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Sorting "network" members - another way that Facebook needs to grow beyond the college crowd!

image Today I went into one of my "Networks" in Facebook and was interested to see all the members (it was for my employer, and there are now 71 members in the network) and found yet more ways that Facebook needs to "grow up" outside of the college/university crowd.

First annoyance was that it just shows me some number of random network members.  If I click "Show More", I get some another batch of random members (seems to vary between 3 and 10 random members it shows).  However, if I change the "Sort Method" to "Alphabetical" I will then be able to browse through pages of, apparently, all the members.  I would really like the Alphabetical sort to be the default (realizing that some networks will be too big).

But the second annoyance was the sort options.  If you click on the image on the right you will get a larger version and see what I mean.

Here are the options for how to sort:

  • Sex (M/F)
  • Age
  • Relationship Status (and this is the one open by default)
  • Interested In (answers being "Men" or "Women")
  • Looking For (essentially what type of relationship you want)
  • Political Views
  • Other Criteria (where the options are "Concentration", "College Year", "Religious Views")

Now, keep in mind that this is for a work network!  Why do I really care about any of this for my co-workers?  Outside of Sex which may help me sort through it better?  I guess if I want to have a workplace relationship, but, well, sorry... I'm happily married and have no interest in any of that.

How about things instead like?

  • Currently employed with company (the network seems to have some former employees in it)
  • Job title/category
  • Interest
  • Skills  (things like programming languages, specialties)
  • Languages (of the speaking variety... say I want to find someone who can speak Italian)

I could go on... but you get the idea.  Those are the type of things I want to search for in the "work" context versus the "personal" context.  For Facebook to really gain traction within businesses, I think it will need to "grow up" a bit beyond the college/dating scene and add these type of search/sort capabilities.

What do you think?  Is the current kind of sorting useful to you in a work context?  Or do you want something more like what I outlined here?

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