I’ve got lots of thoughts about FaceBook, some positive some negative. And I was trying to come up with a way to encapsulate it all. I sort of think I have, but there might be some holes in my analogy…
For me, this is FaceBook:
It’s like one of those ‘integrated midi systems’. Basically it’s an all-in-one music system. Lots of features and easy to use straight out of the box. The sound quality might be a bit rubbish and if it goes wrong you have to bin the whole lot. Plus options to extend it or customise it are limited (there’s no way to open the box, but you could put stickers on it or use input jacks on the back).
Doing something similar to facebook by glueing together lots of Web 2.0 type apps. E.g. a WordPress Blog with Last.fm, Flickr, Twitter, del.icio.us, etc. Is much more like putting together a hi-fi separates system.
Is much harder to get up and running. It takes much longer to plan your system. Sometimes it’ll work great, other times it won’t. And you might need to get help from a geek / expert to get the most out of it. But when it works it’ll be fantastic, and you can swap bits in and out to make sure its future-proof. And you can tinker with it to your heart’s content.
But separates are more geeky. And people do get obsessive. And in hi-fi land, just like web land, some people enjoy the putting together of the system almost more than they enjoy playing it.
Comparing FaceBook to a midi hi-fi is not intended as a slur. It is like a very good midi hi-fi. And just as midi systems are a good way for people to start enjoying music perhaps FaceBook has a similar role…
What do you reckon?