Vincentians and Facebook
Following Vincent's "Little Method" for preaching, the main lines of this article will be "What", "Why" and 'How" (This article will be in a great deal of flux in the next week or so)
What is Facebook
Facebook is commonly described as a social network site Facebook allows users to easily post online profiles (including photos, information about themselves, etc.) and then connect to other users who share the same interests, experiences, etc.
There are different types of networks, both social and professional. Facebook is a social network. Linkedin is a professional one. MySpace tends to be more for teenagers. Each has it own culture. Linkedin is more of a chamber of commerce atmosphere. It's more professional. Facebook is business after hours." MySpace has a more free-flowing teenage feel.
In Facebooks' own words...
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.
Anyone can join Facebook
All that's needed to join Facebook is a valid email address. To connect with coworkers or classmates, use your school or work email address to register. Once you register, join a regional network to connect with the people in your area.
Discover the people around you
Facebook is made up of many networks, each based around a company, region, or school. Join the networks that reflect your real-life communities to learn more about the people who work, live, or study around you.
Do more Facebook's Platform enables anyone, anywhere, to build complete applications that you can choose to use. The possibilities are endless. Define your experience on Facebook by choosing applications that are useful and relevant to your world.
Keep it private
At Facebook, we believe that people should have control over how they share their information and who can see it. People can only see the profiles of confirmed friends and the people in their networks. You can use our privacy settings at any time to control who can see what on Facebook.
Begun in 2004, it is the top global site as of Aug. 12 2008. Of Facebook's 132 million users, nearly 63% are outside North America. The site, which had been translated into 20 languages including French, Spanish, and Mandarin, has recently added 69 more.
One reason why it's so popular is because it's features are very easy to use. Adding "friends", updating your "profile", changing your "status" message ? whatever you do takes just minutes. You can write on each others "walls" (bulletin boards or refrigerator doors for an older generation), send virtual gifts, announce to events and keep track of who is coming or might come and simply "poke" someone (tap them on the shoulder virtually).
Its key components are:
- Profile page - user posts whatever personal information he or she wishes to share and controls who can view this material
- Friends link - a list of people, most times with photos of people who are "friends"
- Inbox - an internal email facility offering a good measure of control over what can be seen by others
Beyond this there are many "applications" or ad-ons that tailor one's page with many useful functions. See Features below.
- News Feed highlights information that includes profile changes, upcoming events, and birthdays, among other updates. News Feed also shows conversations taking place between the walls of a user's friends.
- Wall is a space on each user's profile page that allows friends to post messages for the user to see while displaying the time and date the message was written. One user's wall is visible to anyone with the ability to see their full profile, and different users' wall posts show up in an individual's News Feed. Many users use their friends' walls for leaving short, temporal notes. More private discourse is saved for Messages, which are sent to a person's Inbox, and are visible only to the sender and recipient(s) of the Message which functions much like email.
- Photos is one of the most popular applications on Facebook where users can upload albums of photos, tag friends, and comment on photos. According to Facebook, there are 1.7 billion user photos,
- Gifts are small icons of novelty items which friends can send to each other. Gifts given to a user appear on the recipient's wall with the giver's message, unless the giver decided to give the gift privately
- Marketplace allows users to post free classified ads within the following categories: For Sale, Housing, Jobs, and Other. Ads can be posted in either available or wanted format.
- Pokes are a way to interact with your friends on Facebook as a way of saying hello or to attract the attention of the other user
- Status allows users to inform their friends and the Facebook community of their current whereabouts and actions.
- Events are a way for members to let friends know about upcoming events in their community and to organize social gatherings.
- Networks and groups allows users to join different networks and groups according to common interestn.
- Video allows users to add their videos with the service by uploading video, adding video through Facebook Mobile, and even use a webcam recording feature.
- Chat makes it possible to chat with Facebook friends on a one-to-one basis.
- Causes allows and Facebook user to create a cause, recruit their friends into that cause, keep everybody in the cause up-to-speed on issues and media related to the cause, and, most importantly, raise money directly through the cause for any U.S. registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit or Canadian registered charity.
This last item is obviously of great interest for members of the Vincentian family. See section on Vincentian Family Use of Facebook.
Facebook is built around groups and made up of many networks, each based around a company, region, school or other interest group.
Why use Facebook
The numbers as of January 2008 tell the story!
- More than 60 million active users
- An average of 250,000 new registrations per day since Jan. 2007
- An average of 3% weekly growth since Jan. 2007
- Active users doubling every 6 months
- Over 55,000 regional, work-related, collegiate, and high school networks
- More than half of Facebook users are outside of college
- The fastest growing demographic is those 25 years old and older
- Maintain 85 percent market share of 4-year U.S. universities
Vincentian Family use of Facebook
Among the early adopters (as of August, 2008)
- Congregation of the Mission
- Louis Arceneaux
- John Freund -- Facebook him!
- Dennis Holtschneider
- Dandy Labitag
- David Nations
- Aidan Rooney
- Daughters of Charity
- Marguerite Broderick
- Anne Higgins
- Beth Kubera
- Mary Catherine Wareheim
- Ladies of Charity
- Society of St. Vincent dePaul
- Sisters of Charity
- other Vincentian Family Members
- Thomas Zielinski (Toma') -- Facebook him!
- Amate House - with more than 600 friends at the end of August 2008
Samples of grops posting photos...
- Vincentian Family at World Youth Day 2008
- Vinnies SSVP IYG
- Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
Vincentian Family Causes
- VSO - Vincentian Solidarity Office
- Vincent's CIrcle
- Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
- The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia (Vinnies)
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Atlanta
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Dallas
- St. Vincent de Paul - Madison
Other non-profit Causes on Facebook
- U.S. Nonprofits
- American Heart Association, Inc.
- Teach for America, Inc.
- Heritage Foundation
- ONE Campaign
- SAVE DARFUR COALITION
- Greenpeace Fund, Inc.
- Global Justice
- Humane Society of The United States
- Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America
- Canadian Charities
- Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)
- MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY CANADA/DYSTROPHIE MUSCULAIRE CANADA
- THE SALVATION ARMY TERRITORIAL HEADQUARTERS
- CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY NATIONAL OFFICE
- Canadian Federation of Humane Societies / La Fédération des sociétés canadiennes d'assistance aux animaux
- HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CANADA
- WORLD LITERACY OF CANADA
- THE CHILDHOOD CANCER FOUNDATION CANDLELIGHTERS CANADA
- UrbanPromise Toronto
- ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS (CANADA) ORGANIZATION-INGENIEURS SANS FRONTIERES
Vincentian Family Groups
- Vincentian Systemic Change
- FAMVIN 2008
- World Youth Day - Vincentians EastUSA
- famvinFB -- tracking Jesus, talking about Vincent and more . . .
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul USA
- Vinnies SSVP IYG
- Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
- Daughters International Projects Services http://www.daughtersips.org
How to use Facebook
[http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/internet/archives/page9141.cfm TechSoup's Guide to Facebook for Non-Profits}