Sunday, November 8, 2009

Did Facebook just make a change that is -- *gasp* -- useful?!

I think it may have!

The other day, I laughed heartily when I saw the
"52 notifications later and i regret liking your status" fan page show up in my news feed after one of my friends joined it.

We all know what that's like, especially if we've opted to receive notification e-mails regarding comments that occur after we click "Like" on something and/or leave a comment on it.

Personally, I love getting the notification e-mails so I can stay apprised of conversations even if I'm not on Facebook. But, let's face it, it can get a little overwhelming if it turns out we've commented on something and it turns out to be an incredibly active and lively conversation, resulting in 25 notifications in your e-mail inbox in the morning.

This happened to me last night when I commented on a friend's status update regarding health care reform. I knew he was paying close attention to what was going on, and my comment was a simple question: "Since you are the expert here ... where does the extension of the COBRA subsidy stand in all of this?" Mine was the third comment on the status update.

Within minutes, the comments turned into a political debate among some of this friend's other friends. I went to bed dreading what my e-mail inbox and notification page would look like. When I I got up this morning, had a couple of notifications (via e-mail and on my notifications page) of additional comments on that status -- five notifications in all, including those that I saw before going to bed last night.

Imagine my surprise when I went to read the comments to find out what my friend might've been able to find out about the COBRA extension and found that there was a total of
21 comments on the post! And there didn't appear to be a problem with the notification system, since I'd received e-mail notifications and items on my notifications page regarding several other things I'd either posted myself or commented on.

So, could it be?! Did Facebook finally wise up and cap the number of notifications that you can receive regarding a single post?!

If so, I think this is GREAT! Less junk to deal with in the long run. However, I'm sure some people will dislike such a change because it -- *gasp* -- puts the onus on the Facebook user to keep track of high-volume conversations on his or her own if s/he wants to keep up on the conversation ... but I maintain that this is positive thing, because it cuts back on that "information overload" we all complain about while also making us personally responsible for being a part of the conversations that are happening in our respective communities and deciding which ones we care to keep up with.

Again, I'm merely speculating as to whether this is an actual change, but I'll be investigating the matter today and will keep you posted. In the meantime, if you have any insights or opinions, please do post them here!

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