Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friend Lists

Is anyone out there using friend lists on FB? Are they being used "correctly"? I haven't set any up yet, since I have yet to see a point. I just don't trust that FB can get it right and that something I post for one group of people I know won't end up being displayed to the wrong people.

I generally like most Google products, although they admittedly have had some failures. That is great, though, because it means they're not afraid to try new things and pull the plug on what doesn't work. Their failure with Google Wave may end up working out well for the few people who actually used it, since they open sourced the project, and the Apache group has picked it up.

Google has yet to really hit it big in the social media market, other than perhaps their acquisition of Blogger several years ago. I don't include Gmail or Google Talk as social media, because email and IM are private communication tools, not social media. Android is great, but it's an operating system.

I don't care if Google's Orkut hits it big here in the states. I'm fine if FB keeps its stranglehold on the market. I do hope that Orkut can be used to push FB to innovate in a direction that's useful to users. Several months ago, a new version of Orkut was launched, which has something FB really needs: real separation of friend networks.

We see the friend list arrive on FB, presumably because of the new Orkut feature. The problem is that they need a whole FAQ page to explain how to use it, because it's hidden several clicks into a submenu where few venture. So like most privacy settings in FB, it's hard to find if you even know it's there. Given their history, what happens when FB decides to change their privacy settings and everything you posted for one group of friends suddenly becomes public to all (either accidentally or on purpose)?

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