Saturday, July 14, 2007

What's so great about Facebook?

At some of my co-workers urgings, I recently added Facebook to my litany of online networking tools; you can check out my page, if you are so inclined. I gotta say...what's the big deal? It's like a (slightly) more grown up version of MySpace, but lacking in many of the amazingly powerful tools of LinkedIn or Plaxo; with those tools, you get the business, as well as very slick automatically linking and updating tools, without the "oh, look at me" factors. In essence, what a business pro needs.

And yet, the news is going crazy with stories of how they will (or have) surpassed MySpace as the premier online destination, and more. Remember, Rupert Murdoch's $400 Million purchase of MySpace was considered unreal at the time, yet Facebook is already rumored to be in the $750 million range, and considering going IPO. Hell, they say they'll make $100 million this year.

For such a juggernaut, I can't help but wonder why the site is so ungainly. For instance, instead of having to post "my notes" (their version of blogging), why can I not just easily publish my RSS feed of this blog on that page, like I can in LinkedIn or Yahoo 360? Maybe a filtered Loyalty Dogs RSS feed? We live in the Web 2.0 age, and we are still forced to use these antique networks that think all are islands unto themselves? And what about the "photos?" Any reason my Flickr feed can't show up there, like it does in Plaxo? Look, maybe all of those things and more are possible, but I'm a dedicated Widget guy, and I can't find a single way to easily do this; with the other services I've mentioned here, I can do all of that in seconds.

So, I ask again: why is Facebook a (potentially) $1 billion company, when they don't even have the best horse in the race? Someone? Anyone?

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