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Brad Brenner

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Facebook Has No Clothes

Portland PR - Facebook sucksFacebook sucks. There, I said it. And if there is anything more troubling than the platform itself, it’s the fact that no one seems to want to talk about how bad it really is. So let me be the first.

It is difficult to use, it has severely limited capabilities, it is visually ugly, user options are highly restrictive, its menus are counterintuitive, its structure ignores basic GUI rules of best practices, the terms they use for different components (page, applications etc.) are nonsensical, it has security issues and it smells. Ok, maybe that’s my monitor. But come on!

Why doesn’t anyone say anything about it? I must regularly follow a couple dozen online forums about social network marketing and when it comes to Facebook’s adversities, mums the word. I only seem to find cheery posts about one workaround app or another that allows you to do basic stuff without having a coronary.

So what’s the big attraction? Social networks like Facebook do offer a sexy proposition – the promise of connecting and actually friending customers. But if you look at how companies are adapting this patchwork platform to fit basic marketing objectives, you’ll see that the results are clumsy at best. I understand that Facebook was originally intended to be a social networking site not a marketing tool (dating and staying in touch with Uncle Ernie rather than selling Fritos) but that was yesterday. Both businesses and Facebook itself have come to realize that there is money in them there “likes”. Now it’s up to Facebook to step up to the plate and create a platform that actually does the job.

Or perhaps not. Google + is right around the corner. Perhaps they will do it better and Facebook will just become another MySpace or Netscape or AOL or Lycos or ….

In the meantime, let’s be honest about it and admit that today’s Facebook is awful. The more we talk about it, the greater the chance Mark Z. will feel the pressure and actually make some badly overdue changes. In the meantime, click “Like” before you go.

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Brad Lee Brenner is a master blogger, radio host and founder of Brenner Associates, a public relations / communications firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Over the past thirty years, Brad has written hundreds of articles that have been published in trade journals, newspapers and online news sources. His focus of expertise includes technology, the medical industry and communications for the digital age.