I both love and hate Facebook. It's enabled me to reconnect personally with lots of long-lost friends from high-school and college, not just virtually but also helping me meet up with people as I travel. But despite the proliferation of Facebook presences of space missions and NASA centers, I've found it next to useless professionally. I think I have finally figured out a way to make it work better for me, but it's going to lead to some short-term pain for me as well as for the 900 or so of you readers who have "friended" me over the past couple of years.
I have just set up a new facebook Page (the things that used to be, but are no longer called, Fan Pages; they are now just Pages) that will be my presence on Facebook for you readers. I'll use the Page in the same ways I used my Profile -- to post blog entries, participate in conversations about them, and respond to your comments; I look forward to interacting with you there. But here comes the painful part: I'll be un-friending readers, leaving my Facebook Profile to be what I use to interact with professional contacts. Because of the absurdly emotionally loaded language that is connected with Facebook ("friend!" "unfriend!" "Like!") this sounds mean, but it's not intended that way, and I believe that this change will actually help me interact with readers on Facebook more, while also allowing me to use Facebook for its intended purpose, namely, reinforcing my virtual connections with people with whom I have real-life connections.
So, if you are on Facebook, and want to interact with me there, please go to the new Emily Lakdawalla Page and "Like" (ugh) me there. While you're at it, I need some help confirming the fact that I am one of the authors of the Planetary Radio podcast on Networked Blogs. If you are currently one of my Facebook Friends and I un-friend you, I'm sorry! I do still want to hear from you on my Page.