Thursday, January 15, 2009

Facebook, Skype ... what's all that?

My spouse and I are going to show some friends Facebook, Skype, and some other social networking tools this weekend. Thought you might like to know a bit about what we're going to talk about.

What is Facebook?  It's a Social Networking tool.  Check out this great explanation of social networking by Common Craft:

(or read the transcript).

Facebook is a way to stay connected to friends, family, and colleagues across time & space ... and it's fun!  I'm "friends" with old friends from grammar school days, college, graduate school, work lives 2-5, my family, my spouse's family, and many more times & places in my life.  
If you Facebook, though, you should do so responsibly, by spending some time with their privacy settings.

On to another social networking tool called Skype is kind of like the telephone idea presented by the Jetsons way back when. George Jetson could be in the kitchen talking on the "phone" to Jane (his wife) -- and you could see and hear Jane on a big screen.  It's great fun, and it's free to make computer-to-computer calls via Skype.  All you need is a good network connection, and a computer with video and audio.  We "Skyped" some family members in Ireland over the holidays, and it was fun to see them as well as hear them.