I signed up for Facebook some time ago; it felt a bit futile at the time. I knew I wasn’t that interested in maintaining a profile or making friends a la MySpace, but there was some reason why I felt like I needed to sign up. I was impressed that upon registering, Facebook scanned my Gmail address book to see which of my current contacts were already on Facebook. You might have received an invitation to join (Friendster, LinkedIn also do this) or to add someone you know as a friend via this feature. But that isn’t really enough. To get something out of the program, you do need to spend sometime within the network to build your community.

Luckily, Facebook opened up their code and are allowing developers to create applications that will help you integrate your profiles from elsewhere into your Facebook so you have to spend less time updating content. Do you use Flickr for photos? Or Upcoming to list events? After establishing contacts and joining a few groups (like Hot Docs Doc Fest or ThinkFilm, which have Facebook groups!), you can import your blog feeds so your contacts can see what’s going on at your site. You can add a Twitter, Flickr or Upcoming applications, among others, to integrate your content located elsewhere, and which is usually more frequently updated than your blog.

Anyone have a Facebook, LinkedIn or Friendster story to share? Jennifer Fox has been creating groups at several sites. I’ll check in with her after the July 4 NYC opening of Flying Confessions to get some real-world intel.

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