My hatred of Myspace is well documented, but for those who have not heard me rail against it before, I can quickly sum my thoughts on the topic up:
- It is ugly. Really, really ugly. Uglier than Geoshitties, which is saying a lot. Letting 100 million people with no formal design training loose on your eyeballs is not an enjoyable user experience.
- The place is basically a dive bar/meat market at 1:45am- everyone’s ugly, wasted, and desperate to hook up. The band playing (loudly) is terrible, and there are a few mostly naked girls taking pictures of themselves standing on the bar. And the bouncer at the door sucks, so there’s some 12yr olds running around making a lot of really annoying small talk.
- The spam accounts/messages/comments/bulletins are unbearable
For the above-stated reasons, I started using Facebook just to try it out and to see what all the hubub was about, and I genuinely liked it at first. The UI is clean and your network is closed and protected, so you really do only know the people in your friends list- no fake accounts or rampant stupidity or annoying bands. Then they opened the site up to 3rd party developers, and the whole thing just went to pieces (for me at least).
Now, I get all kinds of messages, invites, etc that all require me to install some effing retarded 3rd party application to my own profile just to even see what the message is. Imagine if you got an email that required you to install a program before you could read it. Yeah, you’d be pissed too. So instead of an awesome thing, these 5000 or so Facebook apps are making it worse than Myspace, a gigantic feat I previously thought impossible. I ignore the hell out of those invites, because I am not a Zombie, Pirate, or Vampire Hunter, nor do I need to share movie ratings or have a superwall. And here is something nobody is taking about- in order to use the apps, you need to allow it to access your profile information. I predict there will be a Facebook app in the near future that is caught harvesting marketing data, even spamming users. If you think I am a lone man in a shack in the woods howling at the moon on this, I’m not alone, there are many concerns about the potentially massive privacy violation potential that Facebook is building towards.
I hate the new Facebook- it’s like Vegas in there now, and I find the majority of what is happening to be counterproductive to staying connected with your friends. Social networks are an interesting thing, but I have decided over the past year or more, ultimately, they are not anything I feel like wasting my time on. I use email and aim more than ever now to keep in touch with friends and family, and I like that kind of communication better.
At some point someone will create the killer social networking app, and my guess is that it will look like this: a website or application that syncs automatically with your photo, calendar, IM, email, addressbook, and office programs, and allows you to easily post, edit, tag, etc. any personal data you want to, on any site. It will basically act like an RSS aggregator, pulling in and pushing out messages, comments, emails, IMs, photos, videos, calendar events, documents, etc. from Myspace, Facebook, Friendster, and all the like, as well as Flickr, your own site, etc. etc. etc. A sort of one-stop shop to managing your online presence. Hell they could even roll in forum posts, news and other RSS feeds, podcasts, you name it. Having one central hub means one login, entering your personal info one time, and tracking any news in one place.
Imagine a system that makes the following possible: you boot your computer to find out that there is a party next weekend. It gets added quickly to your calendar, you IM the host to ask if you can bring anything, they email you a list, which is added to your todo list. You go to the party and take some pictures, uploading them automatically to the group pool for the party and adding a few tags to them. You met someone new at the party, and using some profile browsing you find them, add a comment to their profile and get an IM back and add each other’s details to your address books and go from there. Now imagine all of this in one application, and having that application sync with a mobile device so you can update and check things on the road. Nothing I just listed is impossible, but currently to do all of that would require a bunch of different programs, a lot of manual data entry, and way more hassle than is necessary in 2007.
What do you guys think? This is my first Rant Week here on Transbuddha by the way- I have a bunch of things I feel like venting about right now, so settle in and let me know if you think I am off base on anything, after all, that’s what comments are for- true discourse.