Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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438 words

That Facebook thing is amusing. On the one hand it seems nice for keeping in touch or loosely keeping in touch with old friends (well, old friends who aren’t from Germany anyway, people around here dig other shit), on the other hand it must be one of the worst web sites in existence.

Their software just seems to suck big time. In all the bad ways that you’d want to imagine. It definitely has that ‘programmed by Windows users’ feel to it that bad software has. You know the behaviour that prevents you from uploading images whose name happens to end in ‘.jpeg’ because they’re not ‘proper’ ‘.JPG’ files. That sort of getting things wrong. But also general user interface suckiness. Which exists pretty much everywhere you look. In fact, that trend also seems to be true for their third party applications. Pretty much none of which seem to not have some idiotic UI faults within a few clicks’ reach.

Some people think that Facebook is a site for the educated. Which may – or may not – be true. And may look more true in comparison to MySpace just because the Facebook pages are less likely to give you eye-cancer. Yet, looking around at the ‘groups’ there or the general stuff people post, I find it much harder to see differences.

To me, Facebook looks just like a more business oriented approach. More managerial things are done there, addresses are kept, calendars are filled and less fun, anarchy, madness happens. But style, class or even more high-level aspects? Forget it. Just look the ads they serve on the site (at least when you’re accessing it from Germany). They seem to be the most yellow-pressish and dumb internet ads I have seen in a while. And – taking the risk of assuming that advertising people know their target audiences and where to spend their money – this hints that the target audience there is significantly more gullible than on other sites I visit. Just an observation.

I also thought these comments about Facebook as a platform were interesting. Perhaps not for the text’s actual points but just that main ‘platform’ idea. Where the main proponent is probably Microsoft. And we see where clinging to a ‘platform’ takes developers: They stop being interested in actually making things work well but just in keeping their audience dependent on the ‘platform’ and that’s pretty much all they do. Of course there can be arguments for such an approach. But my impression is that these are mainly business arguments and not those which lead to surprising or even refreshingly new ideas.

July 20, 2007, 0:27

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