I find it remarkable that Facebook is reputed to be making its IPO official today (Feb 1, 2012), when I have just become aware of its pathetically inadequate support for its Business Page (formerly "Fan Page") option.
Knowing what I now know of its inability--or unwillingness--to support business users, I find it ironic that it now wants to become an investable "business!" Here's what I'm talking about.
A year--or longer--ago, I realized that the Facebook Fan Page option was the necessary route for me to use in promoting my business as a freelance writer. Therefore, I increased my Facebook presence by creating the freelance-related page Writing About Murder is Murder [https://www.facebook.com/pages/Writing-About-Murder-is-Murder/151102224904578 ]. Since I was also operating an environmental website for the Calumet Stewardship Initiative (a different kind of "C.S.I."), I added a Fan Page for that group, as well (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calumet-Stewardship-Initiative/365926695700?ref=mf).
Over time, I found that the existence of both a Personal Page and a Business Page was inefficient, as well as confusing. Since there seemed to be no solution, I lived with the inefficiency and confusion. Then, I learned, recently, that there might be a solution (http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/03/30/facebook-now-allows-personal-profiles-to-be-converted-into-business-pages/). Unfortunately, such discoveries sometimes precede disaster.
Following the prescribed steps, I achieved the following: decimation of my Personal Page, but not its complete elimination--it lurks in the background like Darth Vader stalking an untrained Skywalker; creation of four (!) fetal Business Pages, hovering in the Ethernet, awaiting my activation of their genetic codes; one crippled Fan (Business) Page, with limited functionality, and no recourse for correcting the flaws, because Facebook has no procedures in place for doing such things. Operating from the "A card laid is a card played!" school of software development, Facebook has abandoned business people who already had a satisfactory page in place, should they have the misfortune to attempt to merge their Personal Pages into Business Pages. In fact, people cannot "merge" their Personal Profile Pages into existing Business Pages. They can only transform them into new Business Pages! Would-be merge candidates, like me, can only find grief.
I find myself awash in images of Dr, Frankenstein, who envisioned a perfected human being at the end of his sincere endeavor, but found, instead, a monstrous creation of implacable--and uncorrectable--inadequacy.
And Facebook--the architect of this inadequacy--is now going public, intending to function as a marketable business. Of course,it would be poetic justice if Facebook, itself, having established one overwhelming "personal profile," soon attempts to migrate that profile into its co-existing business persona . . .
© 2012 Kevin P. Murphy