinking)

    And I did. Managing Directors, Vice Presidents, Directors and so on.

    Here are some other titles of people presently on LinkedIn.

    Group Vice President and General Manager JD Edwards Enterprise One at Oracle Corp
    SVP Bank of America eCommerce

    CEO, President and Board Member at Alpha Sintered Metals, Inc.

    VP Synthetics at Exxon Mobil Corp

    Vice-President at Exxon Mobil Russia

    Senior Vice President at Saudi Chevron Phillips Co

    CEO BHPBilliton-Mitsubishi Alliance

    President and CEO at Rio Tinto Minerals

    President & CEO at AIG Rail Services

    VP Human Resources at Ford Motor

    Vice President Francisco Partners (Venture Capital)

    Not the sort of people you will ever find on Twitter, and probably not on Facebook. (Or at least I couldn’t work out if they were or not)

    But all economic decision makers. People I would have to go through a few difficult channels to reach if I weren’t connected to them on LinkedIn in some fashion.

    Three rules of LinkedIn (Aside from the points on reducing the “noise” levels there)

    1. It isn’t about B2C. Selling books, conferences, seminars and so on is better done elsewhere I find.

    2. It isn’t a replacement for your present marketing tactics, more a complimentary tool for networking and meeting economic decision makers.

    3. It’s like a 24/7 trade show that everyone came to and stayed.

    I sincerely think you are missing the boat here, and would advise others in the B2B world not to treat LinkedIn like a Facebook or Twitter type application.


  8. Hi Alan, I’m probably the guy you hid who had 12 posts in a row. I was emcee for my Rotary District Conference and one of my colleagues wanted to use my Twitter account to highlight the event since I have several local journalists and media publications following me. I said okay and gave her my info. I never dreamed she would have done that many. I have them automatically link to Facebook. I was actually aghast when I opened it the next morning and saw all the posts. Geez! Lesson learned. I haven’t done anything since except post photos – trying to get my average back down after that. Maybe you can give me another chance!


  9. Fair enough, you’ll have to tell me how to “unhide” you. This is the danger of linking every shrug and groan to every platform, and letting others then have access to it. While a dozen people may have been rapt by the frequent reports, it clogs up communication on thousands of others. And I found the content of the posts uninformative for even those who may be interested.

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