Facebook… you’re dead to me.

Keep coming back to LEAP to see all the great new stuff that is happening (and if you can, take time to comment on what you think is good or bad). It’s funny, I never thought that my comments mattered on websites, but now that I’m working on one, it’s clear just how important they can be. Most webmasters are really good at reacting and replying (by the way, Zoho’s team is the best I’ve ever seen!) and I have promised myself that I will be doing a lot more online commenting (P.S. bloggers love to have comments… some of them live for it!)

One place that commenting isn’t that effective is Facebook! Unless your comment is exactly the same as that of the masses… you’re not going to get a thing done (and even then Facebook tends to ignore the masses). My new pet hate (the thing that I dearly wish my comments would have an effect on) is Facebook apps! It was the worst move that Facebook could ever have made. It has turned Facebook into mySpace (and we all know how much we hate mySpace). It has shifted the focus of Facebook… it has fundamentally changed what Facebook is about. Facebook used to be a Social Networking tool. Time on facebook was spent solidifying or making connections with people. We looked at each others photos, kept abreast of our friend’s news… all that good stuff. Time “wasted” on Facebook was less wasted than we thought it was… it brought us closer to people. Now however, time on Facebook for many people has become turning others into werewolves or zombies or vampires. People now spend their Facebook time playing with apps… and forgetting about the people. It has also lowered the maturity of the site. It makes me angry because Facebook really should have seen this coming. There are two things that they could have done if they really wanted to add apps… without killing Facebook:

  1. Rigorously screen apps and only include the very best (probably only keeping those offered by legitimate providers like picnik and iLike).
  2. Put apps in a separate place. Instead of having them on the wall… and making them an intricate part of a user’s profile… they could have easily made a separate page where apps go… thus keeping the clean and crisp (so different to mySpace) interface that Facebook has always had.

Now I know you’re questioning the academic context of this entry… I mean as far as academics go… who cares about Facebook? Not true. With web 2.0 and the explosion of social software, social networking tools could become an essential part of a student’s success. “Knowing who” is becoming more and more important and Facebook was helping to streamline that process. Just check out Diana Oblinger’s presentation from the UBC e-Learning conference or the brilliant commoncraft show below.


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