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How Facebook Divided the Web

Adam Rifkin at TechCrunch has a great post on how Facebook has divided the internet.

Reliability issues aside, there’s a deeper principle at stake here. Facebook has divided the Web into two: the Web with Facebook (your friends), and the Web without Facebook (people cooler than your friends). Our friends are who we are interested in, but they are not what we are interested in.

All the time we spend looking at repetitive posts and photos from people we already know, could be spent instead on the Web meeting new people who are interested in the same things we are. In other words, making cooler friends. Ambient Findability, as I like to call it, means that what (and who!) we find changes who (and what!) we become. Enabling that is what has always made the Web great.

So, in the spirit of One Web and Ambient Findability, I’m asking Facebook on behalf of all Web citizens to give us the benefits of being able to just look at things online without being tracked by you. Give us the option to treat Facebook like every other part of the Web, whenever we want, and I assure you it will benefit us all.

Give us an easy one-click way to truly and totally disconnect from Facebook Connect whenever we want. I’ll still spend just as much time on Facebook, I promise! But now I won’t have to see my friends’ faces every time I look up a restaurant review on Yelp, read the news on the New York Times, or wait for external modules to load on TechCrunch. It’s just an option, and an option confers value… I’m sure the vast majority of users love Facebook Connect and will continue to use it. But having the option to return the rest of One Web to its pre-Facebook status—useful but not fundamentally social—would be the best gift that Zuck could give back to the Web.

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