FACEBOOK AND THE NUMISMATIC BIBLIOMANIA SOCIETY
The E-Sylum (8/1/2010)
Joe Boling writes:
I'm on Facebook just to let people know I'm still alive, and give them a way to reach me if they want to. I never read my page to see what other people are doing, and I never post what I'm doing - no time for such diversions. I spend less than ten minutes a day on the site - maybe only five. I go there only when I receive an email originating from there that needs a visit to resolve.
Dave Lange writes:
I too have been asked by a number of worthy persons to be a Facebook friend. I'm not a member of Facebook or any other social networking website (though the E-Sylum serves this purpose for many of us). My reason is similar to that expressed by others in that I simply don't want to take the time away from other, more fulfilling activities.
I spend most of my workday staring into a computer monitor, and my weary eyes can take just so much more of this on my own time. I would rather use a computer to pursue my writing and research interests during off-duty hours than to find out the minutiae of other people's lives.
I will therefore use The E-Sylum as a forum to extend my apologies to the many persons who've requested to be my online "friend." My disinterest in Facebook is certainly no reflection of any disinterest in their friendship. The upcoming ANA convention will provide ample opportunity to confirm this fact.
So there are a couple votes from the "don't use it" to "barely tolerate it" section of the spectrum (like me!). From a more upbeat corner Paul DeMarzio writes:
In response to your query in this week's E-Sylum about Facebook APIs, one simpler thing you might consider is establishing a "fan page". It is very simple, easy, quick and free. I've created two of these for local charitable organizations to keep people informed about what we are doing. Here's the link to one of them ... Brotherhood-in-Action (www.facebook.com/pages/Brotherhood-In-Action-of-Bethel/180833031533)
Having a fan page will help spread the word about The E-Sylum and also let you troll a little deeper for new NBS members. Each week you could simply post a link to the new issue when you publish, it would take you just a couple of minutes. You probably would want to check in perhaps a bit more than you do now with your personal page just to see if there have been any comments (although Facebook will send you a weekly report) but even that is not time consuming.
While I was on the page this afternoon, up popped a chat request from Jim Neiswinter. I recorded the conversation for posterity.
It's no "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", but it is an important step. I've wanted to add social network features to the NBS web site for years, but didn't find what I thought was a viable solution. But now we're bringing NBS onto the most-used social platform of the day.
It'll take time to evolve (and we'll need more help with this), but I believe it's a step in the right direction and should be a topic for conversation at the upcoming NBS Board and General meetings at the ANA convention in Boston.
If you happen to be a more regular Facebook user, please take a moment to link up to the fan page. I hope you like us, you really, really like us. With luck, this could eventually be a channel to bring more readers into the fold and further spread the word about numismatic literature, numismatic research, The E-Sylum, and the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Thanks, Paul! -Editor