.. and the same can be said of Google+, Twitter and countless other social networking systems. Sir Tim Berners-Lee didn’t work hard to create the World Wide Web for every bloomin’ piece of information out there to end up at a single organisation such as Facebook.
I am sick and tired of being directed to Facebook pages to read somebody’s article (or an invite to comment) because they cannot or will not set-up something on their own web site or use some other neutral third party system. Facebook does not allow third party authentication systems for me to connect and participate on specific pages if I want to. To comment/participate on a Facebook page, I need a Facebook account and I’m no longer willing to trust my personal data to them. Further more, because I do not have a Facebook account, I am prompted each and every time to sign up or login to see “the benefits” of Facebook.
No. No, no, no.
I also do not wish to be held to the draconian policies of these large organisations. If you post something on Facebook, Blogger or any other public social network service, you’re held to their terms and conditions and polices. This means that YOUR content may be pulled from THEIR services for whatever reason at any time - whether due to a genuine violation of their T&Cs or because a fault or mistake on their behalf. It is also difficult to provide any form of backup of your data in these circumstances unless you compose everything off-line first.
In short: you are placing a hell of a lot of trust in Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. to help you communicate with the world. And that trust isn’t always worth handing out so easily – especially if you have absolutely no specific contract or SLA with these organisations. Since the majority of these services are free, I wish you luck in attempting to get timely support when things go wrong.
These days I trust Google with my email and calendaring, mainly because I pay them and subsequently have an SLA which guarantees me a certain level of expectation from them. I use my Google Account with Android devices to install apps as well being able to comment on Blogger blogs – and pretty much all of this can be backed up easily (and to Google’s credit, you can use their Takeout service to download other data too). I have Twitter, but that’s the only social network I’ll use. It requires you hand over minimal personal data and if that went away, it wouldn’t cause me much harm or heartache.
I absolutely recommend that if you can, buy some web hosting somewhere (it needn’t be complex) and set-up your own blog or web site and use that for posting your articles. It’s not too difficult and you can always find somebody out there willing to help. You will remain in control over your own content, you will not piss off people who don’t want to sign up for an account to read your articles, and even if you do sign up to comment or chat, you’re not handing over your first born.
Facebook is not the internet. Information should be free, unhindered and without conditions. Do not let a big multi-corporate tell you otherwise.