Well, for the beginning of 2008, I've shut down my Facebook account. Orginally I got the account to help me manage my personal e-mail contacts, my social network as they say, and I have LinkedIn for my business contacts, hotmail for my instant messaging, and this Blog for posting stuff. Like a lot of folks who are online a lot, I have a couple of e-mail addresses on Gmail and other systems all of which have e-mail adress books and the number of addresses in all the books has reached over 300, so it's becoming unmanageable.
So in the beginning of December, I signed up for Plaxo - the Beta of which calls itself "Your address book for Life" which is what I needed to sync all the addresses from all the accounts, clean up the duplicates and update the addresses I have. Heck it even helped me send out Christmas cards this year, and update addresses from folks I talk to regularly.
Now if you use Plaxo - you're probably saying "Wait a minute - you can bridge your Facebook friends over there, so you don't have to shut down the account" Well, that's true, but I was also starting to get what they call Facebook Fatigue like GigaOm is suffering.
I'm not at the point of Facebook Bankruptcy yet, but I was getting close. And there is a point that I was spending too much time on the facebook apps when I came across this post at Jason Calicanus's site - about the Facebook environment:
I can't help but wonder: are we creating a social system to communicate with each other at a distance because the reality of creating and maintaining that social networking face-to-face is, well, scary? Do we not want to pick up the phone and tell five friends we want them to come over for dinner and a movie, so we instead throw food at them and tell them to watch something we previously watched and liked? Intimacy, deep friendships, and love can be scary, clicking your mouse is not...
So it has become a New years resolution of mine to work the social network more face-to-face and with less mouse clicking. And to do that - I needed to shut the Facebook account down.
Which I did the last week of December. Then I found out about Facebook groups I wanted to join, so I restarted my account again, and guess what? I got Spammed big time - by Facebook itelf and some "Friends" telling me my account had been compromised to send out Spam. The way they chose to tell me was by posting on my Superwall for all to see. As well, I was getting dozens of requests to install "applications" on my facebook to play games, see if I'm hot or not, et al. As much as I like to play poker, chess, backgammon, etc. - I don't like doing it sitting in front of my computer.
So the heck with it, I haven't got time to mess about with this nonsense, so I changed the password - let it run for a day or so to make sure whoever was screwing with the account couldn't get in - then shut it down. And it will stay shut down.
Now the main contact is going to be Plaxo Pulse - on a conditional basis. If they start decideing to stray from the address book syncing and move more into applications and get messy like Facebook did then I'll be gone from there as well.
However, this does mean that the video posts and joke e-mails I get are going to be here instead of on the Superwall, which is a better forum for them anyway.