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Why Facebook sucks

Saturday, October 13, 2007 by Dave Winer.

A picture named hebrewHunk.jpgAnother topic Scoble and I talked about today was Facebook. I said I don't like Facebook, never have, and I finally figured out why. Permalink to this paragraph

It's another one of those user generated content things, only this time I'm building up an address book that I can look at, but can only do things with it that Facebook lets me do. Permalink to this paragraph

Why exactly do I need Facebook to get inbetween me and my address book? Permalink to this paragraph

I mean, I understand why they want me to tell them everyone I know, but how about letting me download a copy to my computer, so I can back it up, use it on my iPhone or Blackberry, bequeath it to my heirs, write a book about it, or give a copy to Google or Netflix or Yahoo, or you get the idea. Permalink to this paragraph

It's the last thing they don't want me to do, give a copy to a competitor of theirs. And they hope I won't notice that I'm doing all this work and not insisting on at least being their equal when it comes to my data.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named youngMenWithBuckets.gifSometime in November Google is rumored to be revealing their answer to Facebook. Whatever it is it will surely have an API, and will allow Google apps to share the info, and it will, if it hopes to compete with Facebook, provide some access to this data to app developers. But the true measure of their gravitas will be whether they give full control of the user's data to the user. If they do that, no matter what's missing from their software, it won't suck. Permalink to this paragraph

PS: When I write about it, I do it crudely, saying they suck or don't. When Doc Searls writes about it he calls it Vendor Relationship Management. Doc writes so elegantly because he is a research fellow at Harvard University.  Permalink to this paragraph

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Last update: 10/13/07; 8:43:39 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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