This week, while we're talking about online "time sinks," which are those online activities that cause us to spend entirely too much time online, let's address a few Facebook games.
Unlike my obsession with social news sites, which I talked about yesterday, I have thus far managed to resist the pull of these particular time-wasters, mostly by using the "block" feature when I see them in my news feed on Facebook, or receive an invitation. Nearly 60M people per month, however, do not resist the urge to go online and grow virtual gardens with each other in something called "Farmville." Well, apparently, it's more complicated than that, because there is an entire site devoted to Farmville news, tips and secrets - see AboutFarmville.com
Mafia Wars, by the same people that created Farmville (Zynga) is another one that, has become very popular, with over 31M monthly users. This one is, as the name implies, a bit more "violent" in nature, in that growing your empire requires murdering rivals (don't worry, though, they don't really die), rather than just fertilizing your crops and being a good neighbor, as in Farmville. Don't worry, though, To find out more, read the blog.
Bejeweled wasn't developed for Facebook, but you can play it there, and over 12M people a month do. This game is a puzzle, in which players have a board full of gems in columns and rows, and move them around strategically, to try to get three in a row. Players compete with each other for the best time.
If none of those appeal to you, there are a lot more where they came from. Here's a list of the Top 25 games on Facebook. Meanwhile, here's a little video to remind us that these games may be fun, but there's more to life. I got this from Adric, who is apparently tired of receiving carrots on Facebook.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.