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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Facebook and Private Facebook "public"?

Like many of my generation, I have a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and a (rarely used) Twitter account. Since I work almost all the time, those sites have become an admittedly limited, but important, connection to my new and old non-work friends and I even have a lot of work friends that stay in touch there as well.

Being a budding workaholic, I have made some efforts to integrate my business life into my online social network, with a LinkedIn and Facebook page for our local ACA chapter ( that I am directing and I have a RSS feed from this blog for them all too.

Still, it seems like I could use the power of social networking better...not just for R&R, but for business too.

In brainstorming that for a while and searching on the web a bit, I ran across an article touting social networking with shareholders (E-Commerce news) and I began to think about how we could use our investment club and social networking better.

The idea seems to work well as an experiment in social workflow, a concept I vaguely understand, but being worked on locally by George Barckley (myWorkAlert and Kreatek).

The concept I had was to use our Angel Network LinkedIn and FaceBook pages to announce and update the progess of new private placements. Kind of like the recently announced AngelList. Sounds great huh...unfortunately, almost all of the securities registration exemptions also prohibit "general solicitation."

Now, I can certainly see a great argument for claiming that a Facebook/LinkedIn page is not "public" because a user has to actively join the group to be a member. On the other hand, almost anyone (in any state/location) with an internet connection can join a group, so they are not exactly private either.

The reality is that I probably won't push the envelope right away, but at some point the law is going to have to accomodate Web 2.0 with some additional clarity. Until then, I guess we will still have to use more traditional communication methods.

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