Way To The Gated Wall

For those people who know me, it has come as a surprise that I joined Facebook last Friday. Many of you seem to recall that I once said, ‘I would never be on Facebook’, and that was sort-of true.

I have had a world wide web presence since 1998. At one point, my website, Waldo’s Web, was posted at three mirror sites. I have always considered myself an open book. Where all the popular websites did require an account to host profiles, and webpages, they were always open and accessible to the entire internet audience. I love that; no limit as to who could view what I uploaded.

And then came Facebook. A gated community. In order to view content uploaded to that service, you had to join. That concept clashed with my internet lifestyle, so, even though popularity was increasing, I was resisting. I told everyone, that as long as Facebook was a gated community, I would never join. And, I wouldn’t, but that was only one out of two reasons it was a safe bet you’d never see me on Facebook.

As you all know, Facebook was started at a college for college students. But, what most of you do not know, is that the terms of service (T.O.S.) document that many of you blindly accepted in those first several years, clearly required all members to be a student currently enrolled in a college.

The first road block for me came down a couple years ago. Perhaps an increase of celebrity and business pages had something to do with Facebook starting to allow visitors off of Facebook to access those pages. Maybe advertising had something to do; I just don’t know, and at the time I didn’t care, because the T.O.S. still limited members to college students.

I know, because I read all the T.O.S.’s. In the case of Facebook, I read it about every two years or so. Now, to be fair, the student requirement felt to me like it was only there because it had never been removed. What I mean by that, is that I had the impression, it was a forgotten clause in a document that was not formally written or assessed as a whole. That T.O.S. read like an impromptu document with clauses tossed in it later as situations deemed them necessary. In other words, I think they (those people who were maintaining the T.O.S.) were just thinking, “well, that happened, so better address that issue”, no one was thinking, “okay, Facebook has grown beyond college students, so we don’t need that clause any more”.

Well, last Friday, I thought to myself about how long it had been since I checked on the T.O.S., and decided to check again at that time. What I found, was a completely different set of terms, a document crafted out of grace and significant forethought into what Facebook has evolved to.

So, I’ve joined Facebook.

And in related news, I have reformatted the look of this blog. After joining Facebook, I wanted to incorporate it into my intenet lifestyle, and I could only do that by shedding the nine year old template I was using. If anyone out there has a new “Scribe” template, compatible with the new Blogger and modern social integration, let me know.

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