Who Needs E-Mail When There’s Facebook?

I’m noticing a curious trend lately. Instead of sending me e-mail, friends and family are sending me messages through Facebook.

My niece (age 17) and nephew (age 20) ignore my e-mails. But when I send either of them a message via Facebook, I’m likely to get a message back. When Facebook sends an automated messages about what I’m doing or posting, I might get a hello or an update. My older sister says she gets the same kind of treatment — that she needs to contact her kids through Facebook.

A friend who lives in Philaldelphia wrote on my Facebook wall to let me know he and his family were coming to the DC area and ask if we were interested in going to the Baltimore Aquarium.

After our trip to Costa Rica, I posted a few photos to Facebook and sent messages to friends. I’ve even had long lost high school friends send me messages via Facebook even though my e-mail is part of my Facebook profile. Finally, a friend is throwing a party next week and she sent an invite via Facebook.

It seems I’m not the only person to notice this phenomenon. Steve Tibbett talks about how conversations in Facebook are more meaningful because they are in context (of your interests, photos, activities) and they are not subject to spam filtering. Yes, Facebook sends you an e-mail when you’ve received a message, but if that e-mail gets lost in cyberspace, it still lives in Facebook and will be waiting for you when you next login.

It’s been fun to keep up with friends, read about their activities, and see photos where they’ve been tagged. I even love the little Facebook apps that let me announce how green I am, send karma points to friends, show the world where I’ve lived and visited, and send cute animal postcards. No, I don’t have a gajillion people in my network, just people I know and have some type of relationship with.

Don’t get me wrong.  E-mail continues to be a killer app for me. I get hundreds of e-mails a day on my matrixgroup.net e-mail — from clients, staff, family and friends.  But a great many of my family and friends are on Facebook, so it just makes sense for me to be there, as well.

3 thoughts on “Who Needs E-Mail When There’s Facebook?

  1. I know what you mean. I long resisted setting up a FB page because I knew I would get sucked in to its many attractive features. I even communicate with some of my coworkers more regularly on FB than via company e-mail.

  2. I just came across the AIM developer Network website today. In their gallery, they have many APIs and intergration options for AIM with Facebook and many other web-based applications. You may want to share it with your developers.

    http://dev.aol.com/

    – Josh

  3. Love the FB, although at the moment, it seems that the peasants are revolting against the new FB design. Shoud be interesting to see if the many complaints have any wffect on their decision.
    Like your blog.
    DD

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