Review: The good, the bad and the ugly of Facebook apps

Today's hottest social networking site includes thousands of free applications. Here are the best and worst for business, blogging and more.

Demotivator
Your boss wants a highly motivated, self-starting team player with lots of energy and careful attention to your customers' needs. He doesn't want to see anti-corporate sayings on your Facebook profile such as "Apathy: If we don't take care of the customer, maybe they'll stop bugging us." So if you want to keep your job, stay away from this one.

What's your pimp name?
I can't say that I've actually figured out what this application does. Based on its name alone, though, you should avoid it at all costs, unless your chosen career involves lots of solo nighttime walking on city streets.

Reputation
Install this app, and your friends get to rate you on trustworthiness, influence, intelligence, happiness and coolness -- and they rate you anonymously. Do you really want your boss and co-workers to know whether people think you're truly trustworthy and intelligent? I thought not; pass this one by.

Let's Drink
The first thing you can do with this application, according to its description, is to display your "Drinking Status" to "Let all your buddies know just how ready you are to get drinking." Unless you and your boss spend plenty of up-close-and-personal time sharing Jell-o shots, avoid this app.

Texas HoldEm Poker
Not satisfied with ruining your career by telling the world how ready you are for a drink? Then add gambling to the mix as well. This poker game is an addictive way to waste time at your computer and gamble yourself out of your job. You won't be alone -- this popular app has more than 177,000 active users a day.

Apps for succeeding in business without really trying

Want to get ahead in your career fast, but don't want to put in the requisite time slogging in the trenches? Facebook is here to help. Check out these applications that should help you move up the corporate ladder in no time.

Boss Button
Worried that your boss will wander by when you're busy playing drinking or gambling games on Facebook? Install this application, then click the Boss Button whenever your boss looms. Whatever is on your screen will be replaced with Google search results for a term such as "workflow improvement" or any business buzzword of your choosing. Your boss will be pleased that you always have your nose to the grindstone.

Jobster Career Network
This nifty little application ties directly into the Jobster job-finding site. Tell it what kinds of jobs you're looking for, and you'll get e-mails about any applicable ones. You can browse through jobs as well.

The application also makes very clever use of Facebook's social networking capabilities. It lists all of your friends, by the company they work for, and lets you ask them questions about the company, either individually or en masse.

LinkedIn Contacts
The LinkedIn social network site was built from the ground up for business, not play, so you might have a number of contacts there. But trying to keep up with LinkedIn as well as Facebook can be time-consuming. That's where this app comes in. It connects you directly to your LinkedIn contact list, so you can access it straight from Facebook, or import LinkedIn contacts into Facebook.

My Questions
Got a nagging problem that you can't solve, or a question you need answered? Install this app, ask a question, and then it will be sent to all of your Facebook friends who use the application. You'll be surprised at how generous they'll be with their time -- and how often your question gets very useful answers.

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Preston Gralla

Computerworld
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