My Facebook foul-up

Take a look at the image below. Is this the type of photo you’d want to put beside a serious business inquiry? I wouldn’t. But I did.

It was an embarrassing experience, and perhaps my mistake can serve as a lesson for anyone who’s considering using social networks to transact business.

Last week was the first time I’ve used Facebook to direct a professional inquiry to a group of my friends. I was looking for some active Facebook users to profile in a book I’m writing, so it seemed a natural place to find them. I used a third-party application called FunWall, which is made by Slide. It looked straightforward enough: type the question, post it and then e-mail a notification to a list of your friends.

So I posted my question and send an invitation to everyone on my friends list, some 225 people. A couple of hours later, my wife sent me an instant message questioning the appropriateness of the image on my FunWall. “What image?” I said. I quickly logged on to Facebook and found my question next to the item below. There were already a couple of e-mails from friends questioning my good taste. I scrambled to delete the original message, which wasn’t all that intuitive, and to post an apology. I received a couple of more snickering responses from my associates, but have no idea how many people saw the offensive photo and thought I was serious.

As far as I can tell, the error occurred when I clicked the button to post my question, I inadvertently clicked the option just below it, which sent a postcard to accompany the question. For some unfathomable reason, the default postcard was the image below. I didn’t bother to check the post after I submitted it, and would probably not have even known of my error for hours unless my wife had pointed it out.

So shame on me for not double-checking my work. And shame on Slide for making it so easy for even an experienced user to make such a dumb mistake. If there are lessons, it’s that you should beware of the new breed of third-party apps that Facebook and other sites are accepting. And use that preview feature! You don’t want your best intentions undermined by a stupid user interface.

I’ll just go crawl back in my hole now…

0 thoughts on “My Facebook foul-up

  1. Seems like viral marketing to me, Sir.

    Seriously, I think people know you more than a few bloopers (besides, that ain’t too gross, ok maybe a little)

    Smile.

    alain

  2. Yeah, you got punked! Pretty funny. They probably have it set to the most popular picture?!? But kudos to you for trying to make facebook something useful. I hope you’ve learned your lesson.

    -M

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