Sunday, July 29, 2012

Facebook blew it

Facebook could have had the killer app, but they blew it.

Facebook's Notes could have been the best blogging platform out there, coupled with Facebook's privacy controls to make a blog entry public or micromanage the readership access to a list or individual names. But the actual Notes app is so painful to use that no one who places any value on layout or aesthetics would want to use it. Hello, they don't even have rich text!

Anybody who has struggled with the balance between privacy, anonymity and readership would appreciate this value proposition. I used to have a Livejournal blog. It was great, I could fully password-protect it, such that only logged-in friends could read it. That was why I had about 3 regular readers. Then I had another anonymous blog that actually had rather good readership. (I think ten years ago, 100+ readers a day was pretty good.) But most of them didn't know who I was, and only a handful of my friends knew of the blog; I wanted people to know I was writing, but it seemed very strange to go around publicising my anonymous blog.

So after a long blogging hiatus (with only the occasional Facebook Note in between), I've decided to start a new blog. And this time, the ideal platform would clearly seem to be blogger, linked to Google+ to get the best of those two worlds - privacy and publicity - whichever is more appropriate for the moment. Facebook missed it, but I think this is one thing that Google is certainly doing right.

So I shall be writing about family, Android apps, military stuff and probably making disparaging remarks at some of the numbskulls in cyberspace and the newspaper forums. But depending on who you are, you might not see all of it. Try your luck ... add me to your Google+ circles.