Friday, May 27, 2011

Facebook doing more weird stuff?

One of the referring URLs to this blog is from a Facebook group related to pizza delivery drivers (no doubt to my post about delivering pizzas for a living.

I was curious about the group and searched on it on Facebook and saw this note:

This group is scheduled to be archived

Over the next few months, Facebook will be archiving all groups created using the old groups format. When this group is archived, its wall posts, photos and discussion threads will move to the new groups format, but group members will need to be re-added.

Weird, eh?  This move will mean that most groups out there will lose most, if not all, of their members.  People who joined groups will have to re-join them.  Or the group leader or whatever will have to laboriously re-enter the names of every group member (if Facebook still allows the odious practice of letting people "join" you to a group without your permission).

Seems like an odd move, unless, of course, you realize that a lot of "groups" out there have dormant members and you want to start with a clean slate.

Or perhaps you want people to "re-join" a group under a new Terms Of Service (TOS) that allows you to harvest more demographic information.

There is always the odd possibility that they are lazy coders and didn't want to transfer the group names to the new format (and why, pray tell, does Facebook keep morphing the format every 3 months?  This is one of the most annoying things about the Internet in general and Facebook in particular).  But I doubt that is the reason.  A few lines of code could transfer group memberships over to the "new" group.

So, another fun feature from Facebook!  Just like the reformatting of the profile page (where you had to go in an re-do your profile after spending all that time setting it up just so) now you have to remember which groups you belonged to and then go and "re-join" them.  Likely, most groups will lose more than half their members.

Very odd way to run a website, no? 

This is the sort of reason why I don't post on Facebook anymore and why I think the company is far over-valued.

Facebook is like a piano with four keys.  You can't play very many notes on it - it is all tightly scripted and controlled, and you have little or no control over it.