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Subject:Facebook
Time:05:17 pm
I just got an IM from a friend asking if I'd seen her event invitation on Facebook. I hadn't. While I sort of have a Facebook account I rarely actually use the site. To me it seems like an endless barrage of noise with no ability to pick interesting content out of it. How is this useful or interesting? (Man, do I feel old saying that.)

Apparently I have:

* 7 friend suggestions
* 11 friend requests
* 1 friend detail request
* 1 event invitation
* 5 group invitations
* 1 knighthood invitation
* 4 mafia wars requests
* 1 my girls friend request
* 2 cause invitations
* 1 monty python gifts! request
* 1 birthday request
* 1 new years drink request
* 2 movie quiz requests
* 1 movie request
* 2 snowball requests
* 1 (ice) snowball wars request
* 1 (frost) snowball war request
* 1 birthday request
* 1 what alcoholic drink request
* 4 (lil) green patch requests
* 3 hug requests
* 1 naughtier poke request
* 1 birthday list invitation
* 1 家好月圓慶中 request
* 1 funny panda request
* 1 betty boop kiss request
* 1 good karma from moll request
* 1 kinky poke invitation
* 1 own your friends invitation
* 3 buy your friends requests
* 1 human gift request
* 1 my sistas request
* 1 cupcakes request
* 1 adopt a 3d puppy invitation
* 1 caribbean request
* 3 mob wars invitations
* 1 pies for you request
* 1 korean food request
* 1 super wall invitation
* 1 mytype invitation
* 1 blackjack invitation
* 1 risk invitation
* 1 booze mail request
* 1 scrabulous request
* 1 happy hour request

What in the hell is all that crap and why would I care? Can anyone explain the appeal of this site?
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crayonbeam
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 01:36 am (UTC)
As someone who just joined 2 days ago, I'll tell you what I like about it.

I easily found many people who I never would have found online otherwise. I feel like I've now connected with enough people from my childhood that I'm thinking of skipping my high school reunion this summer.

I have no desire to do any of the the memey stuff. I rarely do it on LJ and it seems less interesting to me on Facebook. I'm really just using Facebook to connect to childhood/high school/college friends, whereas I use LJ to keep in touch with current friends.

Edited at 2009-02-01 01:37 am (UTC)
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essaying
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 01:40 am (UTC)
Tweak your settings so you don't get all the stupid requests and stuff, and then use it as a way to keep in touch. I don't engage in any of the little thingies that people send me, or send them to anyone else. Once or twice a day I post a sentence about what I'm up to -- like a little mini-LJ entry -- and read the ones my friends put up. And I like that; it's a way to keep in touch with what everybody's doing in a way that regular blogging isn't, sort of like when you're a teenager and you have to call your best friend every few hours to describe the cute blouse you saw at the mall or the good ice cream you just ate.

Occasionally I'll post a photo, or look at someone else's photo. And that's about it. All the stupid games and requests are an unrewarding time sink as far as I'm concerned. But I like Facebook quite a bit.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 01:47 am (UTC)
I use twitter for that, as well as other useful content. Why is facebook better?
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essaying
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 02:07 am (UTC)
Dunno; I don't use Twitter. Facebook is good for re-connecting with people you've lost track of (E's back in touch with his first live-in girlfriend from three decades ago, for example)... does Twitter help with that?
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 10:21 am (UTC)
Nah, Twitter isn't that good for that, but it's useful for keeping in touch with current friends. And because that's all it does, it's reasonably good at it.

I can see the use for finding old friends, but in general I can't look at Facebook and see much signal. There's so much noise that it all just seems like random chaos to me.
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essaying
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 05:33 pm (UTC)
You're coming in kind of late in the process. I joined it because it was how my grad-school friends were keeping in touch, so at first I was just friended with them. I figured out how to set my settings to minimize the noise before a lot of my other friends found me there, so now it's pretty high signal.
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(Deleted comment)

andrewhime
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 01:53 am (UTC)
It's called fun. Sorry about the Scrabulous and the Lil Green Patch, I guess.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 10:22 am (UTC)
And maybe that's it. I don't really understand why it's fun.
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bittercrackbaby
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 02:40 am (UTC)
A lot of it is probably before facebook cracked down on invite spam. apps used to blackmail folks into getting status/seeing their results by forcing them to send invites to 10 friends. It definitely was getting ridiculous.

Facebook is good as a more casual way to track down people. I only use it and LinkedIn, the rest are useless.
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yayhappens
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 02:53 am (UTC)
It's noise, clutter and crap. Most of it I ignore. I wish there was an opt-out for most of that stuff, but *shrug* -- que se ra.

On the good note, with organizations and things like that I've had a good experience. With the no on 8 rallies I get notifications, and stuff for work I've been able to keep up with a few people and local events that are going on that I never go to. heh. But it is nice for me to know.

SK seems to have it going on on his list. Several people from high school, college and work and a few people from a poker forum are people that he gets to keep in touch with. For getting to know people more personally from forums I guess it's a good venue.

For me I'd rather just stick with LJ, and then the people I want to keep at a distance except for the LJ-ers I get to keep at a safe distance. lol.
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yayhappens
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 02:59 am (UTC)
Also, for example Patti, I had joined Obama's official Fan Page so I would get updates from there with more detail instead of getting them texted to me from Twitter. (If the Obama on twitter was the real one anyway!)

It does have it's good points. TicketMaster is on there too so I know what stuff is going on nearby and when.

You have to admit though, even if you don't like it, it is 1000x better than MySpace. God I hate that site.

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thorfinn
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-02 01:57 am (UTC)
There *is* an opt-out for most of that stuff. There's a "block this application" clicky on every application invite, and you'll never ever see an invite regarding that application ever again.
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sabyl
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 03:56 am (UTC)
Well when I was at Berkeley it was just for college students and useful for setting up online communities for shared activities and stuff and to learn more about each other to make friends.

There is still some of that.

Reconnecting is another thing.

And the 'lil green patch app is really kewl. A bit of a time waster but by sending plants to friends and tending your green patch money gets donated to The Nature Conservancy.
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gunga_galunga
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 06:27 am (UTC)
For me, the biggest advantage over something like LJ is the network growth and friend finding capabilities. I've reconnected with a bunch of high school friends and some relatives. Interestingly, my college friends either have refused to sign up or if they have an account they never update it. linkedin has some of the same network growth possibilities, but I use that much more as a contact list and not a communication mechanism.

The apps are annoying for the most part.
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slfisher
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 02:52 pm (UTC)
I don't care for the applications myself. Like essaying, I post what I'm doing, and read what other people are doing. It's easier to find people than Twitter, and it's easier to respond and have conversations than Twitter, and it has groups.

I use both Twitter and Facebook. I'm using them to promote my writing, promote my business, and promote myself as a political candidate.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 09:34 pm (UTC)
For me, it seems easier to find people than twitter, but harder to communicate with them. There's so much noise that I can't spot the signal.
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thorfinn
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-02 01:54 am (UTC)
The noise is actually quite easy to get rid of - all of the "application" invites have a very small "block this application" linky. Click those lots, and most of the noise goes away.

You can also tweak your "newsfeed" so that certain things appear more or less often, and see more or less stories about certain individuals.

As far as the rest goes - you pretty much get the level of communication you'd expect at a somewhat crowded party. It's possible to go off in corners and chat briefly for a bit, but don't expect deep or long conversations, and don't expect to be involved in every conversation.

You can also get an RSS feed of people's status updates - I do that and it works a treat.
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prock
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-01 05:19 pm (UTC)
Facebook's primary social goal is to share as much or as liitle of your life to a broad but private subset of the whole world. It's kind of a broadcast medium with a little interaction.

The problem you seem to be having is with the advertising at Facebook. As a general rule all advertising is annoying.
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j5nn5r
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-02 05:47 am (UTC)
I have a wife, and a few very good friends on it.

But I too, find the noise daunting.

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soakland
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-03 06:43 pm (UTC)
My home page devotes little space to application requests, just a small box at upper right. I don't remember customizing layout other than accepting the "new" UI when it was offered, and the new one is probably standard by now.

The left 2/3 of the page (extending down many screens) is devoted to my friends' news feed including status, photos, events, groups, posted links, etc.

Which page are you on where application requests are annoying you?
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-03 06:57 pm (UTC)
most of the page seems like noise... such and such commented on blah, became a fan of bloop, posted a photo, changed their underwear, whatever.

friend requests and event invitations, which seem like higher-value content, are buried in a big pile of noise in a nearly-invisible location.
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soakland
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-03 08:12 pm (UTC)
Events are directly available at http://www.facebook.com/events.php as well as linked in the right-hand bar. Friend invitations also show up on the right; I don't see a URL, but then I don't have any open invitations now.

At bottom left of News Feed there's "Options for News Feed" which has sliders you can use to select more or less of each type of content; for example you could set events to maximum and the others to minimum. You can also ask to hear more or less about specific people.

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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2009-02-04 02:15 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm sure it's controllable. It just seems weird to bombard me with all sorts of random useless crap, then bury the two most interesting things an obscure location that's surrounded by junk.
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[icon] Facebook - Patti
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