Facebook and BlackBerry: Like Peas and Carrots

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The nano-news seems to be a bit slow this week. So I thought I'd turn my attention to something a bit more contemporary, but still pretty edgy: the marriage of Facebook and the Blackberry.


According to this piece in the Sci-Tech Today, a new - and free - BlackBerry application will allow users to update and read Facebook without using a browser.


In addition to being great news for my business tech-geek friend, Pat - a BlackBerry addict and Facebook fan - this move also indicates that Microsoft's investment in Facebook wasn't as strange as it first seemed. One way or another, technology giants are bent on bending Facebook to the corporate will.


Frankly, I don't understand why. I love the Internet. I love e-mail. Instant message is great - although I seldom turn it on for fear it will steal all my computer time. I even like automated voice mail.


But I do not get Facebook as a business tool. Oh sure, Facebook is great for keeping up with my friends' reading habits or musical tastes without actually talking to them. But even when I've tried to use Facebook for more professional pursuits, it fell flat.


In particular, I don't get "the Wall." How are you supposed to use it? It's not really good at anything: Blogs are better for posting personal updates; e-mail, IM and discussion groups are all better for conversation and comments. To me, the Wall is like a pencil without a lead - pointless.


Then again, I don't own a BlackBerry, and for much the same reason. According to the Yankee Group, 19 percent of adult consumers who use social networks such as Facebook on their PCs also keep in touch through those sites on their mobile devices. Analysts who are paid to know about these things say the new application is a natural way for the sweetheart device of enterprise managers everywhere to move into Web 2.0 functionalities.


If Bill Gates, BlackBerry users and analysts think Facebook can work for business, I'm not about to disagree. And I'm even willing to back that statement up by posting it on my Wall. If only I can remember my Facebook log-in.