I’ve been running Facebook and MySpace side-by-side for a couple of weeks now. I’d created a MySpace profile primarily because it was the only method available for me to get back into contact with some of my friends from high school who I haven’t spoken to in ten years. Of course, long-time readers of this blog know how I feel about MySpace, but I was willing to deal with the evils of the social networking site if it meant being able to ‘talk’ to some people I hadn’t seen in a long time.
Then, of course, WordPress announces the fact that they’ve added a wordpress.com application to Facebook. So, being the WP fanboy that I am, I immediately set up a profile there, as well – and found three times as many of my friends already there than there were on Facebook. Lunacy. And to make things even better, I found a plugin this morning that will also allow self-hosted instances of WordPress (from the wordpress.org site) to post up a news item in both the news and mini feeds everytime you add a new entry. Better and better.
I’ve “diatribed on the evils of MySpace before”:http://shamuswrites.com/2006/12/15/myspace-is-evil/, and nothing has demonstrated to me just how badly designed the place is than trying to surf various profiles there on my laptop. A friend of mine gave me his old laptop a while back, and since I’ve been on my back for the last five weeks, I’ve been using it quite a lot for all my web surfing. This laptop is not what I would call a powerhouse – I usually have to reboot once or twice a day just to recover enough RAM to continue working. I don’t usually have too many problems, though, at least not until I surf over into MySpace. Suddenly, all my RAM is gone, my browser locks up for lengthy periods of time, and I can’t close the MySpace tabs I have open so that I can even reboot the laptop and attempt to rectify my mistake.
Facebook, on the other hand, has been extremely simple and light-weight to use. It has yet to cause to my laptop any issues or headaches. And the beauty of Facebook is that it seems to be infinitely more customizable than MySpace – and with less demand on your computer’s resources. Granted, most of the applications in Facebook I have no use for, but I do like the way I can make it merge so seamlessly with all of my WordPress installations. Facebook is also the thing that has gotten me using my “wordpress.com”:http://stitzelj.wordpress.com account that I’d set up originally just for the API key for Akismet. Did I mention that I’m a WordPress fanboy?
So, yes, all this to say that I believe Facebook to be a far superior social networking system to MySpace. It’s built better, it runs better, and it just plain works better. I’ll likely be keeping my MySpace account, since I find it highly unlikely that everyone I have contact with there can be persuaded over to Facebook, but Facebook will continue to be my primary resource to maintaining quick and easy contact with people I know.
Of course, then again, there is always email.