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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I hate facebook

I have a short rant to end the day, brought on by my ever increasing tie-in between the web and my desktop (now KDE 4.3):

I hate facebook.

It's not that I hate it the way I hate Myspace, which I hate because it's so easy to make horribly annoying web pages. It's not even that I hate it the way I hate Microsoft, which I hate because their business engages in unethical practices.

I hate it because it's a walled garden. Not that I have a problem with walled gardens in principle, but it's just so inaccessible - which is exactly what the facebook owners want. If you can only get at facebook through the facebook interface, you have to see their adds, which makes them money, if you ever get sucked into them. (You now have to manually opt out of having your picture used in adds for your friends... its a new option for your profile in your security settings, if you don't believe me.)

Seriously, the whole facebook wall can be recreated with twitter, the photo albums with flickr, the private messages with gmail.... and all of it can be tied together in one place. Frankly, I suspect that's what Google's "Wave" will be.

If I could integrate my twitter account with my wall on facebook, that would be seriously useful - but why should I invest the energy to update my status twice? Why should I have to maintain my own web page AND the profile on facebook...

Yes, it's a minor rant, but I just wanted to put that out there. Facebook is a great idea and a leader of it's genre, but in the end, it's going to die if its community starts drifting towards equivalent services that are more easily integrated into the desktop. I can now update twitter using an applet on my desktop - but facebook still requires a login so that I can see their adds.

Anyhow, If you don't believe me about where this is all going, wait to see what Google Wave and Chrome do for you. I'm willing to bet desktop publishing will have a whole new meaning, and on-line communities will be a part of your computer experience even before you open your browser window.

For a taste of what's now on my desktop, check out the OpenDesktop, Remember the Milk and microblog ( or even Choqok) plasmoids.

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Blogger dawe said...

:-) I'm going to add you as a friend!


July 30, 2009 12:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Anthony Fejes said...

LMAO! That's fine - but you'll probably notice I never seem to remember to update my facebook profile. (=

July 30, 2009 9:01:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Pedrosauriotl said...

Google is's just a matter of time to begin teaching on how to do data mining in google trends and things like that...exponential times my friends.

all the best

July 30, 2009 11:11:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Anthony Fejes said...

I'm not sure I understand your comment, Pedro. If you're suggesting it's scary that Google retains so much information, I tend to agree - they do collect an awful lot of it - and their advertising is certainly everywhere.

On the other hand, I would much rather Google have my information than Microsoft. At least Google doesn't have a history of abusing their customers or partners. There's something to be said for their policy of "do no evil." (=

July 30, 2009 12:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Dan said...

I'm sure most of your readers are pretty much aware of this, but the apps on facebook are the real nightmare. Seriously, whose idea was it to give the developer of "Which Muppets Character Are You?" access to all users' info? Duh.

What's behind your KDE? I remember on a previous post you had something about editing your xorg.conf on ubuntu. Did you add the kubuntu-desktop package, or are you on Kubuntu? Something else?

July 30, 2009 3:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Anshul said...

If u use the Digsby integrated IM client, you can update ur twitter, facebook, linked-in and every other IM client out there. You also get summaries of activities on twitter, facebook etc.

July 30, 2009 4:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Anthony Fejes said...

@Anshul: I know what you're saying - you can manage them all at once - but they're not interchangable/interoperable open formats. The beauty of twitter is that it is just simple XML, which can be reformatted into anything you want quite easily. (Hence the bar on the twitter status on my web page.) Facebook, on the other hand, isn't an accessible open format, which was the point of my rant.

@Dan: That's a great point - and exactly the reason why I don't use any of the apps on facebook! (Ok, I do play bejeweled on occasion...)

At this point, I'm using KDE 4.3 running on Ubuntu 9.10 alpha 3. The install started off as an Ubuntu 8.04 build, but I've morphed it over time into using KDE instead - it's incredibly easy to switch between KDE and Gnome, which kinda blurs the line.

There's not much custom in my xorg.conf on that computer anymore, but I'll move over my twinview'd computer soon enough - I'm just going to wait till a few more bugs have been ironed out before I make that leap.

July 30, 2009 5:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Anthony Fejes said...

@Anshul: One other point, Digsby is only available for windows - which makes it somewhat less than useful for use Open Source fanatics (=

July 30, 2009 5:06:00 PM PDT  

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