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Facebook Practice

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After signed up two years ago, just played a while then stopped using it due its limitation to allow info/message/photos being published to non-FB users. Recently played more and still dislike such private social network as when it was originally created in a school society. For privacy concerns, it could allow user opens some portion (such as photos uploaded by the user) to public without having to share other message/info within the network.

Yes, now the album links are actually accessible to internet, but not naturally with user’s profile (which should have customized choices for more visibility as attraction to outside than just a name for anyone to guess). I assume FB must have confidence to dominate whole social network in the future. But requiring people logging in is not convenient for everyone, not always. There will always be some people at the edge and the network is shielded, instead of open.

Okay, logged in anyway. It is not the perfect web application. And it will probably never be until being competed by another one. Other than lacking of more customizable publish options (to outside world or to a pre-defined group), FB does not provide an easy way to help user understand what are or not visible to different levels of people, group, or network. What is the difference between publising on my wall and posting on other’s wall?

Next issue is the group. Anyone can create a group. But what if two users have groups with the same name, when they are friends in both groups? It happens when the groups have existed before two people become friends and they add each other. That could cause a lot of confusion to decide which group to use. Right now renaming one of the group seems the only solution.

Additional to the group, there is a FB network. This is the one not that easy to create, when the network does not exist yet. For example, your organization could be a network. FB asks for the employer name, e-mail address, and the web site. After you submit the info, nothing happens, no confirmation from FB anymore. Some people say you have to wait for 10 people request for the same network. But what if a small company has only 5 people? Why could not FB create some network automatically based on the web site?

Finding an old friend is hard in real world. Not quite easier in FB. If not a majority of people join FB, you would miss a friend from old time anyway. But even if everyone is in FB, finding people could become very difficult. The application does not provide a lot of search criteria to narrow down the results. For example, due to language translation to English, you may only be sure about the last name. The search within results is not well provided. Similiarly, FB allows you input a city with state, but not for the state only. What if you want to find a friend in California but do not know which city?

After found a friend or some one you may be interested in, the next thing is to add to as a friend in FB. However, this could cause your problem potentially. First, for the person been asked, there are only two choices, “Confirm” or “Not Now”. What does “Not Now” do? Is it to reject or just simply ignore the request? Anyway, if some people are out there seeking for new friends, there is a chance to be restricted access by FB if one has asked too many unknown people as friends. What is wrong with that? Yes, there is spam. But there is no guide and tools (e.g. an instroduction message) in FB to tell you how to make new friends carefully.

Next issue is the photo management. There are far more better ones out there already. FB uses it more for tagging. Other than that, the upload interface is rough, the slide show is too simple, there is lack of photo info (e.g. EXIF), and the quality of the picture is not very good (even if being uploaded with High Resolution). How about location? No integration with either Google Map nor Bing?

Last but not all, navigating in FB to look for settings or functions could be confusing. The “wall” just serves as a quick post station. For a long history user or who has many many friends, the wonder is how to organize all the information. There is need to search or filter view for certain topics per keyword/label or person. By the way, due to issues in IE8, Back/Forward in FB does not work as expected.

Written by Boathill

2011-03-12 at 20:00

Posted in review

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