On my last birthday in October, I got more "public" happy birthday wishes than private. Meaning more profile and wall comments through social networks than through emails, private messages, or phone calls (thanks Mom!).
This is partly because the social network sites make it known to my friends that it was my birthday. And the easiest/simplest thing to do is drop a quick profile comment. But there's also an interesting phenomenon happening here. 1:1 conversations are getting more and more public. How do social network users choose between a wall comment and a private message?
As I've used social networking sites since 2003, I always found this interesting. I think it boils down to "social collateral" - when I want others to know about an event I'm attending or a connection I have with someone, I tend to make that conversation public. (of course I don't consciously think about performing for my imagined audience - I just do it).
Social networking is great for 2 things - self-expression and communication. And even in the communication aspect, there is a lot of public self-expression. There may be some takeaway here for the pastor or for the church. And how it can subtly outreach to the social networks of its members just by having a presence and participating...
- Joe from MyChurch.org