Dear Facebook (by Michael Aguilar)
Guys, this is a letter one of my friends wrote in Facebook (to Facebook) that really needs to be more public than the silly public settings on Facebook itself. While this letter doesnt touch on some of the more questionable actions by Facebook we’ve learned of in the past, it does address a common dissatisfaction within the environment that most people do find in their experience with the service.
Michael is very much like me, he’s very savvy in the tech arena and often cracking some awesome one-liners that sometimes you’ll even find me quoting on the blog. He’s currently forgone the tech arena, and is currently taking a journey camping from Texas all the way to Alaska..no really, he’s actually doing it. I am featuring him here mainly because he’s a pretty cool cat and he posts rants like these that just make people want to hug him.
You can find him and his
campy camping experiences at PoorlyPlannedSafari.com
I think it’s time I explained something to you. It’s about what you are. Yes, I’m sure you’ve drunk enough of your own Kool-Aid to believe you are something new, cool, and different.
What you are is blogging for the masses. Nothing more. There isn’t anything happening here that hasn’t happened for years on other platforms. You just made it easy enough for anyone to get into it.
That’s great! Setting up and filling a blog used to be really hard. If you wanted to say something to the world, you had to jump through a lot of high hoops. HTML & CSS was enough to scare people away. If you wanted to manage access in any way, you had to convince people to sign up for it. You had to give out your URL, or urge people to subscribe to your RSS feed. You had to pester them to read the thing.
It was part tech, part marketing, and then only what you had to say.
That sucked, and you fixed it. Thank you.
So why even bring this up? Well, it seems that you’ve gotten a little too big-headed lately. You’re so fixated on being cool that you haven’t figured out that you’re not. You were just the next step in something that has been going on for almost 20 years.
So, now you’re running around buying and building things that nobody even asked for. Timeline? Really? Show me a successful blog laid out that way, I dare you. Nobody reads like that.
Instagram? Face.com? Sure, lots of people were using them, and I’m sure they will make fine additions. They’re cool, right?
What about the basics, though? Instead of listening to what your closed circle of people are telling you, why don’t you just look at the things WordPress does, and make it even simpler?
How about nested groups, or at least permitting more than one group access to a post, picture, or album? Managing access is still a complete pain. This is something that Google+ does much better.
What about (you knew I was going to say it) better photo management? Moving a picture from one album to another should be a no-brainer. It isn’t possible at all. Instead of automatically tagging faces, an automatic watermark would be nice.
And wow – these long-form posts really hammer the browser. I didn’t know that until just now. Take a look at it, would you?
Most importantly, quit trying to be so sneaky. This is our stuff. We want to talk to each other, not you. I’m sure most people understand that we’re giving away data to advertisers, and that’s not so bad. You gotta make a buck or two. That’s fine. Setting things so that we’re unknowingly sharing has got to stop. Take us more seriously.
“Cool”, by it’s nature, only lasts so long. You’re not lame, yet. You sure are working on it, though.
I’m not going anywhere just yet. This is where the people are. For now. I’ll go back to posting pictures of my cats.
Michael Aguilar (but you already knew that)