Let’s get this out of the way early - I hate Facebook. Not because of the implementation, but because I hate everything Facebook stands for, in exactly the same way I hated the last hype-cycle of the Internet age, and every predecessor to Facebook that has been flavour of the month this time around. Here’s my reasons:
- It’s fundamentally a total waste of time and resources - social networks generally are of course; they’re just a great big hole to piss your time into for absolutely no measurable return. The idea of building a great big list of imaginary friends, very few of which give a flying toss whether you live or die, is ludicrous in its narcissistic inanity. I do use LinkedIn, but only for recording my business contacts - it’s my virtual Rolodex. Social networks where connections have no purpose other than allowing you to claim that you have 200+ friends is just a shameful pile of wasted bits on a massive rack of disks, that must wish they were being put to use doing something worthwhile.
- It has no business model, and yet is supposedly worth $15bn - the whole Web 2.0 hype annoys the hell out of me just as much as the dot com bubble did ten years ago; listening to journos, marketeers and commentators blather on about Facebook, you’d think it was a massive value proposition. But it’s highly questionable whether there is any genuine business model there, beyond advertising - and that will only last until everyone gets bored and moves on to whatever is the next big inane waste of online time, just as they have done many times before. Each time Facebook tries to create a more robust business model, they screw it up and find it’s incompatible with their community. What exactly do they have? A few nice ideas but most of which are pretty low-hanging fruit, a small inventive leap made possible by the general march of online technology, and absolutely nothing to stop someone else doing much the same thing but with a new twist in a years time which decimates their user base as they flock sheep-like to a new pointless fad.
The whole thing is just a big overhyped gimmick in the very worst model of the dot com bubble, and now the whole Web 2.0 bullshit (where the techniques are all fine, until they’re hyped to the extent you’d think the cure for cancer will be implemented via AJAX). I can’t wait for the whole house of cards to finally come crashing down to Earth in a huge reality check, just like it did in 2000, but I have my doubts whether anyone will have learned anything, so many times has this cycle been repeated now.
Anyway, now Facebook is asking its users to translate the site for them. Because obviously that’s better than, you know, paying someone to do it - like most real companies do. While this works for open source / volunteer projects, why the hell should anyone further prop up Facebook’s ludicrous ‘valuation’ by doing stuff for free for them? How bloody stupid are they?
*note: yes, I’m aware of the irony of slamming Web 2.0 on a blog, thankyou.