Facebook is all the rage currently, and lots of my online friends are OOOOing and AHHHing about the cool new API, Twittering from Facebook etc, but I am feeling extremely left out because basic functions of Facebook currently make me feel like I am an inferior being.
Facebook is a little behind the times on categorising your relationship with someone. As you will see later, the only way I add contacts to Facebook is when someone sends me an invite.
A good example is Loren from Search Engine Journal – we have exchanged the odd email in the past, and he just happened to send me an invite today.
I naturally accepted the invite, and then am presented with this wonderful selection of ways to categorise my relationship with Loren.
All those categories might be suitable for your average college student, but as Facebook expands into more complex areas of business relationship, there needs to be more options.
I read Loren’s blog, maybe he even occasionally reads mine, I know some of his writers do, and I also leave comments on his blog and have exchanged emails in the past.
I am not a customer, business partner, it is just a loose connection, but a lot more specific than Facebook currently allow.
Maybe they need a free-form tagging system with a few suggestions.
I Can’t Invite Friends
When I log into Facebook they encourage me to let them import all my contacts from Gmail into Facebook.
The only websites I enter my password for my Google Account are owned by Google… period
I don’t care how big Facebook are, unless they are bought by Google and integrate their logins, I will never type in my Google Accounts password into one of their forms, no matter how many assurances that they are not storing my password.
I would actually be more willing to type in my bank account password than my Google account password.
Google and most email services provide a way to export email addresses in CSV format, which could then easily be imported into Facebook.
Maybe this is a slightly more technical solution than is currently used, but then it is also infinitely safer.
Guess The Invisible Captcha
Another alternative for adding friends is to add friends of friends and get social. I noticed Ted Murphy is a contact of Tony Hung, and whilst there are a lot of Ted Murphys in the world, there is a fairly high chance that that is Ted Murphy, the CEO of Pay Per Post.
So I want to add Ted to my contacts, partially because I know him, and of course because this is a social network, I also want to see who he knows ;) – I am sure there will be lots of mutual friends.
Oops, it seems there are some problems with the CAPTCHA, and for me the captcha image is invisible. I did follow the suggestions to refresh the page multiple times to no avail, and I also noticed there was no audio option which is very poor show for a multinational website.
The European Union really should block or fine all websites with accessibility problems.
This isn’t always a problem, I have noticed the captcha appearing since I grabbed the screenshot, but this hardly makes the system accessible.
There is one other option, you can become a verified user:-
I Don’t Use A Mobile Phone
Well that isn’t 100% true – when I am out with my wife, and I am expecting an important phone call, I redirect my landline to her mobile.
She has a fairly comprehensive business plan, and all calls are a business expense so it doesn’t make sense for me to use one when “at home”.
When I am travelling, roaming fees are horrible. What I normally do is purchase a “pay-as-you-go” phone for any country I will be travelling in on business. In the past I have done this in both the US and UK, and it is much cheaper than paying rental fees, and infinitely cheaper than roaming.
I have credit cards, I have a verified business account on Paypal, but I can’t verify myself on Facebook.
Are you a 2nd Class Scum of the Earth Too?