What is it about Facebook that I don’t get?

It is everywhere in the news, Facebook started a new category of web application, the social networks. Itself a nice idea it found many users in the online community and grew to something really big. Now it competes with Googles new social platform, as well as MySpace not only for user but as well as developers at the funkiest company. And it opened its API for outside developers and allows them to add their own applications. And that just might ruin my impression of it.

I haven’t been a user of Facebook before I moved to Sydney, I have my own private site to share pictures and information to my family and friends and email, VoIP and Instant Messaging for communication. But over here some of our new friends used Facebook and invited my misses and me to have a look on party pics etc. So we created an account. And coming from the online world I thought I’d be able to catch up with the way it works easily, but that was not the case. I even could not send an email to friends at the beginning as I had not found the regarding button at the beginning inbetween all these feeds and information. But ok, I finally managed to watch pictures, send messages and and and… got annoyed by the tons of application I was forced to install to see message or simply get a mass message. Each time someone got a new app, the “invite your friends” page let’s them share it with their whole address book it appears. And I don’t blame anyone for it, it seems to be the way the whole network is designed. Do something, but to see the results, for example of your “What kind of driver are you?” Quiz, you HAVE to invite 20 of your friends. I don’t even have 20 friends in Facebook. And I am over it. I deleted a couple of apps and just be a boring guy, that does not look into Facebook every day. Maybe once a week to see if a friend showed up and added me, but not for these apps anymore, coz the way they work to get a user base.

Is it just me? I would be happy to read about others experience with Facebook, or the one application that makes Facebook really a good use for networking. Or blame as an old fart (end Twen, but very grey hear), not getting it…

What I’ve seen at Facebook and liked:

  • Mood indicator on friends page: If regularly used you can update it and show in what mood you are. Kinda funky and useful. A must to check your girlfriends mood when she leaves work to indicate whether go home as well or for a drink with your mates
  • Pic galleries: Especiall the feature to display people names on mouse over. “Who’s that chick?”
  • The opportunity to hook up with friends far away and long-not-seen

What I don’t like:

  • too many applications without a sense, funny once or twice
  • the requirement to use it daily, sorry, there is more important stuff to do
  • Privacy issues:
    • the need to give my friends details to all these apps to make their business concept work. Plaxo just got bashed for developing an automated tool to import Facebook details into their network. Some test users got banned from Facebook.
    • CIA backing (must read)?! Well, US based company, lot of profiles and personal information… Why not, I believe they do a lot of that in a lot of databases (“Let us do some research, or we make life complicated for you.”). At the end it even is not your own choice anymore to publish personal data or not. Try to forbid friends to tag photos with your name…

I don’t believe there is much you can do to stop governmental spies on your computer and in your data, but I believe there should be a lot of awareness to these topics – since that does not only happens in the US, but as well in Austria and Germany (the “Bundes-Trojaner” is a big controversy on installing a trojan to spy suspects) – to not give to much power to Government and make us citizens in “1984” manner.

Update: There is a nice post about the Social networking history.

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2 Responses

  1. I have the same experience on facebook. Problem is that all these widgets on facebook have no business case in the back. Earning money with advertisement the widget? Forget that – only a few can live from that. So what we will see in future is that al lot of these widgets will get no further development (ending in deadpool). Btw. in the early days of facebook it was really a kind of viral effect on these widgets, but as you said, now they want you to invite first 10 people to see feature one working, then invite even 20 people more to activate feature 2 and so on… This is no fucking viral function anymore. Viral means i do it because i want it, not because i have to do it to read something on my profile… I hate all that stuff. Even more anoying is, that you login on facebook and you have x pokes, x application invites and more x other stupid things….So you have to klick the first 10 minutes to delete all this stuff 🙂

    Btw. I was on facebook before you were there… so im running now 🙂

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