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Birthdays, Blogs, and Twitter

Solson Today is my son's 31st birthday. As a father, I'm proud of him. He lives in Costa Rica, so we don't see each other very often. Over the weekend he asked me to be his friend on Facebook. Like his sister a few weeks ago, I didn't exactly "ignore" or reject the offer, but I gave him the chance to reconsider and opt-out. Like his sister, he agreed.

Why would I NOT want my children as "friends" on Facebook? Most parents would KILL to have the insights that being a "friend" can give about their kids. It wasn't that I didn't want and wouldn't love the chance to be their "friend," it was simply that Facebook, for me (and, I suspect, for many who are reading this post) isn't really a social tool. It's a business tool. So why should that matter?

I have a tendency to tweet things every so often, usually about great hospitality-related articles that would be of interest to my Twitter followers in the lodging industry. Those show up on Facebook. And I usually comment on hospitality related subjects on Facebook, though not as much as I might or should. Blog posts like this on The Innkeeper's Resource sometimes show up on my pages, too. It's coming along, little by little, as I develop more of a network with innkeepers and become a fan of more inns. The thing is, when I look at my kids' Facebook pages, they really do carry on conversations with friends about cultural things, personal things, politics, and humor. My conversations, such as they are, are business related. And that kind of throws cold water on their youthful musings.

Maybe I should get a separate "personal" Facebook page. Don't get me wrong, I've had some old friends from my past find me on Facebook. And it's a treat to reconnect. But Facebook for me is a networking tool. And, as I get the hang of it and others in the innkeeping industry get the hang of it, it's bringing some of us together. That's fun. I think it will be to our mutual benefit. But somehow, Dad's business just seems out of place on a 30-something's page.

Am I wrong? Have any of you experienced a similar dilemma? Let's hear about it!


3 Responses to “Birthdays, Blogs, and Twitter”

  1. Henri Deschamps says:

    I had the same issue, and all people who have small buisnesses and work probably will, you have business friends and personal friends, both are important, and sometimes someone is both.
    But I ditched my previous personal page, setup a new personal one, and started a new FaceBook profile for business friends. A then invited people to join the new appropriate ones depending on their interest. That way if someone is both they are on both, if they are one or the other they are one or the other.
    I also tried to do a FaceBook group, but FaceBook Groups are very clunky, I eventually made FaceBook Fan Pages (way more user friendly) for Inn, One For Restaurant, One For Weddings, One For Our Specialty Food Store, One For our little village, one on Farmers Markets, and in about 3 weeks I got 380 business friends, about half of which are wedding photographers, and about 1500 fans the other pages.
    I think in all cases it is know who your friends are, what interest them, and focus on that. I tend to promote our friends rather than ourselves on our pages based on the “Karma School Of Business” so far so good.
    I did not invent this, I just noticed that many of the small business folks who seem to have been on FaceBook for a while, seemed to be doing that. Of course many still update their friends and fans on what their pet did a few moments ago, but I am not sure that is what I prefer. I see it above all as a great learning tool where you can “bird of a feather”.

  2. Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman says:

    Thanks for the comment, Henri. You have personally helped me link to more folks on Facebook, and I appreciate the guidance and encouragement. When I have a bit of spare time, I’ll have to map out a strategy like you suggest.

  3. Sarah Dolk says:

    I have the same problem. I tend to get political from time to time on my facebook page, and I also have a few religious friends who can get preachy in their posting sometimes, so I set us a business page just for my b&b. You can adjust who can view your personal page and keep it just that…personal. That way I can be myself there and keep my business page a bit more formal. The hard part is getting people who are already your friends to become a fan of your business. It’s like herding cats.

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