Continuing loss of Face(book)

So I decided to cave in and say yes to patients waiting in the accumulating pile of friend requests at my Facebook account. Haven’t been to Facebook in awhile, so I was also curious to see if “friending” has improved since the last time I slogged my way through the process.

First, l lost count of how many seconds passed during login. As usual, I clicked “remember me”, but I have no faith that it will next time. It never has before.

Second, I now have 190 friend requests. I know a few dozen of these folks. I would like to say yes to them as a group. While this would be handy and useful, and must be something that users have wanted for a long time, it’s still not there — though it’s nice to see that the silly intermediate checkbox thing (about how you know this person) is gone. Still, it takes another 10 18 25 seconds or so between clicking “confirm” and actual confirmation. With nothing happening in the browser’s status bar. So you have no idea if clicking even worked.

Makes me wonder if there is a cure for silos that isn’t yet another silo.

There has to be. Eventually. Somehow.

[Later…] I just “friended” a few people. They took, 30, 15, 8, 14, 33, 5, 34, 15, 5 and 5 seconds. I won’t bother to average those, because they don’t include the last two I tried. Both took more than a minute before I gave up because nothing happened. Awful.


  1. Mike Warot’s avatar

    We’re stuck with silos because they take care of some of the threats for us, and make it safer to do things we can’t otherwise do.

    For example, we use Flickr to share photos, because we can trust them to only be Photos (or videos) that have been through their resizing engines and are thus safe.

    Links to random images and videos on the internet aren’t safe because they could kill your PC in any number of ways.

    The silos are only going to get more prevalent as the ends of the internet are increasingly attacked by the mafia, etc., and our options narrow.

    Metcalfe’s law for the internet no longer applies because we’ve allowed the nodes of the network to be crippled.


  2. Doug’s avatar


    Do you think that something like batch friend approvals would diminish the amount of page-clicks/views in the over-all site total? Could this just be a “wanting to keep up with the myspace’s” and not caring about the users?

    Just curious

  3. Jim’s avatar

    Twitter’s similarly annoying. For a while it seemed that Fb was adding functionality that rendered the occasional app obsolete, but you still need to weed through all the spam apps to find one that really adds something. I’ve never bothered to look through the Twitter apps, I don’t have time to do all this.

    And yes, Facebook has never once remembered me, though I tell it to every time.

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Doug, I’m assume the reason is to hold eyeballs still while subjecting them to advertising. But I don’t know. Or care much any more.

  5. carterfsmith’s avatar

    I’m guessing you didn’t try out the new FB chat feature, then. 🙂 I think Google or Microhoo can build a better (and bigger) silo but they still have to monetize it, right?

  6. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Well, Carter, not everything needs to be monetized.

    It’s still early. We still design first for giantism. Odd, but understandably so.

  7. Logan Greenlee’s avatar

    I’m particularly sensitive to user interface issues and I can’t say that I’ve had a similar experience.

    Facebook does remember you for at least 5 minutes (in my brief testing ha ha) – if you login frequently (which is the normal use case for 99% of the users) then it should be fine. I think the cookie used to expire after 2 weeks.

    The multiple select feature is interesting. It probably has not been added because most people including the developers, don’t use facebook in “batch” mode. I’m guessing most people login multiple times a day or at least a few times a week.

    It’s interesting that you bring up performance – I used to use MySpace (truly a backwater part of the web) and friendster. Both of these sites have had major growing pains in the performance and availability arena. I cannot remember the last time I had issues with Facebook however.

    Also, the confirm friend box should change shape and I also thought that the button changes to grey while your request is processing.

  8. Doc Searls’s avatar


    Facebook still doesn’t remember me. It was down this morning, but it’s up now, and seems faster.

    It’s still a silo. And I still think there have to be Better Ways. And not just one of them.

  9. Caroline’s avatar

    I’m curious about your decision to allow your patients on as friends. What made you decide to try it and do you regret it? I’m a teacher with a surprising amount of students who wish to be my friends. I said no to one once and have always felt bad. Now, I just leave them in the cue while I try to make a decision.

  10. Doc Searls’s avatar


    It’s been a few months since I wrote this, and I don’t know why I used the term “patients” in the first sentence. My nickname may be Doc, but I’m not a doctor. I don’t have patients in the literal sense. I guess I meant people waiting patiently, or something.

    I also haven’t looked at Facebook in a long time. Let’s see…

    Oy. I have 237 friend requests, plus a large pile of other crap in the queue. I think I’ll ignore it all.

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