A commentary on Facebook by Cory Doctorow. Excerpts:
Facebook is no paragon of virtue. It bears the hallmarks of the kind of pump-and-dump service that sees us as sticky, monetizable eyeballs in need of pimping. The clue is in the steady stream of emails you get from Facebook: "So-and-so has sent you a message." Yeah, what is it? Facebook isn't telling -- you have to visit Facebook to find out, generate a banner impression, and read and write your messages using the halt-and-lame Facebook interface, which lags even end-of-lifed email clients like Eudora for composing, reading, filtering, archiving and searching. Emails from Facebook aren't helpful messages, they're eyeball bait, intended to send you off to the Facebook site, only to discover that Fred wrote "Hi again!" on your "wall." Like other "social" apps (cough eVite cough), Facebook has all the social graces of a nose-picking, hyperactive six-year-old, standing at the threshold of your attention and chanting, "I know something, I know something, I know something, won't tell you what it is!"
That's why I don't worry about Facebook taking over the net. As more users flock to it, the chances that the person who precipitates your exodus will find you increases. Once that happens, poof, away you go -- and Facebook joins SixDegrees, Friendster and their pals on the scrapheap of net.history.
I received an email from a college friend asking me to check out her Facebook stuff, which I was happy to do. Unfortunately, I couldn't see any of it without signing up. Also, as I returned to her mail (to let her know I'd be unable to do the requested checking out) and continued scrolling I realized that there was also an invitation to me from someone I lost contact with about 5 years ago. How is that possible? I've changed email addresses and whatnot, so it must be that someone has input data on my behalf.
Not remotely amused.