algebraicthunk.net/ blog/ entry/ Facebook comments

My blog is syndicated on Planet Debian, Planet GSLUG, and Facebook (through their "notes" system). I occasionally get a comment about one of my posts over on Facebook, and every time I do I remember one of the reasons I avoid that site.

[someone] made a comment about your note "note title". To see the comment, follow the link below: [link to Facebook]

What's missing here is of course the actual text of the comment. Blogger does this right: the actual comment is emailed to me. Not only does this impose the annoyance of having to click on the link, but I often read my email offline, and so a message like this is worse than useless for me. (worse as I have to postpone it for later, which means I need to deal with it twice) It would be even better if I didn't have to click to reply, but with a Web service you kind of expect that. (one of the reasons that I'll be setting up my own blog at some point: I can use software that actually allows me to compose replies offline)

I don't know why Facebook does this, but my guess is that either (a) they haven't thought about it, or (b) they want to drive up page views and make it annoying for me to not use their site. If it's (b), then that apparently works for a large swathe of the population, but it makes me want to avoid them like a bad cliche.

Comment by MJ Ray at 1:26 AM:

You could use something like wwwoffle so it can queue the web request and fetch it next time you're online, assuming the note doesn't require a login.

Comment by Benjamin Seidenberg at 7:47 AM:

It's because facebook is ad-supported (though with something like Ad-Block, I don't notice most of them). They want to make you see the ads while you look at the comment. They do the same thing for messages, wall posts, picture comments, etc. I agree, I wish it'd just show it in the email.

Comment by dburrows at 3:06 PM:

MJ: thanks for the pointer. Facebook does need a login, but wwwoffle sounds like it might be worth checking out some time, considering that I do so much offline.

Ben: yeah, that probably explains it. I wondered if it was something like that, but I couldn't remember ever seeing ads on Facebook. So I took a look and sure enough, there they are! Apparently I've gotten so used to ads that I unconsciously block them out.