UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Death Of Email Debate Continues in Facebook

Posted by Brian Kelly on 28 May 2007

Facebook discussion on email debateOn Friday I received several email invitations from people wishing to add me to their list of Facebook contacts. It struck me that this must be due to someone promoting the benefits of Facebook within the IT Services and Web research communities (these being the sectors from which I received the email invitations).

Shortly after accepting the invitations I received further email alerts informing me that messages had been posted to my Facebook account. The messages I discovered, were made in response to a post in this UK Web Focus blog, which can be viewed from within the Facebook environment – and, as I discovered, responses can be made in Facebook, although they will not be visible on the main UK Web Focus blog site.

So there is a separate chain of discussion taking place within Facebook (which includes a number of my typos, I’ve just discovered, which I can’t edit).

It could be argued that this is fragmenting the discussion – but, to be honest, I often find that I would welcome fragmentation of discussions in emailing lists.

So here we have the potential of a discussion from the perspectives of IT Services managers (Dave Surtees and Chris Sexton work in IT Service departments in the University of York and Sheffield respectively). And their anecdotes are in alignment with the comments made by ajcann, Alison Wildish and James Brown.

And I have discovered the advantages of syndicating the UK Web Focus blog to other places where there are likely to be lots of users. Has anyone else added their blog to Facebook – where it has the potential of being viewed by 25 million users (according to Wikipedia)?

Technorati Tags: Facebook

10 Responses to “Death Of Email Debate Continues in Facebook”

  1. AJ Cann said

    “Has anyone else added their blog to Facebook”


    And I frequently use the Share On Facebook bookmarklet too to post other items of interest:

  2. Something is going on with Facebook. I hadn’t considered it until last week, when I got two requests to join. So I did, found a few other people I knew and linked up, and sent join requests to a few other people.

    It’s now a few days later and to my great surprise have nearly 50(!) Facebook “friends” from past and present. Noticed that many of those had also very recently (in the last week or so) accumulated a set of friends, indicating some phenomenum going on?

    Baffled by the quickness of all this, especially as Facebook has been around for a long time.

  3. Wendell said

    I tried adding my Google Blogger blog via the “import from an external blog” feature, but found it wasn’t updating. Too, it felt weird to mix my work-related musing with “social networking”. I was always worried about crossing some kind of line of appropriate posting behaviour.

  4. I spotted this post on facebook first. I’ve added my blog to facebook ( ). The blog posts are imported to Notes and sometimes there are comments in both places. I just see it as another channel.

    Facebook offers an opportunity for serendipitous discovery of what someone is blogging. At least that’s how it works for me. I keep up with 3 or 4 friend’s blogs via Notes on Facebook that I haven’t subscribed to in my RSS reader. I scan Notes and Posts every couple of days and spot stuff of interest every time.

    I like it, for now, because it’s manageable. If all of my network added their blog feeds it wouldn’t be manageable or useful.

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  6. We’ve been practising with Jabber within our little JISC Emerge team although I’m concerned that my colleagues now have this and KoolIM (for monitoring student messaging) to keep open and remember how to use effectively. Is anyone out there willing to be our Jabber buddy to help us improve?? I can offer a University T-shirt [Smile]

    Paul Mayes



  7. Gosh. 30 minutes is a long time in cyberspace. I’ve just been offered buddying by a US University library that uses Jabber with staff and customers !! Should have said in previous message that we need to keep looking at Kool IM as well as Jabber because most of our outreach students use that as their default and we like to see what they see

  8. Paul, KoolIM lets you log into a generic Jabber server so what’s the problem?

    I suppose if a Uni offered IM accounts (say Jabber) based on the Uni username/password combo, this would mean students entering it into third-party websites (and identifying it as such). Yikes!

  9. Phil
    I won’t bore people here anymore with my thoughts but maybe I could e-mail you sometime. Our problems are partly the possible Yikes scenario you described as well as our thing about using the same interface as your user when they text you or something to describe some issue or other. Lastly the test Jabber server we have to use has authentification issues with KoolIM [sad face]

  10. Mike said

    I’m not convinced about the “email is dead” argument. Maybe it’s wishful thinking…

    Where this stuff really comes to a life of its own is when you can get information via whichever channel you’re currently closest to.

    A good example is IMified [] which interfaces with a number of web applications like Basecamp and Remember the Milk. It’s a very elegant solution. I’ve seen a number of IM apps built like this which do things like return google search results or allow you to upload other information to a web server but without actually having to use a browser.

    As Adobe Flex – and Windows Presentation Foundation – gain momentum I think we’ll see more and more apps which use any number of channels: web/IM/email/SMS/etc. I reckon it’ll become less and less important which channel is which…

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