Facebook: A complete waste of time?


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I think its a complete waste of time, phone me if you need to talk to me. One craze im happy im not part of :)
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I think Facebook is a new addiction that society is not quite aware of. I came across a support group, www.cancelyourfacebook.com

There is an official cancel your Facebook day--happening this year!! If all the people who think Facebook is a waste of time, yet are addicted, well it's time to cancel.

Check it out! good luck.

This post was edited by redlion on 5/04/2008 3:03 PM
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I find it interesting that Omar is complaining about crappy applications when his page is littered with them and they all go into his personal newsfeed. I think that most people on Facebook don't care about what Omar does on Productwiki, and that the importing of all his PW activity to his page is riduculous! I have two applications beyond the default ones: Courses (for what classes I take) and Causes (another way to support Obama). I think that Facebook is better than Myspace, but the applications are somewhat hurting it. I don't think Facebook is horrible, nor do I think it is great. It's sort of there and I check it when I'm online if I have nothing better to look at. It definitely isn't God's Gift From Heaven, but it isn't crap either.

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Thanks for the observations dialup. I added a bunch of apps just to see what they were about and was too lazy to remove them (as I suspect is the situation with most people). Well I just went and removed a bunch, so that should make my page a little cleaner.

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Facebook is hardly a complete waste of time.

The basic functionality (events, keeping people connected... are amazing).  People who would never have organized things online, now use facebook events with ease. 

The applications...well they can be a bit of pain.  I don't use any of them, except the games, though i have been tempted by the occasional gimmick app.  That said, the applications are what will keep facebook from going to the dumps.  Poker, scramble... are great simple games that keep people coming back/wasting time. 

But platform is amazing.  The userbase is equally impressive.  I often see this as being the most untapped power of facebook.

I mean, say you're looking for places to eat.  There are a million and one restaurant review places on the internet.  But with the power of facebook, you have a platform where you can 'trust' your friend's opinion.  Especially considering they are local.  This trust becomes implicit and there's no need to generate yet another account.  It's an implicit OpenID.

Not sure how it would apply to sites like this.  But maybe it could connect to facebook's userbase and you could 'see' what your friends or friends of friends have rated.  This would help cut down on 'spam'.  It would certainly be a lot more reputable than the 'wisdom of crowds' that seems to be everywhere, but is increasingly being taken advantage of by organized groups.  of course, nothing stops both both methods from being employed.  A global rating, and then a 'your friends rating'

 

This post was edited by yaminb on 5/12/2008 12:51 AM
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You're right, yaminb, Facebook does pit the concept of the "wisdom of crowds" against the "wisdom of friends". There was an interesting segment on 20/20 this week about the very topic. They pointed to an interesting example. On "Who wants to be a millionaire?", polling the audience (the crowd) results in a correct answer more than 90% of the time, whereas the call to their friend resulted in a correct answer only 2/3 of the time.

Having said that, I think it's cliche to take an extreme position, either positive or negative, when talking about Facebook. Yes, it's useful. Yes, it's overrated.

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Erik,

that's a bit of a false example there.  In the who wants to be a millionaire, the audience has no motivation to twist the truth.  They're trying to help the person just as much as their friend.  Statistically, you might just choose a friend who doens't know the answer, but the average of a crowd does.  I would expect the audience results to be better.

This is not the same as opinion/marketting sites, where there are parties who have an incentive to not provide an honest opinion or to boost their view.  You can bet there's political campaigns who would take advantage of opinion sites with their volunteers.  Marketting firms have an interest in pumping up their products, even posting fake comments/blogs...There's also a lack of feedback.  Suppose restaurant X is recommended by a friend in my facebook network.  I can easily follow up with him/her on it.  This does yet exist in the wisdom of crowds.

Wisdom of the crowds with 'similar' voting patterns could oversome some of these.   That's the old "people who liked this product also like ..."  So if I digged one product, it could group me in a crowd with those products...

both are valid methods of ratings/recommendations.

I don't really think facebook is overrated.  Maybe we roam in different circles, but I don't hear people raving about facebook.  People just treat it as something fairly routine these days; like getting someone's email/phone number...you just add them to facebook.

 

 

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I think I agree with you.. I just hate all these so-called social network sites...I use to have accounts on myspace,hi5 and facebook.I got rid of them when i realized that they just do not make any sense...everybody from your past are just curious..what is he doing?did he make it or not? what does it look like? am sick and tired of staying on facebook for hours when i can do more productive things with my time.....I hate to break it down to yall..makes friends in the real world!

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Facebook can be a huge productivity sink, but it doesnt have to be, it all depends how you use it.  First time users (myself included) add all kinds of apps in an effort to get the most out of Facebook, which is fine until you start having so many friends that responding to all the requests for gifts, flirts and more events than there are days in the week become unwieldy.   At that point its time to remove all the silly little sheep throwing, kiss blowing, entourage showing etc apps and begin using Facebook for the thing its best suited to....  staying in touch with friends and arranging mass gatherings (birthday parties for example).

I recently celebrated my 41st birthday and without Facebook I probably wouldn't have managed to get over 150 people together for the party, let alone let my 400+ other friends know my birthday was coming up.   In a month or so when I move to Bangkok to start a new job I plan to have the mother of all leaving parties.... If I can I'll get all 500+ friends to my leaving party.   Even if they don't all make it they will at least all know that after 35 years in Hong Kong I'm moving on and they'll still be able to reach me if they want to visit me in Bangkok.

Incidentally, this is 500 people I actually know well enough to call them friends and who are on Facebook.    Question to Erik, if you lived in an apartment building for 10 years and had the same doorman for all that time, at what point would you consider him a friend ? 

 

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My opinion is you get what you want out of it. Yes I ignore the stupid applications and silly invitations, and join professional groups on there for networking purposes. I try to avoid making fart jokes in my status, since I don't want potential employers seeing that. It can be useful if one keeps their head on straight.

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