Monday, February 9, 2009

Why 25 Things

If I had a nickel for every chain letter I hadn't responded to or passed on, I'd be better able to handle this recession. Still, I can't resist Facebook 25 Things. I read them, and I've even written one. Despite some sarcastic press coverage (more sarcasm), 25 things is indicative of how we've reconnected with one another.

Suddenly, I have connectivity with friends from high school, old companies, college, and random events. On the one hand, I don't have time to renew all those old friendships on a one-on-one basis. There are a few gems there, for sure, but actually I don't want to write a personal note to everyone who links, fbs, ff, tweets, or plaxes me. And although my LinkedIn and FB profiles provide some information about me, it's somewhat limited. 25 things provides an opportunity for me to say a few things which give some insight on where I am in life and what my personality is like.

Although the objective is differerent, in some ways it's correlary to the LinkedIn recommendations. Rather than the dry description, you get a bit of color by reading what people say about one another. In LinkedIn, the purpose is to know whether you want to do business with someone. In FB the purpose is to know whether you want to really spend the time to go further in the friendship.

I'm curious to see how this will affect things like high school reunions or first business meetings. Before showing up, you can go through someone's profile online, and start from a different point in the conversation. At my last HS reunion, I literally had no recollection of some people who I'd been friends with (maybe that should be one of my 25 things). This time, I"ll know everyone! Already I do show up in business meetings knowing more about my colleagues than ever before. Too bad most people keep their FB profiles hidden from the general public. I guess they still believe in privacy.

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