Nate Says: Why So Serious?

3 Ways to Quit Complaining About Facebook

“BRING THE OLD FACEBOOK BACK!!! NOT THE LAST ONE BUT THE ONE BEFORE THAT, BUT DEFINITELY NOT THIS ONE!!!”

Facebook Complaints DepartmentEvery time Facebook makes an update, something terrible happens….

Users break out random garden tools, light the torches and start marching toward the rash of new Facebook Groups springing up declaring their hatred of the improved layout and convenient features. I get it, Mom packed you a sandwich for lunch and you always get PB&J. WHY, today, would she choose to change it to strawberry jelly, when you’re happy with (and expecting) grape?? It’s a comfort zone thing. It’s a new learning experience. But the end of the world, it is not.

Before you sharpen the tines on your pitchfork and do something foolish like threatening to return to MySpace (where nothing ever changes), try one of these and if they work for you, consider suggesting them to the village people in your anti-change Facebook Group as well:

Facebook Lite

Are you fed up with options? Do you want to look at one thing at a time? Do you prefer plain cheese pizza? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Facebook Lite may be for you.

A sub-domain of Facebook.com, Facebook Lite is completely devoid of any multi-tasking ability and squeezes your social life into a minimalist format. Don’t expect to play games or chat with friends while you browse. I’m serious, you’re only going to do one thing at a time. This is ideal for people who like to keep it simple and actually use Facebook to interact with friends and family (also recommended for new users over the age of 50 [love you Mom and Dad!]).

If you’re super happy about this, you can set your default view to Facebook Lite every time you sign in. You can always change it back to play games or see if there’s more updates to complain about even if they don’t affect you any more.

Try Facebook Lite | Set as Default View

Silverlight Facebook Desktop App

Silverlight Facebook LogoTo be clear, you don’t run this in a browser. You download it (free), install it, and run it like a program. The process is super-streamlined so don’t sweat it. And yes, it runs on Windows or Mac OS X.

This is great for people who hate bright colors. The theme is dark and makes you feel more exclusive like Facebook is a government run spy program that you can access your social circle’s private information on… which may be a more accurate experience entirely.

My fave part of this app is the importance it places on photos. I love photos. I can’t see enough pictures of your cat, or what you made for dinner. Silverlight keeps the photo experience really slick – muting the photos on the side of your stream when you’re not focused on them, and cataloging friends’ photos either in albums or a nifty collage when you’re interested in seeing them. Sooo super-cool.

The in-line video player on the other hand is super-cheesy, but as of the time of this writing the program is still in beta and receiving great updates regularly. (Note: Not the kind of updates you need to freak out about, the kind that make your grape jelly taste better.)

So to recap, if you enjoy photo viewing, a darker theme, and feeling sexy, give this a try. Again, no option for games, goofy apps or chat here.

Download and Install Here

Tweetdeck

TweetDeck LogoI love this app almost as much as lolcats , but let’s not get carried away. This is also a download & install program, but handles a lot more than just Facebook.

This is a social media multi-tasking playground. You can link multiple Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace profiles together, all into separate side-by-side columns. Better yet, you can update all accounts or selected individual accounts from one Tweetdeck box. This is hugely beneficial for me because I keep most of my personal friends on Facebook, business contacts on Twitter, and douchebags I stalk on MySpace.

So instead of three separate sites (and/or multiple profiles on each site), I can monitor all my social streams from one TweetDeck in the amount of time it takes to sip my coffee. To really geek out, you can even split photos, links, direct messages, @ replies and more into their own separate columns. It’s like a making dresser drawers for your social media content.

If you’re a neat freak and handle more than one social site on a daily basis, do yourself a favor and simplify your life with this.

Download Tweetdeck

Bonus

I’m going to go ahead and admit, this “bonus” section is completely self-serving. If any of the three options above strike your fancy but you’re not sure about leaving the horrible integrated Facebook chat, ridiculous Facebook apps, or privacy invading “games” *cough*FARMVILLE*cough* *aaaaaah*LEAVEMEALONEIDONTWANTYOURCOWS*coughcough* then I encourage you to consider the following alternatives to those as well.

Games


Pogo Logo

Pogo is owned by Electronic Arts, a company that knows all about making good (but sometimes mediocre) games. It stands to reason that you can find at least one game to play online here that’s not connected to Facebook and won’t require me to ignore you every time you hatch a chicken or whatever. Check it out. Go play. Facebook games are terrible, exploit & annoy your friendsĀ  and compromise your private information. It’s time you recognize that. I say that with love.

I’ll also tell you ahead of time, that you can connect Pogo with your Facebook, but ask yourself why. It’s a fun way for me to ask you politely to not do it.

Chat


AIM Logo

WHAT?! Yes, if you want to chat, then use an instant messenger. AOL Instant Messenger version 7.1 now integrates with your Facebook contacts and slams them in with your AIM buddies.

Particularly awesome is that it’s also available for phones running Android, because you probably don’t have enough distraction in your life already. For those vehemently opposed to AIM, Facebook has opened up to all sorts of chat clients so click here to check them out.

As for the “Other” apps – just stop using them. If you don’t, at least skip the part where it’s an OPTION to publish to your wall or invite all your friends. (Yes, it is always an option, just look for it.)

Be So Shull

That’s my post for today, thanks for reading. Use the links below to spread the word to your annoying friends, relatives over 50, or Groups commanding the Facebook of old be returned. Or, leave your review of the services mentioned here in the comments section below to help others out, because that’s the social thing to do.

.nate

  • I am glad someone put together a list like this, nothing irritates me more than people that just want to complain about changing instead of doing something about it. Love your style, keep it up!

  • Great post, good selection of tools to combat this issue. One question Nate, does Tweetdeck offer a FB chat aspect?

    • @Doug – The chat API was too buggy for TweetDeck to remain stable in previous versions so they removed it and it’s currently unavailable. However, with the recent news of Facebook solidifying the XMPP or Jabber protocol, I’d expect to see its re-inclusion in the next major TweetDeck update.

  • well this adds time to the day…haven’t used or seen the new tweetdeck and all its new features!

    you might see me around a little more …
    (God help YOU and THE people!)

  • Great post Nate… I really dont have any problems with Facebook making changes.. Half of the time I dont remember where anything is anyways, so I end up looking around for stuff. I didn’t know about the lite version though, that is pretty cool.

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