Friday, November 13, 2009

Facebook vs "the ocean of Google applications"

I'm not a big Facebook fan, although I do have a Facebook presence. As a long-term web user, I chafed at FB when it came out because it just seemed too fluffy and dorky to be of any real value.

After using it a bit, I've been very impressed with the FB ability to connect me to people I used to know. I think that might really be the beginning and the end of the utility there though. There are some decent picture posting capabilities, but other than that the features have low value. How many times do you want to send someone a "virtual beer" anyway? It's nonsense.

In an effort to stop throwing money out the window, I started exploring alternatives to keeping a server running all the time. As a Dotnet consultant, the server was invaluable for demonstrating, developing and testing software. Now that I'm not doing consulting work, the server is just a waste, so I decided to host my site completely at Google, as I mentioned earlier.

It's been great. Moving to Google servers has increased the features I can access in my blog, and it's opened a panoply of interconnected services like Picasa image hosting, custom Gmail through Google Apps, the promise of Google Voice, and the integration of my presence across all these services- all very nice.

As I look back to Facebook though, I can see that most people aren't going to go through the work, simple though it is, to connect all these things. It seems like what Google needs is something a little more similar to a Facebook page. A little tighter integration across the offerings. I think they're getting there, and wanting to get there, but it's not "fall off a log" simple like Facebook is.