Friday, May 14, 2010

Facebook: The Case Against

I've been thinking a long time about Facebook and whether or not I want to be on the site in general.
It is, technically, a tool for promotion. Fan Page, twitter feed, link to the blog (which is going to show up on Facebook in about an hour) all sorts of nifty crap that can be done on it. That's the plus. A way to manage a fan base, in theory.

Except it sucks at keeping dates unless I let a third party app do it, which then has access to almost all my data. Admittedly, my data is not that valuable to anybody but Wizards of the Coast.
So I'm back to using a google calendar on a website.

So what sucks about Facebook?
Spam - every single asshole who thinks it's ok to steal part of my attention by inviting me to a shit gig, fuck you. Seriously, I hate every single one of you and your invites.
Spam - Hey, you know why I never responded to your event? Because I don't like you or your event. In fact, your event is probably why I don't like you anymore. Why did you send me something asking why I didn't respond? IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE A SPAMMING FUCK.
Status Updates from other comedians, talking about shows I can't get booked on. Ok, this is totally my problem, within my control to change how I feel about it. But I am a little sick and part of me digs the seething envy and resentment. Can't be good long term.
I've heard the argument that FB is a tool to find out where the shows are at and try getting booked that way; while I acknowledge this may be true, if you're showing up in rooms and performing regularly then you'll get word/booked anyhow. And if you're not showing up in rooms, well, I know how that goes because that's been my Master Plan for the last year and I'm doing almost nothing but open mics right now.

And the big nasty - privacy. Right now you can actually Get Out of Facebook, and have most of your data go away. The way they've been running, that's almost certainly not going to be forever. They surreptitiously change the Privacy Policy and their Terms of Use, never for the user's benefit.

And it only makes sense when you realize YOU are the product. Facebook isn't the product - We are. And we're letting Facebook get paid for our shit, for nothing.
And they're abusing it mightily.

Anything Facebook can do, I should be trying to do on my website.
Status updates? Twitter's mighty fine; I can have them appear at the top of my blog No Problem.

Blogs? I've got an RSS feed. Twitter also pushes them out.
Dates? Can't do that on FB.
Fans? They'd be mine only until Facebook decides they're not; I don't have control on whether or not they shut my fan page down, or decide I violate the terms of service, or someone reports my blog as offensive again.

Bottom line: I don't have control of my data at all. And that's beginning to wear thin. Google has the Data Liberation project, where they ensure you can extract your Gmail, your blogs, your calendars, your whateverthefuck to allow you to switch services.
Facebook's actively trying to prevent that.

Plus, it's such a time waster. It's a thief of time, and I'm already running thin on it. I can't imagine what it would be like with kids.

I think Diaspora* is in my future, or perhaps just Google Buzz and a web redesign in WordPress or something.

1 comment:

  1. I am paranoid enough as it is. But thanks for the info... As for FB with small kids, sometimes it is one's only social outlet and escape for the day.