Facebook is more popular than Google. At least it was in the week ending March 13.
From being a platform where people raise virtual animals and open up their lives, Facebook is fast becoming a forum to get personal recommendations.
A handful of my friends have connected their TripAdvisor and Yelp profiles to Facebook making their hotel stays and restaurant reviews available to their network. But most people I know are using their status updates to publish queries, especially when making travel plans.
Going to the Grand Canyon area — any recommendations on where to stay?
Visiting Idaho — what are some cool things to do besides visiting boh-ring lava fields ?
Is in Honolulu — where to get the best mai tais?
Instead of “googling” this information and relying on the collective wisdom of random strangers, these folks are tapping into their network — which, if it consists of friends and family with shared interests, would make it an unbeatable resource.
A goldmine of viable ideas.
The real value lies in getting suggestions from people you know. More important: these are people who know you and your interests.
You could be off to the theater district, eating the best local fare, and hanging out with surfer dudes if you ask the right folks. But be careful before you announce your plans on any social media network — if you really don’t want to reconnect with your former high school sweetheart in person (even though you “friended” her on Facebook because it was oh-so-harmless), make sure she isn’t on the list of people with access to your status updates.
Always follow the mantra: think before you post.
And create lists with variable access.
You could have one called “Close friends” who have access to everything — photos, notes, status updates, your wall. Another one called “Acquaintances” for people who can’t see your bikini shots but can read your status updates. A third called “Colleagues,” who have access to your wall but nothing else. And so on.
There are ways to tap into the potential of social networking while still maintaining your privacy. Use it wisely.
How do you use Facebook? Do you see it becoming your personal recommendation engine?