Bill Gates, after paying $240 million for a 1.6% interest in Facebook, has decided to stop using the website for his own profile: Bill Gates is off his Facebook. Thomas Wailgum, the Editor of CIO, has adopted the same philosophy: Bill Gates and I Both Say No to Facebook.
Unless you are as famous as Bill Gates, then his alleged abandonment of Facebook should not be a reason for you think less of it. According to the story, Mr. Gates was getting 8,000 friend requests a day. By comparison, my favorite voice on NPR, Carl Kasell has less than 4,000 friends. Bill Gates is getting twice that number each day.
Unless you are a famous celebrity, Facebook is a great way to stay connected with people you know. This power is especially amplified by Facebook’s ability to pull information from other sources. For example, the blog posts from this blog, the posts from my Real Estate Space blawg and my shared items from Google Reader all get pushed into my Facebook profile (and then to my friends) without me having to go into Facebook. My status updates largely come from my Twitter updates.
The Facebook platform is a great model for knowledge management, especially for expertise location. It is pulling information from various sources and compiling it in one place. You get a pretty full picture of my background and expertise from my Facebook profile. I find this to be a great model for designing an internal expertise system on our intranet.