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July 19th, 2009

What Facebook Does Very Wrong

Facebook does a lot of things right. First and foremost, it makes it easy to find and reconnect with people you thought you’d never talk to again (if, indeed, that is what you want to do in the first place). It also makes it relatively easy to throw a bunch of photos and video online for your friends and family, but no one else, to see. But there are a few places where Facebook is so completely off.

First is groups. There are groups for every imaginable topic on Facebook, as one would expect, but tell me the truth: after you signed up and became a member of a group (or a “fan” of an artist or place) that you ever checked in with or participated as part of that group? Me, pretty much never, including groups and fan pages that I’ve started! I think the primary reason for this is that there’s no easy, quick way to see what’s new in the groups or fan pages you’ve subscribed to. I wouldn’t want this as part of my wall, but what about another tab, between “wall” and “info” that’s specifically for this purpose? A sort of “wall” that aggregates groups and fan pages the same way as it does your friends. You’d be able to hide groups you don’t want to see updates for, easy reply to conversations taking place in a group, etc. Instead, we’ve got a bunch of stuff thrown out there on the spur of the moment and then never touched again.

Second is music. Myspace is one of the worst sites on the planet, but they’ve always managed to make it pretty simple for a band to have a web presence (even if it’s hideous). While I agree with the “no themes” approach Facebook takes, they need to do something that makes it easier for bands to upload music and have conversations with their fans. “Fan pages” suck big time. Once Facebook can figure this problem out, they’ll wipe Myspace off the map once and for all.

Posted in Technology

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