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Facebook - Blinkers

I furled a link the other day to Danah's post on Facebook her confusion and Scobles answer. Stowe adds here that openness is an abstraction; at least for now and that is certainly my conclusion after talking to many users.

Why do we have our blinkers on?
I'm in Scoble's camp. Seeing what our friends are trying out is compelling. Add to that reading or bookmark notations and it is a powerful mix. For the non digerati I can see they get most of the benefits of an RSS reader with additional benefits of personal recommendations (eg I added this app or play this music). 

ReUse: I'm personally pissed off that what I put into Facebook I cannot get out. I cannot us changes in my context outside Facebook. By contrast I can extend my Twitter updates almost anywhere. Facebook will be superceded because it fails to enable sharing outside of Facebook. In the meantime it is the best place on earth to learn how it works as a learning accelerator.

Privacy in Facebook is meaningless, hidden and unmanageable. Until this is reframed around a relationship construct you may as well assume all is public. I note that Robert wants per content privacy. I'd disagree that flickr gets this right. In fact I don't know one social networking service that provides the level of control ultimately required. See also my post yesterday on the Social Web.

Groups: I see limited success with groups. Few have any real activity; most are just beacons and associations where you may meet other individuals. They appear to work better around events. Many groups are formed based on the title of the group. Few people seem to exit a group preferring to leave the links on their profile pages.

Buddies: I was astonished to learn that Facebook was capping numbers at 5000. For me I believe Facebook is likely to be the first app where we routinely see 1000+ contacts per person. Think Lifestream of everyone you have ever met. Until recently, none of these networking tools seemed to generate lists of more than 100. Not long ago most IM clients were limited to one hundred names. The numbers I see on Facebook continue to turn over these assumptions. Concurrently Twitter has nicely inserted the "follow" function. It may become very hard to move your Facebook list in a few years. If so.... then Facebook will have replaced the WhitePages and the Yellow Pages.

Search: Facebook is the best directory currently on earth. It's for the most part current, relatively people centric, structured enough to be informative. I find the search function sucks. Going public may not make this better.

Facebook isn't perfect. As Jeff Pulver blogged in July; "What's your Facebook strategy?" whether you are an individual or large organization you need to think about this. While the nore correct question focuses more broadly on What's Your Social Media Strategy? (JP Update) there is no doubt that Facebook is worth time and effort. 

Finally, I don't have my blinkers on. If someone would give me:
1) the capability to plug facebook apps into my blog platform then I may well be happy; particularly if it connected and linked registered friends via OpenID.
2)Make it easy for those that want to share or follow me to provide their feeds so I have sources I can syndicate based on my interest level and who they are. Why don't they just come with the wordpress / OpenID profile?
3)Give me some relationship controls in my feeds. Similarly give me controls that enable me to broadcast when I add an app or new newsfeed etc.

I have this suspicion that bloglike platforms with better Identity related meta-data could be the basis for a P2P distributed Facebook. If I was Google it's what I'd be building today. The Portal is dead... even the People's Portal unless it really just becomes a conduit for accelerated sharing.

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