Open Letter to Facebook: FB should support selective Status update
I have always felt that Twitter will benefit from having a finer granularity on choosing which tweets go to which groups of followers. Privacy isn't so much of the issue here. But to accomodate the multi dimensional nature of people's personality and, therefore, social interaction. My family would probably not so much be interested in my IT tweets and vice versa.
Extra semantic could be attached to each tweets so that it reach the right audience, based on language, topic, networks, etc (Suddenly we're back to how we started off with OPML, aren't we?).
Similar to Friendfeed, Facebook already have a concept of groups; networks and friend lists. Albeit the Friend List concept only currently focuses on privacy settings (and a little bit of selective interaction like sending bulk invites and messages to friend lists ), imagine if it was taken a step further; allowing control which status updates goes to which networks and friend list.
This feature obviously can be implemented differently. One way of doing it (rather unobtrusively) and the method of my preference is the following:
- Enrich the mention feature to include networks and friends list
The recent fb addition, mention feature can be accessed by typing @ on the status update box to select your friends or contacts. Facebook should include networks and friends list as well.
- String based Mentions
Alot of Twitter user updates their facebooks status through twitter (using FB apps such as: Twitter, Selective Twitter and TweetSync), so I think it's important to be able to access the mention feature outside Facebook. This is a perfect chance to use Facebook (Vanity) Url. For e.g I have https://www.facebook.com/ronaldwidha, I really should be able to put a mention using just @ronaldwidha.
Once facebook allows a raw string based Mention, it shouldn't be hard for third party facebook apps to sit in the middle and map friendfeed and twitter username with the respective Facebook (Vanity) Url. A simple string comparison.
Facebook doesn't currently have any vanity url for networks nor friends list. So this is something that needs to be addressed.
- 'External Feed to Status' Facebook Apps
Currently we already have 'Twitter to Status' Facebook Apps. We simply need more (reliable!) apps like this. The openness of friendfeed is inspiring, and facebook really need to support the same amount of feeds. RSS should really be a top priority.
I really would like to see Facebook comes with its own app for this instead of third party. The reason being is services like this will be a huge operational undertaking (pinging different feeds every couple of seconds). It needs a company like facebook itself to take it on, in order to produce a reliable service.
I love Twitter and updates it regularly. But it has its own shortcoming. Twitter's nature of simplicity sometimes causes mess (hashtag spam, zombie followers, RT/RE debate and more).
I've been wanting to shift from Twitter to Friendfeed because of its flexibility. The ability to aggregate all my life feeds to one spot seems appealing. From my ronaldwidha.net new blog post notification, temanmacet comments, tweets and much more. Coupled with yahoo pipes, there's alot of things that I could do with the platform.
Sadly, just like blogging, a social platform is all about the social content that it contains/generates. If the people and the content that I'm interested in aren't on it, there's not much point opting for a platform purely from its technological advantage. Facebook successfully creates network that I trust and value, and I want to leverage this even more.