David Bergstein, Hamilton High School Class of '63 is an inspiration to Accounting Tomorrow.
"I am a CPA of Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow and until Infinity," Bergstein wrote on our Facebook wall. "I can listen to my iPod, text and hit the tenkey at the same time." (Yes, David, we do know what that is.)
"I may be a Baby Boomer, but I stay up on what's happening as I do my rollerblading," he continued. "Remember there will always be CPAs but technology will change how they work and what they do. Life is easier today than it was yesterday, so imagine what tomorrow will bring."
That's exactly our point.
Bergstein works for an accounting software company, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that he gets it. He's crossing intergenerational boundaries and touting why others should do it, too.
Which is why we joined Facebook.
Lots of companies out there are trying to make a business case for Facebook, but aren't sure what it is. When we had to plead our case, we told the decision-makers in our company that we wanted to use Facebook as a way to get the word out about what we're trying to accomplish and connect with the younger generation of accountants who are on social media sites anyway. We also wanted to connect with people who might be outside our normal readership but who may be interested in what we're doing and want to be part of the conversation.
What we found refreshing is how many Boomers and Xers are using the site, too. And what's amazing is how viral the message spreads.
We created the site on Feb. 6 in less than an hour, had three dozen friends by Monday and 60 friends by Friday. These friends weren't spammers, but people in the industry who we actually want to communicate with.
At first we were worried that we'd find out too much personal information about them. But let's face it, home and work lives are meshing all the time. And for those of us who spend more time connecting with our colleagues than our families, it's nice to get a more personal perspective of those people's lives. Call us nosey, but we like reading your status updates.
Plus, we're a lot more understanding when someone doesn't get back to us during a deadline when we see their status update says they are staying home with their sick little boy.
Another reason we dig Facebook? It builds trust. If we email someone we don't know in attempting to get them to do business with us, they may not respond. But if a mutual friend suggests they talk to us through the recommendation tool in Facebook, they may be more willing, especially if it shows our picture and a bit of our personality beyond our job descriptions.
Think of it like a referral service. For the new age.
Firms that want to be hip but have not yet made the commitment to a full-fledged Web site can use Facebook to brand themselves and show off without worrying about maintaining a site. But they do have to commit some time to it. After all, who would want a friend who ignores their messages for months at a time?
Send us a friend request on our Accounting Tomorrow profile (under the people search) or email us at email@example.com.