You’ve likely read something online in the past few weeks about how Facebook is working on overhauling the Internet and possibly taking over the world. The gist, for those who missed it, is that the ubiquitous social networking site has set up some new online gizmos — including a universal “like” button — that let it trade information back and forth with other websites, in ways that could be cool (“Hey, five people I know like a restaurant that’s a block away!”) or creepy (“Uh, why is that ad urging me to buy something called ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ for Mike’s birthday next week?”)
In the process of rolling out this change, Facebook has automatically made a bunch of changes to all users’ privacy settings. (If you haven’t yet, you really ought to check out one of the recent how-to guides and take a look at those settings; Facebook doesn’t make it all that easy to see what’s going on.) Even US Senators are taking time out of their busy schedules to be alarmed about all this.
That said, plenty of sites have also rushed headlong into Facebook’s arms. And if enough sites follow suit (and if Facebook gets its way), all of us are going to start doing a lot more Web surfing based on what our Facebook friends say they “like.” As someone who always wants to get more eyeballs reading our work here on Crunchable, that’s a possibility that I can’t just ignore.
Crunchable has had a Facebook page for quite a while now, and we’re thinking seriously about rolling out some more Facebook-related features in the next few weeks — probably including, at minimum, the new Facebook “like” button at the bottom of all Crunchable stories, to replace the old Facebook button that’s there now.
But we’re not in too much of a hurry, because (1) we want to make sure we’ve thought this through, and (2) whenever Facebook has faced this kind of hue and cry in the past, it’s usually ended up rolling back at least a few of its latest changes, so we might as well wait a bit and maybe avoid having to tweak and re-tweak Crunchable to keep up.
We also want to hear what you think. Are we being dumb to hold off on this one? Or should we flee from our new social networking overlords? Please leave us a comment with your views. (And if the comments don’t seem to be working, as has often happened around here, please let us know with an e-mail to email@example.com.) Thanks!