Friday, May 14, 2010

So long, Facebook. Perhaps not goodbye.

For years, I have been among the devoted Facebook followers, asking my friends to join, posting irrelevant, and sometimes relevant, stuff there. Sharing photos, playing Scrabble - you name it. It was great.

All good things, apparently, must come to an end.

I won't go on and on about the horrible changes Facebook has made to their privacy settings and how they treat users. Persons interested in learning more can go to here for a great graphic of how this has changed since it all started. There's plenty of posts detailing the horror. No need to repeat. It is, after all, a link economy.

What I've struggled with is the question, do I need to participate in something I am ethically opposed to (appropriating information from users without choice) or can I live without the news stream, which is really the important part of Facebook for me. So, I tried it for a week.

Here I am, on the other side, alive.

I miss my friends' updates, but I am also convinced that it is better to make a conscious decision to keep in touch with them via web, Twitter, phone, email, IM and - heaven forbid - postal mail. I'm also convinced that either Facebook will wake up and smell the revolt, in which case I'll come back, or someone else will do it better and Facebook will become MySpace.

One of the contenders in the "doing it right" space is Diaspora. I love the name. They are working on a dedicated, privacy rich, open source social network movement. So are others, I'm sure. These folks aren't funding it with venture capital demanding a bazillion point return or an advertising based exit strategy. I don't mind viewing some ads to pay for a useful service, but c'mon - not allowing me to post profile information unless I make it public to the world? Thanks, but no thanks.

So, I'll keep my stripped-to-the-bone, personal FB profile in cryogenic suspension. It'll be there if things change and I come back. I'll keep my work account alive, but will similarly strip that down to just the things I need for work. In the meantime, I'll be watching and waiting for the inevitable Better Idea to replace the Zuckerberg craziness.

No comments:

Post a Comment