Image via WikipediaRecently I quit Facebook. I quit in the sense that I deactivated my account and have not logged into it since. When I made my exodus I cited my reasons for leaving as privacy, lack of use, distrust of the service, etc. All these reasons remain true ...but... I went ahead and quietly logged back into Facebook the other day (gasp). Why did I get pulled back in, was it my need to share earth shattering news with my friends, maybe it was an unyielding and unholy need to play FarmVille? No, sadly it was neither. I've never really found Facebook that engaging. I'm sure some people actually read some of the informative crap that I pipe onto it, but it's hard to tell when they remain uncommented on. Lately I find Google Buzz far more engaging than Facebook and noticed I spend loads more time there than anywhere else (Buzz FTW). As far as 'social gaming' is concerned, those games can go pound sand. I play real games and I am well endowed in the game department, thank you very much (Oh, hey FarmVille, you are really good and all, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Animal Crossing had one of the best gardening games of all time).
No, while I have been away from Facebook I have been enlightened to a new 'discovery', if you will, relating to a little product called the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector (MSC). Anyway MSC lets you connect some various social networks into Outlook, giving you little snippets of social juice from people who you email with. After setting this up in Outlook 2010 at work I noticed something amazing! It was for sure showing me updates from people who are not connected to me on Facebook but are also not protecting their updates. Hah, yes with out 'friending' I now have access to my supervisors updates, many external partners, and lots of employees. My concerns about privacy are now being exploited for my benefit and/or amusement. The only downside to this entire thing is that my Facebook account has to be active... so I guess I will keep it active for at least until people wise up about their privacy settings.