Sunday, October 3, 2010

Facebook Stalking 101

We all have those friends on Facebook who are guaranteed to make our News Feeds on a daily basis. Well, meet “Bob.”

Bob is 24 years old, and currently an employee at Lotame, an online marketing technology company in New York. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. This past summer I interned at Lotame, and worked directly under him.

Bob’s Facebook is primarily cluttered with his daily tweets. Connecting his twitter and Facebook accounts, Bob can effectively reach users of Facebook who do not have a Twitter account, such as myself. In addition to his tweets, Bob uses Facebook to share news stories and articles he finds interesting. He usually shares at least one article daily, whether it is about the digital media industry or other interesting current event stories. In the past week, Bob has written 5 Facebook Notes (an application that allows users to share written entries with their friends.) Bob uses this feature to write what’s on his mind, quotes he likes and new technology on the market that he wants to share. Bob also posts about updates he makes on his own blog, while providing the link to his blog posts. On a daily basis Bob shares his favorite music from HypeMachine, a music blog aggregator that cumulates the best songs shared on blogs all over the web.

Now I’m not going to lie… when I want to get caught up on the digital media industry, or read about a cool new story, or update my iTunes with the latest, and greatest music… I can always count on finding it on Bob’s Facebook.

Most of Bob’s wall posts are posts he created. Therefore, most of his Facebook usage does not share personal information about his life or his friends. However, there are a few instances where his private life shines through his life at work. For example, in the past week Bob’s old friend reached out to him, and they made plans through a wall post for the following week. Additionally, Bob’s pictures are personal. He is tagged in nearly 400 pictures, including pictures of him and his girlfriend, his family and pictures from recent trips he has taken. And, Bob also connects his Four Square with his Facebook, letting his friends know his exact locations… this is as personal as it gets.

Bob’s Facebook usage is entirely different than the way I, and many of my friends, utilize this social network. Personally, I use this medium to share photos, view other people’s photos, and casually keep in touch with my friends. Most of the times Facebook is merely my outlet for when I’m bored. As Bob uses Facebook primarily for work and sharing content, it is evident that Facebook has millions of users with millions of motives.

What’s your motive?

1 comment:

  1. It certainly is true that everyone has a different motive on Facebook. Mine if much similar to Jaclyns, but when I think about the wide array of people on Facebook, I realize that not everyone uses it to chat with their friends, update themselves on their friends lives by stalking their Facebook photos, and post funny comments and inside jokes to others' pages— most college students DO use Facebook as a tool to conquer boredom. In light of the uses and gratifications theory, most people probably go to Facebook to fulfill their interpersonal communication needs. Although, I doubt this is why my dad has Facebook, and this makes me realize how many marketers there are on Facebook as well. I probably get about 50 messages a day inviting me to events and inviting me to join groups. Seems like more than half the people on Facebook are seeking to create "cyber communities" and not just chit-chat with their friends and post photos of their life. With all of Facebook's options, people can use it for so many things. You can be a blogger, a promoter, a marketer, an advertiser, an employee doing a background search, a swinger looking for a relationship, and of course, a college student. Obviously Facebook has become such a successful site because it has the potential to reach and accommodate everyone. Way to go Mark Zuckerberg!