Travelling to/speaking at ACUTA conference in Hollywood, Florida, July 29-Aug 2
ZDNet blogger to return his iPhone... because it doesn't have enough *phone* features!

Facebook event created for ACUTA conference... (and the ongoing challenge Facebook has in moving beyond its college/university roots)

Interestingly, there was no event inside of Facebook for the ACUTA annual conference that I referenced in my last post.  Continuing my ongoing exploration of Facebook, I thought that perhaps because ACUTA is the "Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education" there might be an "event" already created in Facebook.  There wasn't one, so naturally I created an event notice.  If you are going to the ACUTA conference this month and are also a Facebook user please feel free to join that event.


Creating this event caused two discussion threads in my brain.  The first was about ACUTA as an organization and the question of perhaps why there is no mention of ACUTA within a search inside Facebook.  While my co-workers involved with education sales have been involved with the organization for some time, I personally had not heard of it prior to being asked about speaking at this conference.  From the corporate FAQ (and university FAQ), it seems very obvious that ACUTA comes from the telecom side of the house and is looking now at the larger "communications technology" space.  I would think for the folks involved, all of these social networking services will play an increasingly larger role in the future.  One of the talks I'm interested to hear at the conference is "Millenials Go to College", which looks to be about how communication is changing with the younger generation.  Will ACUTA members be inspired to delve more into Facebook after that?  (Will the talk cover Facebook? One would expect so...) We'll see.

Facebook events and corporate choices?

The second discussion thread in my head was about how Facebook still needs to adjust to being more than a college/university place.  For instance, let's look at the choices I have when creating an event:


First choice... a party!  Woohoo!  But wait... there are even many individual types of parties!  (Do Facebook users actually schedule a "Night of Mayhem"?)


Next up is "Causes"... with a sub-type of "Fundraiser, Protest or Rally".  So where do you put a "conference"?  I thought perhaps "Education" might be a choice, but that gives me these choices very clearly targeted at higher education:


The answer would seem to be under the fourth choice of "Meetings":


where, sandwiched between "Club/Group Meeting" and "Dorm/House Meeting" there is... ta da... "Convention".

Now, I realize that Facebook came out of college/university roots and that certainly parties are a major focus with that age range, but as Facebook tries to capture more "business" users... or at least more "professionals", one wonders if over time they will re-write this a bit to adjust more to the type of events that people within the business world usually attend.  Or perhaps at least re-order the priorities a bit (or let you do so).

They may not be able to easily do so, though.  They really have different audiences to which they need to cater.  One group is looking for social events and the other for more business focused events.  It's also not entirely clear to me that "business users" would actually want to use Facebook as the calendar for their events.  But if you buy into the vision of Facebook as your end-all and be-all portal (I'm not there yet, personally, but I can see that as the vision of FB.), it makes sense to think some of those meetings might migrate here as well.

We'll see... the evolution of Facebook continues!

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