Here’s the problem with Facebook: it’s an opiate of the people. It’s working its tendrils into every sector of the Web and, when it inevitably collapses, all of those sites whose sustenance were entirely dependent on the lifeblood delivered to them from the decaying Facebook circulatory system, will die. And Facebook is setting up shop at every Mom & Pop site through a harmless sounding enough (in actuality) Trojan Horse. They call it “Open Graph.” Without getting into too much techno babble (of which I know little), let me just illustrate this supposed beneficial societal concept…
Facebook vs. Twitter
People sometimes ask me What’s the difference between Twitter and Facebook? I often lose them about 30 seconds into my failed attempt at describing the similarities between Facebook’s News Feed and Twitter’s entire platform. Guess which one came first. Anyway, I’m developing a webpage for a local charity (Deb & Jackie’s Jolly Jump). The page contains multiple profiles of some of the JJ’s jumpers. If people like what they see/read, I want them to be able to share it. When I went to the Twitter Developer website, I simply generated, copied and pasted the necessary code within five minutes. I then strew the two or so customizable lines throughout my page’s code. Now people can personally tweet out their favorite jumpers. Period.
When I wanted to allow similar functionality for exclusively Facebook users, they first wanted me to develop a Facebook app. Then, they wanted me to insert “Open Graph” code into the core of the webpage. This code, mind you, has changed several times since its initial inception. Code that’s likely to change again. So even if I had figured this “Open Graph” out, I’m sure I would have had to change it within six months. Nothing like tampering with fairly sensitive areas of your website on a regular basis. Not to mention, Facebook can siphon information from your Open Graphed site to feed its insatiable desire for information. About an hour into researching the dregs of specific Facebook code, I decided to throw in the towel and write this blog post instead.
If someone ever asks you What’s wrong with Facebook?, just point them to this story. And tell them it took me five minutes to do in Twitter what it took me over an hour to realize wouldn’t even be worth doing on Facebook.
If you agree, just click the share button below and send to… [sigh] Facebook.