In Which I Geek Out
I admit it: I’m nerdily excited about Facebook Connect. If it takes off–as it probably will–it’ll help shrink the web. Which would be nice, because girlfriend is getting too big for her britches.
If you haven’t fiddled with Facebook Connect, it’s a lot like OpenID (not that you’d know what that is, because you don’t use it and neither does anyone else). Basically, it’s a third-party system that allows you to log into multiple sites via a single user account. So, for example: think of Gawker, where you have just one identity that you use on every Gawker site, meaning that your comments on Gawker, Jalopnik, etc. are all viewable on your one Gawker profile page. Facebook Connect is a lot like that, but it’s not limited to a particular family of websites; it works on any website where it’s enabled.
On the one hand, that’ll probably save me a lot of time that I’d otherwise spend trying to remember usernames and passwords I haven’t typed in months. It’ll also allow me to stay in closer touch with friends and interact with them outside the relatively small Facebook playground.
On the other hand, it’ll seriously impinge on web anonymity–if such a thing even exists anymore. College-age folks aren’t so concerned about privacy, but I’ve always found that a little mystery is a good thing.
I wish I were as excited about Twitter, but honestly, I think it’s overblown. As a toy, it’s great fun, and it has some nifty applications here and there, but there are idiots out there ready to dump their RSS readers and use Twitter exclusively, and, well, that’s just dumb. RSS is news and full posts and all the info I need in one little ol’ place. Twitter is 140-character updates from friends about lunch and rush hour and hey, do you know of anyone with an apartment for rent that takes dogs. I don’t even subscribe to my Twitter timeline in my RSS reader–that’s how separate I think they are. I’ll be glad when Twitter gets consumed by Google or Facebook or some other entity so I’ll have one less tab open in my browser.