My Facebook Curmudgeon Presentation (Updated with Panel Notes!)


(Update: I've added notes on the panel below the deck).

Today I presented at the Web Community Forum conference on Facebook along with Tris Hussy, Jeremy Pepper and moderated by Dave McClure. It was the final panel of the day and felt like a group therapy session. After a full day talking about the cool things you can do in Facebook, the three of us brought it back down to the stuff that sucks: bass ackwards email, application spam, insufficient privacy controls, confusing groups vs. pages and more.

My thoughts/slides were mostly based on these blog posts (number 1 and number 2).

Here are some slides I prepared for the panel. Feel free to use and enjoy:
UPDATE 6 December 10:33am (PT)

The Web Community Forum twitter feed is doing a good job note-taking (note-tweeting?) on all the panels. Here is a manual cut and paste (yuck) of our curmudgeon panel.

* Facebook curmudgeons panel. Fill in the blank "Facebook sucks the most because..."
* Tris: Facebook sucsk the most because the groups are absolutely useless
* Baratunde: Facebook sucks the most because it destroyed his ability to communicate with his fans
* @trishussey says that Facebook sucks because the groups are "useless"
* @baratunde says that Facebook sucks because he can't message his groups
* Jeremy: Facebook sucks the most because there is a misperceived sense of privacy
* @jspepper is complaining about the "mis-perceived sense of privacy"
* @jspepper says that people get put in jeopardy when they have public conversations on Facebook
* "kids, they just don't get it" - @jspepper
* Facebook treats you like a spammer when you're not, says attendee Ellen
* if you complain, sometimes things happen unilaterally says another attendee
* lack of discussion board notifications is lame Eric Weaver
* Facebook the company is "amateur hour" says an attendee who says that they are disorganized when they plan their events for developers
* we're all having a really good time here, people are laughing and having a great time
* other people can't choose how they want to be contacted, that's a problem
* the wall is not a substitute for controlling how people can contact you
* "God's green Internet earth" says Tris. LOL!
* "search is completely broken" says another attendee in the audience
* McClure is going around the room asking people what sucks about facebook. Lots of functionality issues.
* to try to find something in the history of posted items - there's no way to hold onto a piece of useful information
* a lot of people are harping on search as a problem
* everyone hates messaging
* @jowyang - let's make some suggestions, I TOTALLY agree with that. Bitching and moaning is all well and good, let's do something positive.
* Dave McClure just said, "Facebook sucks, but you're all regular users." @baratunde says, "America sucks, but I'm a regular user of that."
* @jspepper says that original college users have a misconception of the privacy and the walled garden - they post everything
* @jspepper knows someone who posts all this stuff and by posting their schedule, it led to someone getting raped
* @jspepper, "if you don't want to be in a walled garden, don't join."
* The biggest problem is the privacy issue and the lack of corporate responsibility for it. - @jspepper
* "I don't think Facebook gives a shit about their community at all. They think they're just numbers for advertising." - @jspepper
* Dave McClure says that monetization and CTR are really a huge problem.
* @baratunde says that e-mail and the telephone are substitutes for Facebook
* Facebook messaging is a deprecated version of e-mail
* "Never abandon basic features that work." @baratunde
* @trishussey wants a POP connection to download his FB e-mail
* Facebook has taken us back 40 years of messaging, sayeth @baratunde
* @trishussey, "I would rather use Lotus Notes than Facebook messaging and Lotus Notes is the worst e-mail system in the world."
* Dave McClure asks how can they improve
* @jspepper - FB doesn't care until people rise up and actively abandon
* @jspepper, "I'm not writing them off as malicious."
* @trishussey - Facebook is a "faux monopoly" because if any one thing blows up, people will leave.
* Tris: what percentage of your friends on FB would have to leave for you to go "eh, I guess I don't need to go there as much"?
* That's how fragile FB's appearance of monopoly is (tris)
* @baratunde - Facebook has a monopoly on my audience. They are good AND evil. They are not "benevolent."
* @jspepper, "it's SO not a monopoly." I don't see my parents on FB. There's a diversity of social networks out there that target niches.
* Kara Swisher is right when she says that Zuckerberg is showing his youth as a CEO sayeth @trishussey.
* @trishussey admits to having been an asshole when he was 25
* @jspepper, you can tell a Harvard man, you just can't tell him much
* Dave brings up Beacon - @trishussey says that Beacon belongs in the 4th circle of Hell, but there are things they can do to improve it.
* @baratunde - Beacon was the 7th circle of Hell before they changed things
* There needs to be a privacy czar that you talk to before you launch something like this (Beacon) - @baratunde
* opting out completely should be my choice - @baratunde
* @jspepper puts Beacon at 6.5 circle of hell eeven after the opt out because he wants people to see what he's doing in some cases
* @jspepper - I do like Facebook, there are amazing things that you can do with it. What they're doing gives them an "evil tinge."
* @trishussey - where are the people around Zuckerberg slapping him upside the head?
* @davemc500hats is having a lot of fun up there moderating. I can tell by the grin on his face.
* @rumford is asking @jspepper, don't you think that FB is a company, they don't need to seek approval or permission at all
* @rumford says that pissing off the FB community is a "calculated business risk."
* @davemc500hats asks @trishussey, "your daughter is a Web narc?!?!?!"
* @davemc500hats asks, "are apps useful? or not useful?"
* @trishussey - useful apps die, points out that @rumford said the same thing
* @baratunde says that a small subset of apps are engaging, but he's downsizing
* @baratunde, "the app process has so biased me against all apps, because they're spam."
* @baratunde - don't e-mail me. "you have a walled garden, stay inside."
* @jspepper says that he doesn't have a favorite app yet
* @davemc500hats asks, "is FB a great development environment?"
* @jspepper says that you have no choice but to go to Facebook if you're an app developer
* @davemc500hats, $15 billion, "more, less, or no fucking way?"
* @trishussey says, "no fucking way."
* @trishussey - I would put it into the billions, but 15 is just way too high
* @baratunde says, "valuation is tricky and weird. If we all believe it's worth it, it is worth it."
* @baratunde says, "it's not going to become the Internet."
* @jspepper says that he doesn't understand all the frenzy around the valuation. "They're not making money on advertising yet.
* @davemc500hats "poke, superpoke or get your hands off me?"
* @trishussey, "i could live without poking."
* @baratunde, "I have been known on occasion to poke people."
* @jspepper "when men poke me on Facebook, it creeps me out." "This woman keeps on poking me, and I don't know her. It creeps me out."
* attendee: what do you not like from a marketing point of view? @baratunde says, "I was using this as a marketer without the proper tools."
* @baratunde says, "make how do you know this person? an actionable tool for marketers. also vulnerability of losing all contacts."
* @baratunde says, "I want grages!" (groups + pages)
* @baratunde says, "Ning has wonderful stuff, but there's no meaning to life without the people. You can't tell people where they should go."
* @baratunde, "to just leave would have hurt me a lot more than it would have hurt Facebook."