Well, Google's OpenSocial initiative includes a big name after all. MySpace has embraced the OpenSocial APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), a means of building applications for all sorts of social networking sites that aren't Facebook. Oh, and Bebo has joined the mix as well. Earlier this week, when talk of OpenSocial …
The problem with MySpace over Facebook
OK, so Facebook kinda restricts the way your page can look, but look at MySpace pages. You should never let the average person design their own pages, they suck at it. MySpace makes my eyes bleed. At least Facebook looks tidy, and it works well. I hated the concept of social networking sites but I have to admit Facebook is great. I hope they continue to show the way to the rest of them. Google, I love your stuff, but get over yourselves!
Re: The problem with MySpace over Facebook
"MySpace makes my eyes bleed" - and usually also my ears... Which is my prime reason to never visit MySpace sites - unless they are for a band, anyway.
Who ever think playing audio on a webpage with the users expressed consent (like pressing "play"!) should have their middle fingers removed and any web design certificates revoked!! (Or perhaps something more extreme - that might be illegal to express...)
"At least Facebook looks tidy, and it works well."
Yes, Facebook generally works pretty well, I will grant that much.
However - the apps developed by other parties are way too often crappy, spam-ridden, and overall poorly designed. And even worse - they leverage of peer pressure from your "friends" to get you to use their app - not superior quality.
I believe the main challenge (beside interoperability) for this OpenSocial project will be to ensure quality. Although it might be more of an extension than a feature... ;)
All your MySpace belong to us
oh and Google too...
well to be honest
Facebook and Myspace have over complicated thngs for my liking. Bebo is simple and effective, whereas the apps you forever find yourself having to install in facebook in order to interact with your friends are just annoying. Great for keeping those people who spend every second of the day amused, but a royal pain in the ass for those of us who like to get their job done too....
The long and the short of it is that i think its all a bunch of ass...
re: spam ridden facebook apps
You can always just ignore them. Some of the games are well written and under active development, and often making good computerised versions of the board games.
Getting vampire invitations sucks (pardon the pun). They're easily ignored; Succumbing to peer pressure is not often the best thing
Do no evil?
So the company who's moto is "Do no evil" is getting involved with a company owned by Rupert Murdoch...
Facebook is Safer
Facebook is actually safer than MySpace though. People can only look at your Facebook page if you've accepted them as friends plus you can only allow certain people to only see a limited profile if you want. If people are accepting strangers as friends then they are just being silly but people like myself only accept people who I know.
I couldn't have put it better myself, I listen to music on my PC as I browse and suddenly I've got some piss-ass quality music by some random piece of crap band being played to me as I go on a MySpace page, argh! I've only ever seen one good MySpace page and it was the one for the Simpsons Movie. Sounds like much of the internet; only professionally designed pages aren't offensive to the eye.
Likewise, I agree completely about the apps on FaceBook. I don't mind adding things like FunWall so that people can post YouTube videos etc directly, but annoyingly people will find a funny video and post it on everyone's page without checking if it's already there. I look at my sisters page though and I can't find anything because she has over 30 different apps on the one page. Oh, she has a MySpace page too and guess what; it's awful!
Facebook needs a bit more work methinks but so far I've found it a much better way to get back in touch with old friends than anything like Friends Reunited ever was, and I actually find it fun. Not only that but it's got me out the house more now since I've got back in touch with friends I lost contact with when I left school 12 years ago.
Facebook Apps Suck
Facebook has sucked since they lets apps run willy-nilly.
For a start, many of the apps are scummy in themselves. Many either send unsolicited spam on behalf of the user or at least make it an effort for the user to /not/ spam his contacts. Top Friends in particular offended me because it once added more apps by the same developer without even telling me, never mind asking me. Needless to say, I removed it (and wrote my own with the excellent Code Box).
Secondly, while Facebook doesn't let a user edit the HTML or CSS for his profile, it still gives him the power to make his profile's viewers eyes bleed. One of my crazy contacts managed to add 117 apps, many of which were flash-based or image-heavy. If my browser even survives loading the page, it is so sluggish aftwerwards that I have to force-quit it anyway.
"Networking" sites in general
As well as the "Hey, install CRAPAPP V2.1 on your facebook... all the cool people are doing it" type messages, I also detest the fact that some people don't understand these things ARE JUST MEANT TO BE A BIT OF FUN!
I doubt the creators of these sites sat down and said "Y'know, I think we could revolutionise people's lives and give them a whole new way of communicating!". Yet, on a daily basis I am subject to nagging from those friends who have time to fritter away posting stuff on my "wall", then demanding responses, then when I actually see them in person they demand to know why I haven't written back on their "wall".
If you want to converse, come and see me. Or phone me. Or e-mail me... Call a video conference even. It takes an hour to exchange information on Facespace, Mybo or Bebook that could be discussed verbally in literally one minute.
'Jealousy' and shedding of the shell
I agree that facebook is the better of the two, and I also agree with most of the criticisms mentioned here. Just a few more points:
1) Notification of updated content seems to be scattered all over the place. As far as I can tell I have to load at least three different pages to see what my friends are up to. What's that about?
2) How many 'wall' apps do we need? (Wall, funwall, superwall, hot...), how many 'poke' apps? They all do more or less the same thing, and worst of all, none of them are compatible with each other!!! If facebook app developers can't even be given some kind of incentive to share their data models, what hope is there for an open mashup standard? Oh yes and it is certainly Facebook that should be providing that incentive, because casual developers are too 'jealous' to have other things to think about.
Well, I discovered that you can post youtube videos with the default 'posted items' app. Works just as well, doesn't require anyone to install anything, or get spammed.
3) Most of the apps are crap. They resemble each other too much without being compatible in any way. Fatal flaw. The first thing they do (and continue to do) is encourage you to spam your friends with requests to be assimilated into their own borg/hive/leper colony. They are mostly utterly banale. (Sticky Notes, Glitter, anyone?)
Also... why must I install a "Nietzsche Quotes" app. and then a separate "Kierkegaard Quotes" app. and then a still third "Mighty Boosh Quotes" app. Have none of these developers got the vision to make even a generic 'Quotes' app which could scrape quotes from the thinker(s) of your choice from the myriad quote aggregator sites on the web??? Instead we're offered an almost endless parade of one-trick ponies. This is a very unsophisticated way of viewing mashup content. Nobody is thinking bigger than what they can see through their shirt cuff buttonhole, it seems.
4) Complaints and feature requests are poorly handled. If you're lucky you get an impersonal automated reply. Example: The relatively popular 'Compare People' app has recently started sending bogus notifications to its users, despite promising anonymity. "I" notified someone I barely know that I think he has 'the best hair' out of all my 'friends', and I had made no such rating. I wonder whether people receive non-anonymous notifications from family members announcing that they are the one "I'd most like to sleep with". Eurgh... Could be tricky to explain. My efforts to complain about this (and other issues) have yielded absolutely no comment or feedback from those responsible... Facebook itself needs to be much more reflexive and responsive to user feedback about third-party apps, and the third-party app developers, well they all need to read the cluetrain manifesto too.
5) Facebook needs to introduce asymetrical 'friendships' (boss-employee, teacher-student, guru-devotee etc.) it's utterly ridiculous that I have 'been to school' with some of my students, and 'worked together' with some others, just because I can't specify the correct relationship type.
6) Sloppy digital rhetoric: Why does the button say 'Ignore'? Surely 'Decline' is more polite. I don't feel entirely good about having to 'ignore' my ingenuous friends who send me dumb app requests, but I would happily 'decline' their invitations. These might seem like small details, but there are irritating quirks of rhetoric like this over the whole facebook site, including the infamous 'is' before the status line which fails miserably in languages other than English, and even in English, forces a fair amount of verbal gymnastics just to express things like "I've just had six beers" (Must be recast as "is drunk, after six beers" or - Irish style - "is after drinking six beers").
7) I like facebook, but I get the impression that it (like HTML) was let out of the lab too early. It's fine as a Harvard University intranet, but it's not ready to be the killer app for global social networking, and they'll most likely lose the inevitable 'war' against google/myspace if they don't brush up. There are too many rough edges; Too many things just not thought through properly; Too many 'lucky accidents' which conceal the fact that the critter has to shed its young shell in order to grow a more adult carapace.
Facebook promises a lot and delivers maybe 1% of its promise, mostly because of the many small design flaws and sloppy details multiplied together. The best thing it has going for it is the open API, (which is no longer a unique selling point) and the way it enforces a sober look-and-feel, with some well-designed pseudo-ajax effects. Thing is, those advantages will be worth nothing once google/myspace get their sh*t together.
Oh yeh, codebox is a great app! I also recommend WikiMono.
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