Please stop inviting me to FaceBook.

Every couple of weeks, I get FaceBook invitations landing in my mailbox. This is in addition to a bunch of e-mail notices from MySpace and some sporadic ones from LDSLinkup, LinkedIn and Friendster. Orkut doesn't bug me too much, but I'm not counting on that to last. I've got social networking fatigue in a bad way.

The biggest pain is that I don't like signing up for a new site every time something becomes the Next Big Thing™. I caved on MySpace only because it seemed like that's where everyone was going. Now everyone is high-tailing it for FaceBook, the new flavor of the month in a sea of funky-named sites looking to cash in on the Web 2.0 gold rush. I just don't have the patience to check a dozen websites with varying circles of friends, especially when I've staked out my own little corner of the Interweb.

Google might shake some of that up. They're one of the major forces behind OpenSocial, an API designed to allow all of these sites to talk to each other and allow programmers to design widgets once instead of for every since site out there. A bunch of heavy hitters have already signed on, including MySpace, Friendster, Orkut, LinkedIn and Six Apart. If that gets mixed up with a bit of OpenID, it could lead the way to the social networking promised land. Imagine a single logon that displays all of the data from your favorite social networking sites in a single spot. I don't know about you, but that sounds good to me.

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8 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    True Dat! I’m looking forward to OpenSocial as well. I barely check myspace, except for the occasional email I get from my non-lds friends that I can’t get from LDSLinkup.

    Plus I’ve yet to figure it out. I have 230 invitations to become a Werewolf Pirate Ninja Wizard who quotes the “Office” and Dane Cook.

  2. Mike says:

    The only reason I ended up on Facebook was for work. They told me to create a profile so all the techs in the Art Dept. could communicate without mass emails.

    I agree with Jason about the warewolf pirate ninja thing.

    Anyway Jesse, you wanna join?

  3. Misty Fowler says:

    Hey, I completely quit Social Networking until I needed to maintain MySpace for Obama, and then got sucked into Facebook. Of course, having found out that Chris Hughes was a good guy (he responds to every email I’ve sent to him) helped my impression of Facebook, but hey – at least it’s useful for more than spam! Seriously, I was burnt out on this kind of stuff for a long time, although I see the average allure of having a social network. But, I almost don’t have enough time for real friends, much less virtual ones!

    Open Social is gonna rock, thanks for blogging it!

  4. bestsariah says:

    I love Facebook. I use it to keep in touch with all my family back home, and it’s not addictive like Linkup was. At least it’s not addictive for me.

  5. Jesse says:

    I dunno. I figure blogging (especially with the plethora of subscription options) is good enough for keeping in touch. I’ve always though of social networks as a way to meet new people and find lost acquaintances more than anything else.

  6. That One Guy says:

    yeah – blogging, although comments are there, seems a bit mono-directional to me. I have FaceBook, but I’ve never done anything else, besides the blog. I have used it to find old friends and school mates. For that, I’ve been thankful.

    Though I’m not a techie, I can totally understand the Open API idea, and why it makes those of that ilk slobber on their keyboards.

    PS: Thanks for the comments – I’m a regular reader of yours, but an all too infrequent commenter. I shall do better!! 🙂

  7. Andrea says:

    So, this came up as a related post on your most recent posting. I’d be interested to read a follow-up post to this one four years later.

  8. Jesse says:

    I still hate getting tons of invites, registering tons of new accounts for every single stinkin’ website, and not having my data be portable. The first one has kind of petered off a bit since I think most of the people I know now know better than do to it. Most of the large services already have their hooks in me.

    The second is something that is being addressed with OAuth and improved support for it. Plenty of idiotic web programmers still don’t do it (and I’ve vented about it), but less often than before. Once you have a Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google account, you’re covered in most cases.

    The final problem, data portability, will never get fixed by Facebook. They have no incentive to do it, and it doesn’t fit into their AOL-esque walled garden business model. Google and Diaspora have both done a lot to address these problems by letting you export your data hassle-free. Google even has a new product called Takeout dedicated to the exclusive purpose of getting your stuff out of there.

    I’m curious to see where the new Google+ goes. It fixes a number of the problems with Facebook without creating a ghost town along the lines of Diaspora. If Google can finally get traction on convincing users to give it a shot, it might be a viable alternative.

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