Back on the Facebook Hookah

Well, I had a good run.

I exited Facebook on December 30th 2012 and remained off until 4 April 2014.  Last week, Whitney asked me to dig up some pics from my trip to Cebu in 2012, most of which were on my dead MacBook Air...and on Facebook.

Hmm...quandry.  So, I bit the bullet and dove back in.

It's good and bad.  As one would expect, the "network effect" is wonderful.  Most of my dad's family is active, along with some key people from mom's family.   Instantly, I saw pictures of people I haven't seen in person in 3-5 years.  Likewise, much of my high school class is on there and it's neat to see people grow, change, and rear children of their own.  It also seems they've adopted more of the "limited sharing" tools from Google+ so you can share a story with one "list" but not your entire friend group, or go whole hog and share out to "Public" like Twitter.

The bad is largely Facebook itself.  The UI is an A.D.D. nightmare and the "Top Stories" algorithm is a mystery.  With Twitter (and Tweetdeck specifically), I know I'm getting a chronological list of updates. That can be overwhelming and limits individual streams to ~200 to 300 members practically.  Facebook is trying to encourage much larger networks and has a single conceptual "stream" so I realize they have to show/hide things selectively.

But, so what?   It's a tool and it largely disappears when you're looking at baby pics, or commiserating over shared troubles or whatever.  They've captured 1/7th of the humans on the planet, and that inertia brought me back.

I still prefer twitter for short-form stuff and interacting with my Gearheads and Tech friends.  But for actual friends, coworkers, and family, Facebook is the choice.

Everyone who had April 2014 in the pool, you win.

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