tl;dr: 1) Nice job on the Notifications dropdown, Facebook devs! 2) I still really miss RSS feeds and Jabber message integration!! 3) You should hire me! I have some ideas on how to make this better! =;P
I’ve just never really used Facebook consistently before. My biggest complaint has always been that unlike Twitter or RSS feeds or e-mail, I did not see any way to stay caught up. To leave off wherever you are, come back to it later and your place in the list of events has not moved. With Twitter/RSS/e-mail/other things, you can do this. Pick up again wherever you left off and keep working your way through whatever it is, and most importantly, you know that you have not missed anything during any of this. Sure, you might be behind in your progress for a while, and until you’re caught up, you may have delayed reactions to things. But I much prefer this linear information navigation. Or at least I prefer having this type of knowledge consumption and data navigation be even possible. Knowing that I’m not missing out on anything is important to me.
Facebook has never made this easy for me. Facebook used to have RSS feeds that I would use and be able to catch up on unread events, etc., and know that I’m not missing anything along the way. That functionality was removed a long time ago.
Anyway, where I’m going with this is that I just discovered that I can do an approximation of what I’m looking for by using the Notifications dropdown in the Facebook toolbar at the top of my screen. It’s not perfect, but now that I’ve found it, it looks like it’s my best alternative to just refreshing Facebook and looking at the list of groups and friends I’m most interested in. Or scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. And there’s a “see all” link to take you to a new page to navigate your notifications. Nice.
I think it would be a nice addition to Facebook to add functionality onto the /notifications page. I wouldn’t necessarily force it to be tied to settings or persistent changes, but there are times that I’d like to choose what data I’m seeing on this Notifications list differently than others. For example, right now I’m most interested in staying caught up with all of my VMware family and friends. If I could get a list of “here’s all the people that I’m going to show you in the list below” and check/uncheck them individually or assign groups or whatever, that would be very helpful. Similarly, sometimes I’m interested in seeing who has liked one of my posts or comments. Right now, the information flood is too much and I’d like to filter that noise out.
So… nicely done on the Notifications dropdown, whomever at Facebook designed that.
And I still miss RSS feeds and Jabber integration. =:(
And now that I’ve been laid off along with the rest of my Workstation and Fusion friends, I’m looking for interesting work in areas that I’ve not done before. So clearly, Facebook should hire me because then I could help implement the ideas I posited above. =;)