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Twitter vs Facebook

I have been on Twitter for a while now and have been expressing thoughts, discoveries, rants and various other things through this channel. And believe it or not, some of my tweets have actually been read by real people flesh and blood. Although I have been trying to get @MrsPenninkhof on Twitter as well, I have never been succesful, resulting in the fact that the person nearest to me was never able to know about the things I expressed through this channel.

Haseenah is often checking Facebook for new messages, so I could reach her through Facebook. However:

  • I would have to start posting all messages into two channels (Facebook and Twitter)
  • And I would have to open a Facebook account (and I don’t trust Facebook)
  • Facebook is for girls (in fact it was actually girls-only when it was still called facemash)

And then there was “Selective Tweets”, an add-in to Twitter that reads your time-line from time to time to see if you posted a twee containing #fb. When it finds such tweets, it will automatically send the tweet to Facebook as well.

Getting started with Facebook, made me realize one important difference between Twitter and Facebook. Folks on Twitter can easily be unfollowed, not so for friends on Facebook. This is not because it’s technically not possible to unfriend them, but it might just bring relationships to the edge. It doesn’t matter how much blabberish someone post on their status, I just can’t unfriend them, because they’re e.g. family. And that’s really too bad.

A feature that Facebook should copy from Twitter is its lists. It allows you to add people to personal lists that e.g. represent a certain topic. Using these lists and adding the most interesting friends to them would also be a perfect possibility to do a 1st-level filtering of the amount of chatter. Unfortunately this feature seems to be missing, or just haven’t found it yet.

If this feature exists, but I haven’t found it yet, I think I am excused. Trying to get to understand Facebook was quite challenging. I’m amazed at how many of the basic principles of good usability design we’ve all been taught are violated by Facebook. It’s chaotic, non-intuitive, inconsistent, not easily predictible, visually cluttered, etc.

So, don’t expect too much fireworks from me on my Facebook page and I still find that it’s made for girls. So for now, I will only be using it as an extension to Twitter to reach out to folks, especially Haseenah, that I can’t reach through Twitter.

There you have it: my justification for being on Facebook and how I plan to use it.

Published inRants

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