Some Advice for Facebook on Integration

This post actually is a comment I left for this blog post, but decided I would also post it here.  The author’s post discusses contrasting opinions on using several separate social media websites vs. using Facebook for everything.  My comment is below:

Great post!  In a way, I would strongly agree with you.  In a way, I desire more integration.  Ironically, I actually found/read your post through Facebook Notes because you tagged Richard.

I, too, am an avid user of the “best” social networks (Flickr for photos, for bookmarks, YouTube for videos, LinkedIn for professional networking, etc).

Here’s what I like about what Facebook is doing: making these services available and known for “the masses”.  Blogging/Notes, Photo Sharing, and now Shares.  For people who wouldn’t normally use any of these features at the above named other websites, this is great.

Automatically recognizing blogs listed as “websites” and integrating/importing blog posts as Notes is genius.

In my opinion, this is the kind of the thing that Facebook really needs to do.  Here is another example:

What if Facebook extended this type of functionality to watch your (and other popular/competing sites) bookmarks and automatically import them into “My Shares”?
[Aside: you may not want to pollute everyones News Feed each time someone bookmarks something, but perhaps a message like: “Phil Freo has Shared _7 items_ today.” with a link to those items would be good.]

The magic for Facebook can then happen when a lot of users have all their bookmarks as Shares.  “Normal users” (the kind that don’t use can then benefit from everyone else using it by being able to search/find the best websites about anything.    By keeping the current Shares model, I would never think to search Facebook Shares for a good website (or search my own bookmarks) – but this would cause me and a lot of other people to rely on Facebook for even more, which is exactly what they should want.

So, what else can Facebook do to both integrate *and* allow non-techies to benefit from?  Here’s three to get you started.

  1. Automatically watch/import/tag my (and competing) bookmarks as Shares.
  2. Automatically watch/import my blog’s comments in imported Notes
  3. Automatically watch/import/tag my Flickr photos where possible into My Photos.

[Aside: yes, there are issues with each of these, but I’m more than confident they can be worked out.]

For the average user, there is just a massive amount of very valuable content on Facebook.  For the power user, they now have all of their own content on Facebook.  Everyone would then be happier – especially Facebook.

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