Wait a sec….did I ever really use it anyway? Here are the reasons….
1) I never really started with Facebook anyway….
I have never been able to get into Facebook. I know some people think it is the best thing since sliced bread but I have never found it all that intriguing. When I first started my account, Robert Scoble was touting Facebook in almost every post he made to his blog. I thought to myself, "If Scoble says it rocks, I need to be there!". I made an account, added friends and….nothing REAL ever happened. Most of the "friends" I added were already "friends" on some other social networking service, or I was already connecting with them in some other more intriguing way. I looked for and found what I thought would be interesting groups to join and people to meet which, for the most part, turned out to be more of what I was already getting elsewhere. There was and has been nothing really fresh about how the same connections I already had were being presented. Not much has changed since I joined and I am more deeply connected through Twitter, MySpace, IM clients and my own blog than Facebook.
Btw…..over the years I have discovered that Scoble and many other tech evangelists are much akin to baseball players…..you only have to hit 3 out of 10 to be good.
2) How many silly apps can a person fritter their time away on?
Today I logged in for the first time in what seems like ages (probably about 2-3 weeks) to find 20+ requests to join silly apps or groups. I don’t want to offend the "friends" I have on Facebook but…..really? Are any of those apps REALLY useful? I don’t even find them fun or even mildly interesting. Call me a fuddy duddy, but if I am going to just kill time, it isn’t going to be killed on silly Facebook apps. I have a list of hundreds of movies I want watch and even longer list of books to read. But for a more digital comparison, clicking the "See how people like you are using Windows Live" link in the lower left corner of the Live Search page is a much more intriguing way to burn time and I usually learn something when I do.
3) Spam, spam, and more spam.
The amount of "add this app" spam, "join this group" spam, and just plain old spam on Facebook is overwhelming. The tech world has been dealing with spam for over a decade now so you would think that a site with the popularity that Facebook has would have figured out how to manage it by now. However, I will split the blame for this squarely down the middle – 1/2 against Facebook itself and 1/2 against my "friends". If my "friends" knew me at all they would never send those requests in the first place (see #2). If Facebook knew me they would never let the requests make it to my inbox.
4) Speaking of knowing me……Get your advertising profiles figured out
I feel I am normally immune to flashing, brightly colored smiley faces, slap the monkey to win a free laptop banners, and "this scantily clad woman is available right now to chat!" advertisements. But today, I couldn’t help but notice the advertisements that were popping up on my page. In fact, the ads made me go check my profile.
Relationship Status: Married Check
Looking For: Friendship and Networking Check
Interested in: <blank> Check
So why, as I type this post and refresh my main page in Facebook every few seconds, am I seeing ads for "Meet Hot Guys"……now it’s "Atlantis All-Gay Cruises"……now it’s "Pink Banana World".
I even unchecked, rechecked everything and saved my profile again thinking the system would reset it’s advertising to my profile….more hot guys…..the cruise again…..Ah! New one….."GayGadget"….
I’m not offended, I’m just not the demographic the advertisers are spending their money on to reach.
(for the record….these were not the only ads being shown. They popped up every 2nd to 5th refresh in about 100 refreshes)
5) Three clicks to add a Friend?
….and that is using the "People You May Know" suggestions. It is a whole lot more of you click the Friends drop down. This one is a little nit picky but come on. Add Friend, Search, and Confirm. That is all that is really needed. May not seem like a big deal but if you are adding a bunch of people like I did this morning, it chews up a bunch of extra time. Especially considering how long it takes for the fancy friend windows to open up (UPDATE – I wasn’t being patient – the final OKAY window self closes after about 1 second so it is technically just two clicks).
I do like the People You May Know Feature though. I also just stumbled on the "Find classmates from…." links. Those are nice and have my attention.
6) Page Layout…
My screen resolution is 1440×900 giving me plenty of screen real estate. Yet my Facebook homepage, using the default settings, is 3 page scrolls.
Attention Facebook – Anything I have to scroll to just isn’t going to get seen or utilized. Placing the "Preferences" link at the very bottom of that page means I am scrolling to find out how to eliminate the scroll, which once clicked and modified still doesn’t eliminate the scroll. On the flip side…..LEAPS AND BOUNDS better than MySpace but still…..don’t force me to scroll even when I am trying to configure my own home page to eliminate it.
There….I am done bitchin’ and whining…..
The 30 day countdown starts today. I am going to logon every day for the next 30 days and make an effort to see through the muck above and get something out of Facebook. I added a bunch of people I know and a few I don’t to my friends list while writing this up. I will spend time on Monday perusing groups and other features I have not looked at yet and join/add/link/configure them. I will keep an open mind and make an honest effort to network, make connections, and find value.
Wait…..one last refresh…..who the hell is Itay Hod?