Facebook: the internet’s black hole

September 3, 2007

Not much seems to be going on amongst my circle of friends on the internet at the moment, in terms of blogging and the like. As Tom mentioned in conversation recently, this seems to be because of the omnipresent Facebook, which is sucking up everyone’s internet-surfing time. I for one have been spending far too long staring at a Scrabble board, via the horribly addictive Scrabulous application (Charlie Brooker of the Guardian writes about this well here).

Whether this trend is a good or a bad one is difficult to say- I’m tending towards bad, though. Facebook is fundamentally a boring platform, allowing people to say basically nothing, and then shutting this information in (the walled garden effect). I personally value a friend’s new blog posts a great deal more than 50 status updates on Facebook.

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7 Responses to “Facebook: the internet’s black hole”

  1. Dan Says:

    Dan is considering writing a new blog post sometime soon.

  2. neilstewart Says:

    Hooray, looking forward to it!

  3. James Says:

    Neil, interesting I agree in parts, Faceboook has huge time sucking potential but used “professionally” it can be quite useful. This means avoiding all the games and not installing apps like “What is your stripper name” etc so that your persona is a professional one. If you do this you could potentially benefit from the “collective intelligence” of your friends and the groups although I’m yet join a group which has truly reached its full potential.

    There is of course a balance between using Facebook and using other Web 2.0 tools like Blogs, Twitter etc. I like using Facebook because it allows me to do several things at once including using Twitter, although I find the updates frustratingly slow. The one thing Facebook would benefit from is an internal blogging tool, this would improve the application greatly.

  4. neilstewart Says:

    Thanks James, good comments. The problem for me is that if you remove the “fun” aspects of Facebook, there’s not a lot else left really. I guess I need to investigate some of the groups a bit more thoroughly.

    I do really resent the fact that Facebook is walled, as mentioned above, and I think having a blogging tool used within Facebook would only encourage further dependance. One of the nice things about blogs is that the content is open to all. Admittedely, though, allowing developers to create applications for Facebook was a very large step in the right direction in this regard.

  5. Jenenifer Says:

    I think the main thing with Facebook at the moment is that everyone has just hit their stride with it – it’s still brand new to a lot of users, so there is a lot of playing with all of the available tools, adding and removing apps, playing pirates and scrabulous, and other not very interesting activities.
    I do think this will all start blowing over soon though. I’m over my Facebook hump – after spending far too much time on it for the first month or so, I’m now only checking it once or twice a day, and am using it for genuine communication, rather than just play and timesuckage.

    (I also have a handful of blog-posts in late-stage drafts as well, so there will be more for you in your rss reader soon!)

  6. neilstewart Says:

    I agree, J! The “new toy” factor is always a big one with these things. Having said that, though, some of my friends seem to spend literally all their internet time on facebook- it’ll be interesting to see whether they get over it soon…

    Looking forward to your blog posts!

  7. neilstewart Says:

    Looks like Facebook have rendered my walled garden complaint redundant- they’ve announced that profiles will now be searchable from outside Facebook: http://battellemedia.com/archives/003928.php


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