Using Facebook Pages For Networking @ IndicThreads Conference On Java, Pune, India

The 3rd Conference On Java Technology will be held in Pune from 25-27 Nov 2008. In previous years, the conference has been quite good at getting people from various companies, countries and cultures talking about Java. However as yet we didn’t have an online forum for delegates to connect amongst themselves and with the speakers. So we recently evaluated the various networking options available. Creating our own networking site, using Orkut, Facebook, Linkedin or a social networking site like Ning were the options we looked at.Creating our own community site for the conference was dropped as asking people to register, acclimatize and use a new site was thought to be a significant entry barrier. Orkut communities lacked features and so had to be dropped, although the IndicThreads Conference Orkut group is still very much around. So Facebook and Ning were the real contenders. Ning had many cool features, but again people had to register for the community and also Ning doesn’t as yet have the reach of an Orkut or a Facebook. So finally it came down to Facebook.

Strangely enough, Facebook has two very similar and confusing options in Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages. Pages have all the features of groups like feeds, photos, notes, events, wall, forum and a few more. So we have finally decided to go with the Facebook page for the IndicThreads Conference as the official networking site for the conference. Facebook pages call it’s members as ‘fans’, which is a bit unfair as anybody wanting to network using the IndicThreads Conference Facebook page is effectively forced to say that he/she is a fan of the conference. That’s a drawback that we have to bear with. Hopefully in the future Facebook will let page owners decide if they want members to be called users / members / fans or something else.

So if you think the conference is cool, have attended the conference in the past or wish to attend this year, join the Facebook page for the conference and get talking.