I have a confession to make to people who count me as a “friend” on Facebook: I don’t “do” Facebook. Yes, you do see a lot of status updates from me on FB, but I don’t post them there directly. Truth is, I’m pathetically Twitter-obsessed, and use a pair of Facebook apps to funnel my Twitter posts (“Tweets”) and blog entries directly to FB. So while I do have a Facebook account, I never spend time surfing around on it, which means I may not see your updates unless you’re also on Twitter. Is that rude or uncongenial? It’s not that I’m trying to avoid you, but that I prefer to avoid the high noise-to-signal ratio on FB (I find Twitter much more focused).
In addition – and this may sound funny coming from a tech nerd like me – I find Facebook completely confusing. Am I posting to your wall or my wall? Wall-to-wall? Is that same as posting to your inbox? Is this a private message? I’m never quite clear whether what I’m writing on FB is going to be publicly visible or not. When installing a FB app, I’m never quite clear how much info I’m giving away, how much tracking I’m allowing. I recently replied to a group discussion on FB and ended up with a flood of content-free noise in my email inbox for the next two weeks. Every person replying on the thread generated an email to me, and there was no apparent way to unsubscribe from the thread.
Basically, Facebook seems like one big, nasty, unfocused clusterbomb to me. While Twitter has its own share of noise (depending on whom you follow), I find it much easier to dial in to my own work and conversation patterns, easier to distinguish public from private on, easier to find focused information, and just more pleasant to work with in general. See Guy Kawasaki on the Power of Twitter and Tim O’Reilly’s Why I Love Twitter.
If a bunch of you tell me that it’s rude of me to auto-post to Facebook without actually participating in it, I’ll stop. Just let me know.