Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Facebook Layout A Winner

I’m not a big fan of social networking sites. For those who read my blog often, you’ll know how those so-called “friends” you add, but never really talk to again, really aren’t your friends.

A friend is someone you can call on a whim, and go to the movies with. A friend is someone who is there when you need them. A friend is . . .

Well, I’ve gone there already – this blog isn’t about social networking. It is about one social networking site – Facebook.

I have a Facebook site. Yes, I admit it, I do! I like to keep up with the goings on in other peoples lives, because my life is just so damn boring. NOT!

Actually, I do enjoy keeping up with people that at one point and time actually meant something to me and I hopefully to them. It isn’t like Myspace, or Twitter, or most of the other social networking sites, where people just add each other randomly, never actually having really known each other.

Recently, Facebook did a major makeover, and I like it!

They have redesigned the whole interface, making it easier to navigate through. They added a tab-bar at the top, where you can add buttons to frequently used features. And they took away the clutter that forms, if you add many applications, games, message walls and other things.

I really like the new look, but my one complaint is the configuration takes for ever! The previous interface allowed you to drag-and-drop sections and applications to your liking. The new interface, allows you to position most items where you want, but you have to actually go to that item’s page, and then select the options for displaying that item.

I have 14 applications on my Facebook, and so I had to go through all 14 applications, one-by-one, to set their display options. Very time consuming and not very user-friendly. Often I had to go back to other applications I had already set display options for, because one of the other applications I had set was “crushing” that previously set application.

Still, I am pleased with the Facebook team for their hard work on this new interface. Although it isn’t easy to set, once it is configured, it is crisper, cleaner and quicker to navigate through.

They still don’t allow much customization – it would be nice to be able to go wild in Dreamweaver and design my own HTML/JAVA-based design. But I suppose there are technical and practical reasons for that.

I like the chat module they have on Facebook as well, it works well, and doesn’t take up as much screen-space as MSN Live. Though it lacks a lot of the options MSN Live, or any of the dedicated instant messaging programs offers. But for a stand-alone Java-applet, it does the job and that’s all one can really ask.

Though my biggest peeve with Facebook, isn’t really with Facebook, it’s more to do with manners, and social conscious I suppose.

Here’s my big beef – after adding someone, usually from my past, I’ll get a nice thank-you for adding me message, always ending with “how are you?”

So, naturally, I write back, saying how things are and maybe a Cliff’s Notes version of what’s new and interesting in my life, and I always ask back – “how are you?”

Then I never hear hide nor head from that person again!

Grrrr – fake friends, just adding people to increase their friend numbers.

But that’s another blog, for another day.

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