I’ve been using Facebook mostly to get a feel for its possibilities, not as a place to do business or keep all that close track of anything. I logged onto the site today and found four messages from people who either already knew my email address or who could have easily found it. I’ve responded via email, not via Facebook, because I have no idea when I’ll log back into the site.
Meanwhile, there’s a slew of new “friend” invitations and assorted other stuff to look through. I’m overwhelmed by it all, in part because of the foolishly tedious process the site forces you to endure to vet and approve new “friends” — no batch add of people, as LinkedIn smartly allows, and a ridiculous insistence that you explain your connection to the other people before you can accept them as friends.
Moreover, I don’t find it terribly useful except for the bloggish feature in the center of the personalized page. That’s a not-bad summary of people’s activities, but it doesn’t compensate for all the other issues.
I’m inclined to agree with Jason Calacanis, whoi declared Facebook bankruptcy, and with Dave Winer, who never accepted it as a liability in the first place. But the germ of an incredibly useful site remains — if it’s made considerably more open, in the sense of letting people export their data in ways of their own choosing.
If you’re on Facebook and want to contact me, please don’t use the internal messaging system. Go here instead. Thanks.