It’s been a year since Facebook went public with a Developer roadmap which signalled a shift away from third-party app integration and increased importance on the Home Page news feed. Last October, the Facebook home page news feed went real-time, significantly altering the user experience to focus primarily on the Home Page, as opposed to profiles or third-party applications.
The latest platform change “coming soon” is a bigger blow to the personalization of the profile page. In the past months, we’ve seen all kinds of irritating warnings that Facebook would soon strip application Profile Boxes and to move these boxes to the tab bar. Now, these tabs are the next casualty.
This is unfortunate in that it limits not only the personalization of ones profile but also the effectiveness of calls-to-action that benefit from users adding custom tabs to profiles as if they were virtual lawn signs. I proudly display a “No on 23” tab in my profile (direct link), so friends and anyone else who lands on my profile page can learn more about an important proposition on the California ballot next Tuesday. It’s alongside two other tabs that are “soon” to be pulled by Facebook: Goodreads and Last.fm — services I use to track the books I read and music I listen to (respectively). I don’t care (or know) if many visitors to my profile even notice these tabs or take interest, however, it adds value as it’s an intricate part of getting to know me. Sure, books and artists that I have “liked” are listed in my profile, but there is nothing live or temporal about that data other than when (in real-time) I click like and it reverberates through my network via the news feed for 24 hours or so.
I’m betting that you also like the ability to integrate 3rd-party applications and services into your Facebook experience and as tabs or boxes on your profile page. Again this is not a sudden occurrence, we were warned a year ago, and more recently applications which depended almost exclusively on the Facebook Platform, such as Causes and Zimride, have gone entirely standalone.
Does Facebook have something in mind to replace this experience or do we just have to learn to accept a more dumbed-down, walled-in Facebook from here on out? What’s next for Facebook application campaigns based on profile tab proliferation, such as those created by PopRule and others?
How do you keep up with the blogs, news, and online publications you care about most?
This is a question that commonly comes up among friends and peers engaged in the business of content and discovery. And the answer changes as the web changes.
The algorithms, languages, and technology that enable users to curate an online experience that feels genuinely and uniquely personalized is fascinating. To me, it’s what the web is all about. I’ve long been hooked on RSS and its ability to deliver content of all kinds, from audio/video podcasts to earthquake alerts, almost immediately as published.
Beverly Hills Public Library is open seven days a week. Some spaces are exclusively for public internet use. No books on these shelves. | Photo by Andy Sternberg/LAist
LA Public Libraries are closed on Sundays and Mondays due to unruly budget cuts. This includes the historic Central Library – a downtown landmark and one of the largest libraries in the country – in addition to all 70 LAPL branches. Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Burbank patrons can access their library’s resources 7 days a week.
How do we fix this? LA City Council President Eric Garcetti told me last month (in a Twitter reply) that the library cuts signify about $10 million in savings for the city “…and I am working to see if this 15% cut can be mitigated as soon as economy/receipts pick up.”
This is an issue that should irritate everyone who feels part of the community as it affects education, jobs, and the digital divide, not to mention the amount of waste contributed to people who are forced to buy new books because the library is closed on their day off.
As long as our elected officials are corrupting our tax dollars for personal and professional gain, we should not allow them to take away our communities’ most precious resources (a far more valuable allocation of taxes, dontcha think?). This shouldn’t require a costly amendment that, if passed, would add a $39 parcel tax to our plate.
It’s really just another lesson in why you should never but an exact public date on a launch. Of course in this case it’s the date for a “disappearance” or removal, but as I predicted last month and as has occurred in the past, Facebook is once again guilty of writing threats on innocent people’s walls and then neither following up on them, nor cleaning up.
Without meaning to be too critical — I’m just sayin’. And, as long as I can have this badge on my wall it would be nice if my friends could still use it to click through and learn more about the, uh, Cause!