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3 ways to fix Facebook

Sunday, 3 January 2010 — by

FacebookFacebook is broken, from the very first moment you go to their home page — from dead-end conversations, irrelevant updates, to application overload, here’s three ways to fix Facebook.

For many, Facebook is their window on the world. This I know — I have friends, family and clients who’re on Facebook many times during the day. OK, we accept Facebook is free, so we need to temper our ill tempers with that fact. That aside, there’s some major flaws in Facebook that need to be sorted out sooner rather than later.

Post share items to lists

The news feed is a mess that gets worse with every update; and it’s not like the guys behind Facebook aren’t aware their news feed is broken. The recent privacy updates just don’t mean a damn thing and are arguably more confusing than offering any remedial service.

I know I’ve covered the issue before, but we really do need a way to post shares to distinct groups of people. What’s the point of being able to create lists of people if I can’t post to those lists specifically?

There are things I want to share, but I know my nieces and nephews won’t care about. Similarly, I might be posting photos from a night out with friends that clients might not be interested in seeing either. So all we do is clutter each other’s news feeds, when a fix is a simple as being able to share to lists. It’s really that simple.

Filter applications by friend

So you’ve seen yet another shared item from someone on your news feed that you really don’t want to see. Perhaps it’s a game, or something else, like a geo-tagging service. Facebook gives us the option to either hide the application, or hide the person. But what if I want to hide the application only when posted by a particular person? That’s all I want to do.

Link shares together

So you share what you like, right? Of course you do. However, for people like me that have their Page on Facebook, we try to retain some kind of control over the conversations we start. Problem is, the moment someone shares something they’ve found on Facebook, a totally new conversation starts, with absolutely no relation to the source of the originating conversation — each new share is totally new, and all comments on the previous item are abandoned, or branched away from.

It’s all very Twitter-esque, in that the conversations are flat, with no way to see where it all began. What better way to connect with like-minded people than to have each share extend upon the original share, so we all see each other’s comments? And there’s me thinking Facebook was supposed to be a social network.

To me, these are the things I expect to see. They’re not unusual or weird, but the very basics of managing my social network in a meaningful way. What do you think? Perhaps you have your own missing Facebook feature…

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Martin → Thursday, 7 January 2010 @ 19:24 BDT

Unfortunately Facebook is down really often. Thanks for your tutorial!

Jaap → Monday, 11 January 2010 @ 19:20 BDT

I get so many emails from Posts on Facebook, It’s just getting too much. Can this be switched off?

Robert Lönn → Sunday, 24 January 2010 @ 23:15 BDT

Very interesting reading. Thank you.

About the last bullet. Don’t you think the infrastructure that Google wave provides would work very nice as a foundation for your suggestion?

I have had this discussion with a few people and I would love to hear your opinion.

Wayne Smallman → Thursday, 28 January 2010 @ 23:20 BDT

Hi Robert, Google Wave is a collaborative tool and not a social network, so you wouldn’t be able to use it that way.

Jay W. → Friday, 5 February 2010 @ 14:26 BDT

“I get so many emails from Posts on Facebook”, I know how you feel I get about 30 per day. :)

Felix → Tuesday, 16 March 2010 @ 23:55 BDT

Interesting article so far. It is really embarrassing that I receive about 5 comments per day with the question how to hack Facebook to read the messages. I like Facebook but people should not use it to spam or to spy on any member.

Bill → Tuesday, 27 April 2010 @ 5:11 BDT

I know it can be annoying to receive all of those email messages when posting on Facebook but you can turn those off in your account settings I believe.

Facebook is nice but it really is hard to control information on your profile. I wish they would fix that. One thing I would like to see is a mass unfriend button or tool in Facebook. The reason for this is because I spent sometime playing all of those dang Facebook games like Farmville, etc. and racked up a lot of “fake” game friends and since I don’t play those games anymore I want to get rid of them.

The bad part is I’ll have to remove 500+ people one by one. :( Not fun.

Daniel → Saturday, 12 June 2010 @ 19:21 BDT

“There are things I want to share, but I know my nieces and nephews won’t care about. Similarly, I might be posting photos from a night out with friends that clients might not be interested in seeing either. So all we do is clutter each other’s news feeds, when a fix is a simple as being able to share to lists. It’s really that simple.”

There are things I want to share, but I know my nieces and nephews won’t care about. Similarly, I might be posting photos from a night out with friends that clients might not be interested in seeing either. So all we do is clutter each other’s news feeds, when a fix is a simple as being able to share to lists. It’s really that simple. This is what i do huh :) I agree with Bill, removing friends is a one by one for me and its getting to me! :)

Francesca → Saturday, 14 August 2010 @ 2:30 BDT

They are not actually fixes. Those are the features of Facebook itself that you can use to personalize your experience.

Linda Allen → Monday, 3 January 2011 @ 23:14 BDT

Facebook — that’s what many spend endless hours doing … it’s sad, but we see many kids just not building face to face friendships anymore … technology hey!

Wayne Smallman → Wednesday, 26 January 2011 @ 11:21 BDT

Hi Francesca, if I thought my recommendations were only personalisation options, I’d have said so. The fact is, Facebook is exceptionally difficult to use, because of the reasons I state.

If you take the windscreen out of a car, adding a replacement isn’t a personalisation of the car, you’re really going to need that windscreen.

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