Facebook Poke: Social Impact from a Feature with no Purpose

Has someone poked you? What a colleague? Yes, I too know that awkward silence near the coffee machine the next day.

When my friend Kit Seeborg first joined Facebook, she emailed me and text messages me asking me about what is the “poke feature” for in Facebook. I explained it was first a way for people to flirt, and even have an awkward one night stand at Brown University and now it’s a gesture, to get someone’s attention. In fact there’s 172 groups (with chapters for major cities) within Facebook entitled “Enough with the Poking let’s just have sex“, go figure. Don’t ask me how this applies to a corporate web strategy.

Facebook has an official FAQ for the Poke Feature, “A poke is a way to interact with your friends on Facebook. When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose. People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we encourage you to come up with your own meanings.

If you ‘remove’ a poke from your profile, Facebook let’s us know what happens: “Once a poke is hidden, it’s gone forever. The memories, however, will last a lifetime. Oh, and hiding a poke allows the other person to poke you again, which is always a good thing.” Still not sure what Poke is for? You’re not alone.

Clueless? maybe it’s a generational thing, I can help, have you used my Crises Management Template: Child Relations for Social Networks (Facebook)? It’s 1st in my Child Relations Initiative programs for web strategists.

On previous blog posts, I’ve asked people to add me as their friend, and I promise to add them back, as long as they don’t poke or bite me, well, it didn’t work.

Here’s a list of the offenders that have poked me, let the public humiliation begin:

You were poked by
Giovanni Rodriguez.

You were poked by
Tinu Abayomi-Paul.

You were poked by
Edward Vielmetti.

You were poked by
Kris Krüg.

You were poked by
Cecilia Kim.

You were poked by
Allan J. Cox.

You were poked by
Jennifer Jones.

You were poked by
Daniel Johnson Jr.

You were poked by
Robert Scoble.

You were poked by
Glory Wong.

You were poked by
Dave McClure.

You were poked by
Darold Massaro.

You were poked by
Anita Wong.

You were poked by
Eric At Arcscale.

You were poked by
Kit Seeborg.

You were poked by
Shirley O

So, how should I punish them?

(In case you can’t tell, I’m attempting to be humorous, if not satirical of the whole poking thing, all of those folks listed above are friends, and one is even my wife! )