Facebook Face-Off: Does it Suck, or Does it Rock?

It Sucks
Written By: Mackenzie Wooldridge

Facebook. It’s what we do when we’re supposed to be doing our homework. Be honest; who wouldn’t rather be online chatting with friends than reading a long-winded, dull, 50-page packet? It’s where we go to hang out virtually, the common room or lounge of the internet if you will.

I wasn’t interested in a new Facebook, I was just fine with the one I was using. I couldn’t really find anything wrong with it, so I never tried the new one. Why change when you like what you have?

Now, imagine my shock, surprise, and horror the fateful morning I logged in at the familiar login page to find a new, glistening, terrifyingly sterile world waiting for me.
“It’s like your mom cleaned your room for you while you were gone,” as Ben Parafina so aptly put it.

At first I had no idea what was going on, but it didn’t take long for me to form an unfavorable opinion of this “New Facebook.”

I went to my profile and my eyes widened to the approximate size of saucers as I realized a majority of my applications had mysteriously disappeared.
Now, I will readily admit that I have quite a few applications I never use and could probably do without, but some of my favorites were gone as well. A mad dash around the site and a few obscenities later, I still couldn’t figure out where they were. To be completely honest, I still can’t figure out where most of my applications are.

This could be an issue of my technological deficiencies, but after talking with a few friends I’ve found it’s a widespread problem.

“Where’s my stuff? Where did my bumper stickers go?” Hayley Hervieux asked, face confused as she clicked from tab to tab trying to find her bumper stickers.
After finding the application, she found to her chagrin that all of the bumper stickers she had in the old Facebook had disappeared.

And it wasn’t just applications I couldn’t find and/or didn’t like. The new profile’s whole setup reminded me of the decor of either a mental asylum or a bad old sci-fi set: White, stark, with little clutter, everything sectioned and partitioned nicely. There’s no personality to them anymore.

All profiles look basically the same, but with a different name, heading, and picture to them. I hate how difficult it is now to add personality, individuality to your profile.

On top of my Facebook account, I also have a Myspace account. Myspace also re-did their format, but with one difference. Myspace left their old format available to use for those who were not fans of the new one.

Now, tell me, why didn’t Facebook follow in kind and leave the old format up? At first that’s what they did, but then there came the day when we the users no longer had a choice. The almighty programmers changed all of our pages while we weren’t watching.
How hard would it have been to leave the old Facebook up for those who still wanted t use it? I don’t know, I’m a simple internet user who knows absolutely nothing about programming. I don’t have a problem admitting that. I am, however, a customer so to say. And as a customer, I am extremely dissatisfied.

It Rocks!
Written by Lane Hill
Megaphone Web Editor

People hate change, which is part of the reason why Facebook got its backlash when it switched to a new layout and design. However, what many people don’t understand is that the new Facebook design is…let’s say, more coersive to your computer experience as well as demonstrates better paradigms of design.

Let’s start off with something: Get on any web browser made in the last three years and open a few tabs. Tabs are very convenient in web surfing – they allow you to have multiple pages open at once.

Now, where did they get the idea for a tabbed, web browsing interface? Right-click My Computer and go to Properties (on a Mac, go to Apple -> System Properties -> and click on something like Keyboard & Mouse). See those little tabs at the top of the window (or on a Mac, the buttons)? They allow developers to sort information based in an arbitrary way, so that a user can open what options he wants, while ignoring the rest.
In Facebook, it’s the same way. You have tabs for every variety of feeds that you can possibly want. In the profiles, you have tabs to see the wall and statuses, see photos, look at the person’s applications that they have installed, and the benefit for this is that until you click on that tab, your browser won’t access the information for these resources, meaning that people with low bandwidth connections (ie, the entirety of America), won’t have to worry about their downloads slowing down because they accessed some nutjob’s profile with a million different applications.
Furthermore, because the information is actually organized, you won’t get information overload – you only access what you want to see, and nothing else.
Now, this next part is sadly only applicable to people with Windows or Linux with KDE installed, but it’s really cool when I figured what they were trying to achieve.

In the old Facebook, when they activated Facebook Chat, there was a bar at the bottom of the screen that did nothing but tell you the friends you had online and your status.
Now, with New Facebook, they created an applications button, where you can jump to any application. They also added some handy quick link on the bar itself. This button is analogous to the Window’s Start button and KDE’s K button. They both are buttons that provide you links to different applications on your computer.

Except in Facebook’s case, these applications are not on the computer, but in your presumably infinite little space on their servers. Neat, eh?

This means that people who have used Windows (which is still the dominant OS, whether people like it or not) or KDE before will be more likely to understand the purpose and the use of the applications button, because of it’s placement at the bottom of the screen. Plus it’s hidden away, so that you don’t have to look at it, unless you want to.

It’s also more customizable without turning into an annoying MySpace clone (which I was scared of when I first heard about the new redesign). You have the option of making new tabs for different applications that you like (for instance, I just made one for my Notes), you can tell people about yourself in real time in that little box under your picture, you can share photos, share links, write notes and import RSS feeds (which is a handy little feature, if I didn’t already use Google Reader) in one single click on your profile.

If you use the Facebook design, and get to learn it, like with most new layouts, you will probably find that it’s easier and faster to get things done with then the old design.
Or at least put money where your mouth is and actually click that “Send Feedback” button about the new design. I bet they’ll even listen to you if you bring up good points.

Who do you think won the face off?  Leave your comments below!

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