I dislike Facebook because they’re mediocre.

Facebook has become to the social web what Microsoft is to the desktop: mindbogglingly gargantuan, relentlessly mediocre, and almost inescapable. Like Microsoft twenty years ago, they will succeed because a bad standard is better than none: and like Microsoft ten years ago, they “innovate” by clumsily copying—and then trying to squash—the real innovators.

writes Jon Evans in the linked article on TechCrunch.

I find Facebook infinitely more dangerous: Microsoft established itself among a number of proprietary, closed and obscure desktop platforms. Facebook, on the other hand, threatens to engulf and absorb the Web, probably the most open, most amazing development in computing, ever. The path to openness is hard — we need standards, modelling of semantics and relationships, but above all good implementations making use thereof. Facebook provides an easy, ‘closed’ alternative, as does twitter and a number of other services building upon their proprietary protocols and interfaces. That’s why FOAF and OpenSocial are nowhere to be found and everyone (including us) uses Facebook widgets. Again the age-old saying: “ideas are cheap, implementations cost” rings true, and Facebook have a more popular implementation, like Microsoft did back in its heyday.

4 Responses to “I dislike Facebook because they’re mediocre.”

  1. panos says:

    funny that there is a “like” button at the bottom of this article =)

  2. cosmix says:

    Indeed, but I wrote that in the post itself. And that is precisely the point: Facebook thrives on the lack of better, opener solutions. =)

  3. Richard says:

    Almost all of what is important on the web happens outside of Facebook. The rest of the web is more likely to replicate the social graph (and associated toys) long before *everything else* moves into Facebook! Photo sharing, a few messages, some apps. Compared to what e.g. one important site – Amazon.com – does for my life, Facebook is a joke. Or Google. Can’t work without Google for a single day. Stackoverflow – much more beneficial to my life and it’s only been around for a short while. Hacker news – not going to move into Facebook any time soon. Google Maps. iPhone apps, etc etc etc.

  4. atma says:

    I see facebook as an excellent platform for many things, awful for others. Depends on the view and on the use the an individual makes.

    When I write a comment more than 200 people see it instantly. Yes, the avg IQ is ‘way’ lower than other social networks (like twitter and friendfeed), but I’m not quite sure if my facebook stream can be compared with my twitter stream in conditions parity.

    Technically, I’d like to wait a few years and see how web and related technology grows. The good thing about ‘Facebook’ is that, at least it ‘open’ the gates of web 2.0 for ‘computer illiterate’ people. I see too many ‘old’ (above 40) using it, posting videos and links of news.

    I agree with @Richard when he says that it’s hard to live without google (I tried, switch all my iDevices to Yahoo! for 1 month, it was horrible) while we can live without Facebook. It’s 1 click away and I don’t miss it.

    Alternatives there are a few… Most notably ‘diaspora’ but it grows really slowly.

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