I left Facebook over two years ago because I didn’t like their corporate practices, their privacy policies, or their user interface. I didn’t like the games, the ads, or the constant invitations to events and pseudo-events I couldn’t or wouldn’t attend. And managing my friends list was a constant chore.
I’ve been off of Facebook ever since, but it’s been getting harder and harder to avoid. A nonprofit I’m involved with used Facebook to coordinate a recent publicity event. You have to be on Facebook to enter some contests. People are always sending me links to pictures, polls, and articles that are locked behind Facebook’s garden wall. The final straw was that I was unable to participate in the auction of Mark Bourne’s toy robots to support Clarion West. Refusing to have a Facebook account these days is like refusing to have a credit card — an understandable choice, but it makes life harder.
So, I’m back. You can find me at http://www.facebook.com/david.d.levine.sf. I still don’t like their corporate practices and find their user interface atrocious, but they’ve made one important change: they’ve added “subscriptions,” which means that I don’t need to be “friends” with a couple thousand strangers in order for them to see what I post. I will only be friending people who are my actual real-world friends; everyone else is welcome to subscribe. This will, I think, greatly reduce the hassle factor that drove me away before.
This is actually Phase Two of my revamped global social media strategy, but the cart rolled past the horse. Look for Phase One in the coming week.