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The Facebook experiment has failed. Let’s go back. — A Programmer’s Tale — Medium

Stashed in: Interest Graph!, Facebook!, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Narcissists!, Interesting..., Medium

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Would love to hear thoughts on this one.

Great Hacker News comment:

Facebook is performance art. It's a phonebook of people I lost contact with many years ago. It's also a quasi-broken emailing list program. It might be a decent advertising platform for small businesses. Don't know.It's not a news feed. It's not stories relevant to me. It's not a way to actually have friends. It's not a place where people create things and share (mostly). People might think it's those things. Hell, Facebook itself will tell you that it's those things, but it's not.

I agree with the article. Facebook's biggest problem is that, because you're always talking to everybody, you really can't say much. Conversation is, and has always been, context-dependent. You don't say things at a funeral home that you would at a keg party. You don't share the same stories with your peers that you would with your grandma.

I've always thought Facebook was from the devil. Anybody that would use my own friends against me to suck me into a network of participating whether I wanted to or not? Not somebody with my best interests in mind.

I only use Facebook with the FB Purify plugin that gets rid of a lot of the spam. Even then, if I could abstract myself completely away from it, and do all of my social networking activity on my O/S without a browser or a layer of commercial crap stuck on top, I would in a heartbeat.

ADD: It might also be a decent shared photo album. Jury is still out on that one.

What really bothers me is not that these services like FB, Twitter, G+, or various cloud storage systems are not useful -- they are. It's that, instead of being internet standards, they're branded properties. And they're all doing the same thing. It's like if email was a completely different thing depending on which ISP you used. These things should be completely abstracted away from any corporate logo. If I want to store things in the cloud, for instance, I could care less who actually keeps the bytes. If I want to reach my high school chums, why the heck do I need some other party to help me do that? I control gigabytes of storage and god knows how many computational cycles on my personal possessions, and I need Google+ to tell me whose birthday it is today? Really?

The thread:

Facebook has infinite money, a billion users, and the best engineers in the world.

And yet they cannot make the news feed relevant, filtered, and interesting.


1. By adding social they remove the ability to prioritize interesting.

2. They believe their users want noisy social, not filtered interesting.

3. It's really really really really REALLY hard to make a filtered interesting feed.

Facebook is about the narcissistic you.  It's about you promoting the stuff you want and like and showing it off to other people who really don't care and in a way that re-inforces what you want other people to think about you.  They don't care that it's pages and pages full of spam because it's the poster/sharer that gets the value, not the postee.   

I filter almost everything and am very happy missing things--sometime days and days of missing things.  My best facebook friends aren't friends at all, they are just thoughtleaders or interesting people I like to follow.  

That and Angry Birds friends. 

If everyone is narcissistic then who is reading other peoples' stuff? Stalkers?

Jeswin's essay is definitely thought provoking.

And reminds me a little of this paragraph:

After reading my recent thoughts about why Tumblr is so valuable, Josh Elman of Greylock Partners made a most astute observation: Everyone’s Facebook feed is pretty much the same as everyone else’s of the same age. Twenty-year-olds pose in the club, 30-year-olds share wedding photos, by age 40 you’re looking at a lot of cute pictures of your friends’ kids. But with Tumblr, you never know what you’re going to get — even with people you know personally. That, in a nutshell, is the difference between a social graph and an interest graph.

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