Thursday, August 7, 2008

The New Facebook and 'Dear Mark'

As I'm just about to promote Facebook as still a relative 'sleeper' in targeted advertising to a friend, I log-on this morning, and receive this (unsolicited) message from Mark Zuckerberg:

"Hey -
At Facebook, our goal is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. More than 90 million people across the world have joined this movement and are using the site to communicate and share information with the people they care about most. Today, we're happy to invite you to check out the next evolution of our product. We've been working on it for a while, so we're really excited to show it to you.
We had three goals to improve Facebook in this version. First, we wanted to make everything clean and simple to use. Reducing clutter makes it easier for you to find what you're looking for and share information with others. Second, we wanted to give you more control over your profile. Everyone should be able to express themselves how they want, which means privacy controls and control over how content appears on your profile. Lastly, we wanted to show the most recent and relevant content. People share so much on Facebook that it's easier to keep up with your friends by focusing on the newest and most important information.
You may have seen the preview Page we created a few months ago to get suggestions from the community on the changes we were thinking about making. I want to thank all of you who wrote in and gave us feedback. It's always great to hear from people using our products all around the world. As you use the new Facebook, please feel free to let us know what you think using the "Send Feedback" link at the top of new pages.
To try out the new Facebook, look for a banner at the top of every page. If you get lost, there are help links available as well as the option to switch back to the older version for a little while. I hope you enjoy this next evolution of the site as much as we do.
Mark Zuckerberg"

Of course, there was no reply-to, so here it goes ....

Dear Mark,
1) My name isn't 'Hey'.  If you're going to invade my space (on your space?), 'Dear Friends' would have been a lot better.
2) I'm a pretty busy guy that LIKES Facebook and thinks it has incredible ongoing potential.  If there's any significant learning curve in getting my old stuff back, it'll be weeks before I do it, if ever.
3) I understand the need to stay competitive, ahead of the curve, and all that stuff.  I even watched the previews of the upcoming changes (and shared 'Inside Facebook). IE: I'm a fan! This is a wholesale change, and honestly, with all the new and exciting services coming online, I think it will alienate a LOT of people.  Most just don't have the time to re-arrange their stuff, which I'm still not even sure is possible.
4) I use Facebook mail for private conversations.  I like it.  ... Oh, there it is .... nevermind.

In closing, I would suggest that you take baby steps here.

It's bad.  Really bad.

Just my opinion.

Your friend