We'll concede that the average Facebook user is doing nothing productive with their day, likely burning hours on end playing Mob Wars or agonizing over the finer points of a 25 More Things You Didn't Know About Me note. Or perhaps goading colleagues into frittering away their time in endless rounds of Scrabble. But it turns out that the uber-popular social networking site is good for more than just fooling around. In fact, many Facebook applications can be so surprisingly productive and useful that you might not ever have to leave its environs during your Web-browsing day. Dare we even suggest you might be able to get honest-to-God work done using Facebook? Poke your boss and make sure he knows! Here are some of our favorite Facebook apps for the truly obsessive.
Zoho Online Office
This is about as close as you can get to doing actual work using Facebook. Zoho has ported a hefty chunk of its popular Web-based Zoho Online Office application suite to work within the Facebook site. When you sign up, your Facebook account can be linked with an existing Zoho log-in (or you can set one up on the fly), and you'll find all your saved and shared documents available for browsing--and for sharing with other Facebook+Zoho users. Unlike the other apps on this list, editing documents ultimately opens a new window on the Zoho site, rather than being hosted within the Facebook app directly; but rest assured, you can hustle back to your safe zone once your work is done.
Just because you're a shut-in who never logs off of Facebook doesn't mean you don't need to eat once in a while. The TripAdvisor-developed Local Picks app has more than 530,000 restaurants covered in its entirely Facebookized recommendation utility, letting you read millions of reviews and, of course, add your own. An easy map-and-zoom system lets you locate the nosh nearest your intersection. You can also compare your ratings with those of friends--and find out who among your Facebook circle has the same "dining compatibility" as you. Don't forget to chew thoroughly.
Nothing else quite goes with the Facebook experience as drinking copious amounts of wine. And true to form, several Facebook applications are designed to appeal to your inner wino. Bottlenotes is largely self-explanatory: It's an application that lets you archive personal tasting notes and opinions regarding everything you drink. Just type in the name of the wine, some comments, and a star rating, and Bottlenotes archives the memo for posterity. Naturally, you can compare notes with friends and also add "wish list" wines that you'd like to buy (or receive as a gift--hint, hint).
What's going on out there in the real world? So-called "meetups" are becoming an increasingly popular way for like-minded citizens to get together and expound on their love for beer, board games, Obama, or just about anything else. Mind you, attending a meetup does require leaving your house, so if that's too much trouble, you can get a lot of enjoyment out of just browsing the application to see exactly how far out some of these meetups can get. Turns out people will meet in real life to talk about anything.
No need to deal with a stand-alone video messaging client to get your live pic up on your Facebook page. Dynamite Webcam can pull in any Webcam feed and populate your profile with the latest picture you've snapped. Setup isn't the easiest process in the world, but it generally works as advertised. If none of your friends are updating their cam pics, just browse the gallery and get a peek at the rest of the world. Don't be surprised if most of them are...sitting at their desks looking unfathomably bored, just like you.
Web Presence doesn't really do anything for you, but it can be a great help for your legions of fans and friends: It's a blogroll of sorts, all about you: Just punch in the URLs for your Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and other social networking accounts, and Web Presence gathers them all up, adding the appropriate icon for each site into its convenient box. You aren't limited to just the major social networking sites, either; you can add links to your personal blog or, really, to any Web site you want, making it not just a handy directory of your Web presence, but a place to drop your favorite bookmarks, too.