Let’s say all of us jump on the Open Graph bandwagon and allow app after app to passively post our every Web move. We’ll simply have opened the door to a horde of zombie posts that will overwhelm our interest and deaden us to the possibility of organic discovery.
Sharing and recommendation shouldn’t be passive. It should be conscious, thoughtful, and amusing—we are tickled by a story, picture, or video and we choose to share it, and if a startling number of Internet users also find that thing amusing, we, together, consciously create a tidal wave of meme that elevates that piece of media to viral status. We choose these gems from the noise. Open Graph will fill our feeds with noise, burying the gems.
Frictionless sharing via Open Graph recasts Facebook’s basic purpose, making it more about recommending and archiving than about sharing and communicating. That’s a potentially dangerous strategy—not just because oversharing diminishes our interest in sharing but also because it’s tweaking the formula that made the site a winner in the first place.
Agreed, many times over. And this isn’t even the very painful developer’s experience within an app’s not-fully-launched wizard panels, trying to define an OpenGraph API whereby all this spam is possible.
This article is floating around the Hacker News pool today, and there is definitely a good point to it — clicking on a Yahoo News article from a few months ago only to have someone comment on it without realizing it was on your Facebook wall is kinda weird — but at the same time, we do see some of the upsides about this. The WaPo’s Trove product didn’t really hit its stride until it was re-invented as a Facebook product, which effectively gave its personalized news approach a context. I think Facebook wants to ease our desire to share as much as possible, but it’s a path rife with ethical questions that Zuckerberg and Co. haven’t fully considered. Sometimes friction is a good thing.