Facebook – Are you a 2nd Class Scum of the Earth Too?

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.

Categorising Friends

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.

Facebook categorising friends

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.

Google Import

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.

Solution

Google and most email services provide a way to export email addresses in CSV format, which could then easily be imported into Facebook.

Export Contacts From Gmail

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.

Invisible Captcha

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:-

Mobile Phone

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?

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Comments

  1. says

    Just wanted to drop by, and say I love your sites. I found your website from someone who did a review on mine. I subscribed to your feed, and look forward to coming back. I’m currently hosting a contest over at my website, you should certainly check it out. A very quick way to make some quick cash. Anyways, I really love your blog Andy, look forward to coming back.

    -Randall Cornett
    http://www.randlife.com

  2. says

    OhMyGod, I know exactly how you feel! I can not navigate my way around that page at all, In fact, I gave up. I have some half assed profile page somewhere on there, but no idea how to use it whatsover! if you ever figure it out, please post a “how to”

  3. says

    I know what you mean – I have a mobile (‘cell phone’) but I;m betting an Australian number wouldn’t go down for them.
    Would they even take a ‘+’ signon the front? Seems unlikely.
    I should probably try it before I whine, of course :)

  4. says

    I agree that facebook is crackbook nowadays. What does that thing offer other than superficial relationships? :P The thing is ugly and cumbersome so I’m going to dump my account and…. hold up someone just added me as a friend….

  5. says

    Some great points there. I keep getting that invisible CAPTCHA too and I also have no idea how to define my relationship with half the people I am connected to.

    I think you can import your contacts without giving them the password though. Export as you suggested from google and then try the link that says “Click here if you use an email client (like Outlook) »” to get the option to import the contacts.

    • says

      One of the things that annoys me about so many very good blogs is when they review a product, the reviews are often watered down with no solid opinion, almost as if they are scared to say something positive or negative.

      I am not talking about the blogs which only write positive reviews about affiliate products that you can immediately tell are fake.

      Unless I have something unique to say about something (good or bad), I will generally avoid the topic completely.

  6. Jon says

    Regarding the email client there is an easy way to get round facebook’s stupid pathetic insistence you download your entire contacts list to do a search

    1. Create a completely new hotmail/yahoo/whatever account
    2. Add ONLY the email contacts you want to search into the contacts list

    • says

      I am well aware of that, but it seems 99% of the people I might add as a contact of facebook won’t meet any of the current categorization.

      For me that is quite a major flaw in how “welcoming” the platform is for anyone who isn’t a student.

  7. says

    Recently joined Facebook and finding those captchas a pain in the ####.

    So would like to verify, but have never owned a mobile phone.

    I’m not technologically backwards or anything, just never needed/wanted one.

    Run my own online business from a home office and don’t do much business over the phone (got a land line), do most business by email.

    If I’m not in the office I don’t want to be contacted by phone anyway.

    Really irritating the only way to verify is via a mobile phone, how short sighted! Like you I’ve got verified PayPal (business), multiple credit cards, have a mortgage and yet can’t prove to FaceBook I’m real :)

    David Law