Empty Your Facebook Inbox

   18 February 2009, early morning

I have emails from when I in grade 11 on my old Powerbook 5300CS. I read them when I was home a few weeks back. It was funny and scary reading what I wrote. Those emails are over 10 years old now. I wonder what people who have replaced email with Facebook will have to look back on in 10 years time. My guess is nothing, but you never know. I think the uproar over Facebook’s TOS was justified, but the bigger issue I have with Facebook is that it traps all your interactions with the site on the site. There is no way to programatically export your data. While their messaging system is convenient, it’s locked into Facebook. If Facebook folds, or they decide to ban you from the site, there go your “emails”. Kottke compared Facebook to AOL, and the comparison is apt. A site that traps your data isn’t worth your time.

 

Comments

  1. …yet you just signed up for it a couple of weeks ago?

  2. I don’t actually use the sites messaging feature. Or I try not to anyway, but some people on the site don’t list their email address. I also don’t post photographs, I don’t write notes, I don’t do much of anything on the site except post meaningless one-line status updates.

    I feel like I’m better informed to bitch about the site since joining. I had this vague idea that it was the best of this breed of web application, but there is a lot of stuff that seems poorly thought out. I mean, why is the News Feed a random assortment of shit, in a random order. Everytime I log in I get presented some new stuff, and some old stuff. So I have to scan the whole page to see if there is something that’s actually new. What the fuck? There is lots of stuff like this.

    I was right all along. The site sucks. I think my description of it then matches what I’ve found after using the site for the last couple weeks: Hanging out behind your computer, alone, “talking” to people — stalking people — has its place, but i’m not sure i’d call it being social. The site is more about voyeurism than anything else.

    That said, I did find my friends Shaun, Ruth, and Dan again. Mind you, I probably could have tracked them down via other friends.

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