I love Facebook. Waiting in line is never quite the chore it used to be. I can check my Facebook newsfeed, including Sauk Valley Media's page, which often features lively discussions in response to our stories.
In our jobs, we must find people for interviews. Landlines are on the decline, and cellphone numbers often are hard to obtain. But finding people's Facebook pages can be easier. After the Boston Marathon bombing last year, I was able to get in touch with two locals who were running. Both responded within an hour after I sent them a private message on Facebook.
Here are some thoughts on using Facebook:
• Unusual happenings: Tell everyone about the weird things in your life. My second cousin wrote recently: "There are footprints in the snow leading up to my window. That's not creepy."
• Keep the photos coming: The more photos, the better. Videos, too. Photos and videos are among the most popular features of Facebook. When posting photos, remember that people prefer seeing pictures of other people. If you go to Paris, post a photo of yourself, not the Eiffel Tower (which is easily available on the Internet).
• "Life is good": You might think twice before you talk about how good things are. Some people's lives might not be so hunky-dory. I've seen a variation of this posting: "My kid is well-behaved. My spouse is wonderful. Life is good." C'mon, admit it; your kid acts up sometimes. And your spouse speaks a cross word to you from time to time.
• Use your picture: Most people include photos of themselves in the space reserved for their profile shots. A few, though, put photos of their pet or child in that position. Hey, we want to see what you look like, not someone else!
• Leap in logic: Some people use an anecdote and make it into a rule. One time I read a posting that went something like this: "It's a really cold day today. So much for the global warming theory!" Because one day's weather is an indication of which way the climate is headed. (That was sarcasm.)
David Giuliani is a news editor for Sauk Valley Media. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-798-4085, ext. 525. Follow him on Twitter: @DGiuliani_SVM.