I understand how computer viruses got their name. It’s appropriate. Little evil, invasive things that wreak major havoc on a system.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Facebook is such a bug, of the social variety. I’ve never had direct relations with the service, don’t intend to, but still feel contaminated.
After reading an online article recently I was thinking about commenting on some couch warrior’s defense of a likely kidnapping suspect, and clicked Reply. The resulting dialog gave me the choice of joining the CBS news article-commenting-family or, even more convenient for millions of happy Farmvillers, taking advantage of an integrated Facebook login.
Cross-pollinated authentication privilege is a cool, common thing these days. I love visiting some friend’s blog in a different sphere and seeing that the Comments tool supports various species. Not to mention Twitter and of course OpenID.
So why is it that I keep rubbing up against Facebook as the only other option?
CNN is equally guilty. You would think they might want to differentiate themselves from the CBS site. But maybe readers don’t care. “Hey look, I can virtual farm and play news analyst at the same time! Thanks, Facebook!”
And then there’s the Like feature. I don’t like it. It wants to virally channel my opinions to the one place that, in my opinion, warps social networking into a friendly Hell even AOL could never concoct. And they tried.
Fortunately WordPress has given you several options for sharing this article to your spam-starved friends. And of course, they had to include that nasty little publishing pathogen. Just wash your hands after clicking.