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I'm almost convinced Facebook is contributing to a small, but noticeable drop in blog comment and traffic. That might be all that bad a thing and quite possibly facebook is a better solution than blogging for some people. In some ways Facebook reminds me of what the promise was back in the days of *just* email and home pages.

That said, I'm not convinced it is *that* great. It's nice to catch up with some lost aquaintances and play with the Web 2.0 toys. It's also much better (at the moment) than MySpace (surely broken), and LinkedIn (too rigid). But, it's another thing to add to the action lists and after an initial burst of fun, it seems to be offering little more than "another way" to do things I was already doing.

Russell Davis

Amen to that! I also have been resisting. I must admit over the last few days I have been thinking whether it is worth it, but then I see sense and realise I have enough information and things to manage in my life already without something else. As you say, things may change - it may become the Amazon of online networking but I see it passing just like the wave seems to have moved on from MySpace. It would make sense to have one tool that the majority of people used but I think we are some way off from that, the technology is moving so quickly that something 'better' keeps appearing around the corner that attracts peoples attention.


well said jonny, although i did sign up for facebook i have never revisited, i find flickr an interesting place to visit, but then again we might eat our words one day.

Pete Lev

Totally agree, as far as Facebook goes:just say no!
All those random people wanting to be your "friend", and often just so they can have more people on thier list than anybody else. I too am still resisting it!

Tom Allen

Facebook is a mixed blessing (IMHO) and think you have made a wise decision. I went on and have since withdrawn - I received a huge increase in spam and unwanted and unwarranted email (which has since stopped)- the worst thing is that there is no control over who links and decides to be your "friend". With nearly 30 years of ministry behind me I have "moved on" from many situations - but Facebook seemed to give people permission to enter my life again in a very odd way.

Steve Lawson

as a musician, the shift over to facebook from myspace has already started. The other one to get in on at the ground floor is www.reverbnation.com - just about the best set of free resources for a musician on the web - their strap like should be 'imagine if Myspace actually worked?'

So I'm sure we'll see you over at Facebook eventually, if only to hawk your wares. ;o)


andy goodliff

My response to facebook is mixed. I too resisted for a long time, but finally succumbed. It's put me in touch with people who I've not seen in a while - the kind of people who won't blog. I'm quite happy to reject or ignore people who want to be my 'friends' (I think kester brewin's post on facebook and friends a while back was spot on) and blogging remains my main outlet. I think its an easier way to have a conversation, i find email groups can get annoying and easily abused.

Johnny Laird

I've got to go against the grain & say I like it, and have really enjoyed hooking up with people from the past, as well as maintaining a more regular dialog with folks who are REAL friends, but had somehow fallen off my radar.

I've not experienced anyone randomly trying to be my "friend", and if I did, I have the option to ignore them.

It's true, though, that peeps who had been blogging only occasionally, but are also on Facebook have started to become more and more spasmodic in their blog posts.


thomas bushnell, bsg

i remember when i thought about blogging the way you think about facebook.

Stephen Dominy

I registered with Facebook primarily to research the current ratings-topping social networking site. A couple of months further on, and I only visit the site to accept the odd invitation of friendship (and then don't even view the profile of my fresh new e-chum).
I can't really see the point of it, and anything without a point is not likely to last that far into the future...

...which brings me to the real point of this comment: http://www.prayerfeeder.com. Prayerfeeder is a brand-new "prayer-networking" tool - the aim of it is to help people to pray with each other, by sharing personal prayer requests. It fits the "social networking" model in that you have to invite people to pray with you (you can't just view any old persons pious ramblings!)

But it does have a point: encouraging us all to pray with each other. Individuals can use it, homegroups can use it, emerging church communities can use it, work colleagues can use it. Mission partners can share their requests with their supporters back home... and those supporters will view those requests alongside Aunt Dot's prayer for her hip operation and Alf-from-work's stress about his report deadline.

And it's "open" - you can export your friends' prayer requests to your newsreader, personalised homepage (or other snazzy Web 2.0 dooberry) - or simply have them e-mailed to you (or at least you will be able to from next week, I'm still testing the e-mail bit of functionality!!) So you don't even have to visit the prayerfeeder website (http://www.prayerfeeder.com) to view those prayer requests. It's not just "another website" that you'll end up adding to the list and then forget to visit.

So don't "join Prayerfeeder", but do seize the opportunity to easily share prayers with the people that matter in your life - and use Prayerfeeder as a tool to help with this.

Give us a visit - we're still in "beta" at the moment - which means it's being added to every fortnight (at least, that's the aim!) and still at the stage where your feedback can help shape the site to be as useful as possible.


Jonny, facebook is great. But it's a huge waste of time and if you are already fighting for free time I'd give it a wide birth. It's a shame because I would like to send you a Garden or a Fish for your Fishtank and throw a sheep at you...

Daniel Miller

"Daniel Miller is amused at how a certain luddistic trend has appeared on UK EC-type blogs. No time for Facebook but time enough to bitch about it online!"

Daniel Miller

Seen 2 minutes after this: http://www.gapingvoid.com/Moveable_Type/archives/004228.html

Paul Roberts

So far I've resisted joining Facebook too (although unlike you I don't belong to MySpace). However, the temptation to join solely to send you another invite is almost overwhelming.



it's always so sad when the cutting edge radicals of yesterday become the luddites of today... what do you mean I'm fired!


Like blogging, or email, it has the potential to be abused or become compulsive, but it will settle down. When mobiles suddenly exploded circa 1998, I remember people phoning each other across the room, which nobody would do now. Likewise Facebook will find it's groove and we can all stop gushing/fretting about it.
Incidentally, I am on it, and although 90% of the options are a complete waste of time, I've fed my (wordpress) blog in and actually brought it to a new audience, so it's not all bad.

Mike R

I absolutely pissed myself when I saw that this post had received 16 comments.

I remain of the opinion that most blogs are either under-used or used incorrectly, and still keep mine going..

BUT, although I feel for you with the Arsebook/spam argument (I never invite people who I know aren't on it already) I do think that Facebook is the new social network tool that has the potential for a lot of very useful stuff not already covered by blogging or myspace, in that it is powered by permission, and Farcebook itself (at the moment) is almost impossible to spam - and lets be honest, spam is the most annoying thing about having a blog.

Jon Reid

I became active on Facebook, and am still blogging on my blog. I thought there would be more overlap, but to me, they're quite different.

James Kingsley

while it is often promoted as "putting you in touch with old friends" i find facebook's events (in particular) to foster a much more geographically-based readership, which in turn is creating tighter communities in the region i live and the community/ies i invest in.

if you want to make caricatures of them, i'd say where blogs (in general) often focus on thoughts/reviews/questions facebook (in general)is about activity. i like the groundedness in action that facebook fosters and it's easily connected to a more "known" audience than my blog...

just my two cents.


thanks for the comments :-)

it's no big deal at all actually. just can't resist the wind up... and quite enjoying the thought that blogging is luddite.

the irony today is that i met my younger brother at a cousin's wedding. steve is on facebook and he was suggesting (not having read my blog post - he's never engaged with that really) - that the entrepreneur network should be run through facebook!!!! so i replied saying i'd have to adopt a false i.d. after today's blog post!


I got a cell phone because my boss wasn't letting me leave for lunch--she had to know where I was. The cell phone enabled me to have lunch.

I got a personal email so that I could communicate more easily with a deaf friend.

I started blogging because I was moving thousands of miles away from many friends. I knew there was no way I could tell them all about my experience moving to New York in email. And which of those hundreds of people who said "I'd love to hear every single thing you're up to" really meant it. With a blog, it was up to them.

I joined Facebook because of two old-fashioned email distribution lists I "own". The members of the lists wanted to exchange pictures more easily, without filling up inboxes with huge files. So, Facebook was just a means to that end.

I guess my point is that when technology offers a solution to a real problem, it might make sense. But to "join up" just because others are doing so--or in response to a blind invitation....that doesn't make any sense.

Jenny Brown

That reminds me; you missed out on the fb invite to my birthday drinks on Tuesday.
Give me a shout if you're around.


I have a good deal of concerns with the amount of information that could be given on a Facebook account, especially in light of their privacy policies, however I've been pretty well dragged into having to keep an account going primarily as a means of keeping in contact with some people who seem to virtually live on the Facebook system now.

Having said that I'm careful to keep the minimum of information on there, I still primarily use my own blog and Flickr to communicate with people and don't do that much on Facebook - the main additional applications I've got are one that republished my Flickr feed to all my Facebook contacts, and another that automatically links any posts on my blog to my Facebook account. Interestingly, rather than Facebook lowering my traffic, doing that has produced a small increase in traffic from my blog from friends who didn't particularly read my blog until Facebook was telling them every time I posted!

Ben Edson

luddite.. ;-)


it's interesting that the emerging church - so much of which is about diverse expression, uniqueness and contextualisation - can be so bad at recognising that that might extend to things like using facebook... i read your post and thought immediately of the Life of Brian...

Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, you don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for yourselves! You're ALL individuals!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all different!
Man in Crowd: I'm not...
The Crowd: Shhh!


One of the things is that I found is that people who never would look for a blog or a connect via me that way were on Facebook. I found a lot of people from the past which was a lot of fun. The games, quizes, and invasive invites, I can do without but I do enjoy connecting face to face with old friends.


Two quick comments:

1. I have an article dissecting f/b in the November issue of Third Way. Go buy it in a couple of weeks.

2. I started a 'Get Jonny on Facebook' group here:



LOL! Already got 14 members, Kester. I'm impressed. If that doesn't pull Jonny over just out of sheer curiosity, I don't know what will.

Jonny, I think we could coin a new phrase from this post . . . "Facebook Rage" er something like that.

BTW, if this was a ploy to draw some commenters back to your blog from the F/B wagon, it's definitely worked. =)

jon birch

like myspace?.. cool. like facebook?.. cool. like blogging?.. cool.
but before signing up to yet another networking tool ask yourself... 'when was the last time i had a proper chat with my neighbour?'

btw... all blogs, facebook and myspace sites are pig ugly and pretty limited... yup, even mine!


One thing I'm interested in is whether these things will converge at all. I mean, it just takes so damn long: check email, check blog, check other people's blogs, check f/b, check ichat, check text messages... And that's without accepting the constant invites to LinkedIn, Myspace, and posting on other sites I'm involved in. I either need a PA, or a digital scythe.

I did a little post about it on my site, and suggested a (totally fake) new platform called Conch, which has some of the rules of conversation you might expect of a dinner table...



i saw your post on conch...

the issue is exactly as you describe. my issue is not with facebook at all - i'm sure it's great. but i can't add another thing/technolgy to my already unmanageable life! a digital scythe sounds good...


a digital scythe huh ? ....i have the perfect implement....the power button....you press it and it switches things off !! then you can go and chat with your neighbour as jon b suggests ;-)


Preach it Brother Jonny!

Man, I deactivated my Facebook account yesterday - glad to have it gone - total waste of my time!


I like Facebook and I like my little blog. I never set my blog up to come up high in search engines and I enjoy doing it despite not many comments. It is nice though, to get a bit more interaction via Facebook! I am not a techy and I find both easy to use. I only add people I actually know and fidn that the people I stay most in touch with are those that I see regularly anyway - it aids my communication with them. I see the drawbacks but I am using Facebook less now anyway and am, back to regular(ish) posting on the blog!


the fact you have to be 'in the club' in order to be able to even comment on peoples pages puts me right off facespace (don't like blogs that do this either). reminds me a bit of church....


make facebook work for you


we use a facebook group for our youth group at church...most of them use it facebook anyway

its open to them and the friends they invite to talk about anything really.....we try to develop themes based on what we've been talking about in church

its great because it stimulates in a way not always apparent on a sunday....so take harvest....we talked about climate change from one point of view....during the week it went 'hey you said this....but i've just found this article that says this'....and off it goes

in this way its the a great web 2.0 tool...the content in our group is most certainly user generated and taken us to places that perhaps without it we wouldn't have gone

Eric Elnes

Hey Jonny. I feel your pain! I resisted long and hard. Never had a MySpace page. But the other day I was with a gathering of advisors for the Princeton Theological Seminiary Institute for Youth Ministry and they asked each of us to start a Facebook account. They feel from their research it's an important wave to get on. In terms of embracing new technology, PTS typically drags its feet, huffs and puffs, beats its breast, makes painful supplications to God, waits five or ten more years, and then says, "Okay." I figured that if PTS is now hot on Facebook, either it's got to be helpful enough that they've made a big exception to their usual multi-year resistance, or Facebook's time has already come and gone. So I created an account and profile yesterday to find out. And if you ever get on it yourself (and I'm still on it), I'll ask you the proverbial, "Will you be my friend?"

BTW, CrossWalk America's walk across the country to lift a voice for a more inclusive, compassionate face of Christianity and listen to Christians (and non-Christians) at the grassroots that we talked about at the Morph conference was completed last September and a book and film are now out about it (see www.crosswalkamerica.org). Are you up for a CrossWalk UK? :-)


Well that's done it. I've signed up with fb. Apparently I now have NO friends - sounds like a recipe for a quiet but sad life!

bob carlton

the zen master of geekery says it so well:


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