Smart Tech for a better Web
I am an amateur musician. Well, with Time & Bill and other project consuming all my time, I am currently an “idle” musician. But back then in 2005 I was pretty active and I remember we wanted to release our next CD. All my musician friends were on MySpace and told us about the good promotion they could do there. I always found it ugly, but there were so many people there that I finally joined, uploaded our songs to the music player and put some effort to building up a network. It worked good, for a while. Then it seemed that more musicians than listeners where on MySpace. I got tons of messages like “listen to my new track” or “come to our concert”. Our comments looked like a big Ad wall, containing lots of images from music people. Somewhere between one could see naked ladies offering their services. I finally closed comments. Then MySpace started to “make it better”. It failed, it was just becoming slower, uglier and unusable. Finally I went out of it, cared only on our website. MySpace was a mess and did not have any use.
Then everybody went to Facebook. I looked at it but well, I didn’t like it so much. It was difficult to get music to that place. It was somehow restrictive and I really hated the UI. But well, everybody joined and so did I. I found some 3rd party Apps which let my visitor listen to my music. All well. After a while I found some old friends their. Everything should be OK?
Then the Games came. Suddenly everything was a mess. Heck, I don’t want to earn gold, slay dragons or harvest some salads. I am just here for chatting with some friends and communicating with the fans of our band. It was really getting worse and I was about to leave Facebook but then I found FBPurity. It was better with that. And when I found out how Facebook can be stopped to send my “Game Request” e-mails it was OK again.
I really ignored all data privacy discussions so far. Actually I do not post anything sensitive to Facebook. Uploaded Photos are of a general kind. I do not answer alle the questions Facebook asks me. That in mind I thought I can live with the fact Facebook is doing some really weird stuff with my profile. At some point Customers added me on Facebook. Now I was even more carefully with my Facebook profile. It’s probably strange for my customers to read mummy’s request to harvest salad on my wall, but well. They have to live with it.
Data privacy - is that actually an issue? Because I have learned that the most content inside of Facebook is real crap. “Ouch, I broke my toe” is one of the more interesting posts. Sometimes somebody got a baby. If it is an old, real-life friend, I already know. If it is one of this people I have not heard for years it’s not so amusing like hearing of that news from friends in a pub. Now, what is the “great data” we all care about? If it is not our user generated nonsense, it’s probably when we click on “Like”. Because then Facebook knows we like Coca Cola and can sell our customer profile to whoever.
Anyway I can accept they sell my data for providing me the service to promote my band and stay in touch with people. Even when the interface is still a mess. Since G+ launched Facebook became even more messy. For example, it always takes me a good while to add events to a page I care about for a friend.
Now, what do we have? A lot of ads, which makes me use AdBlocker+ (I switched). Content which is most often boring and not worth to waste time in this busy age. My profile is sold to some unknown people. And hey, I forgot Facebook is doing changes without pre-warning.
Like for example that you can’t reach all the fans of your page when you post new content. That’s true - Facebook recommends me to pay when I want to reach all my fans. There is a pretty nice post about it which describes the situation. It seems the losses on the shares need to come back somehow.
Actually Facebook has now surpassed the level of stench MySpace once had. No, I am not going to pay for that. I am going to stop posting content. Why should I post content to Facebook when nobody reads it? Why should I communicate trivial things to my friends and pay for that? Telephone is cheaper. Why should I pay for my band which does not bring any revenue in these days?
I guess it is like that. From time to time the big social networks forget that users are not money-making-machines. And that users can go away. In my case, I will leave Facebook for Google+. Actually I am posting all my blogs content to there, if you want to follow. I love the UI. I love the hangouts. I love the circles. And there is much better content than in Facebook. A lot of technical people.
This will leave me in the situation that Twitter and G+ are my primary channels for communication. At least, until these networks become worse. Twitter is already doing some weird stuff, like with the API changes. Let’s see what happens.
Finally I strongly believe at one day there will be a decentralized social network, based on Open Source tools.
Goodbye Facebook. I do not miss you.