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Facebook Applications Take Over the World

It’s 2025… We renew our driver’s licenses through Facebook… We vote for President through a Facebook application… And Elvis has come home!

Seriously, aren’t these Facebook applications taking over everyone’s favorite social network? I feel left in the dust. I was just getting the hang of adding friends, changing my status, and updating my profile picture. I haven’t a clue what many of these gidgets do.

Facebook applications blog

Have no fear. Brett McKay is here! That’s right, your favorite personal finance law student has started a shiny new blog all about facebook applications.

Aptly named, Best Facebook Applications will review and discuss different Facebook applications. Brett only introduced the project a few days ago, yet he’s already plowed through a load of different apps. From my discussions with him, it sounds like he’s off to a great start!

My first application

Compass Facebook Application

Due to Brett’s blog, I decided to give an application a try. The Compass looked interesting, and I was curious if it would accurately portray my political viewpoint.

After answering the pithy 10 questions, my compass came out slightly to the right of “moderate.” I almost cried. I’d almost rather be liberal than moderate. I’m nothing, if not opinionated and polarized! The compass definitely doesn’t match with my self-selected Facebook political viewpoint of “Very Conservative.”

The problem (as I see it) is that you really can’t pin a person’s political ideology with 10 simple questions. The single most important issue to me in this world is abortion. Here’s the only question on the subject:

Except in rare instances, such as when a woman’s life is threatened, abortion should be illegal:

I had to pick whether I strongly agree, disagree, don’t care, etc. Well, I’m so conservative on the issue that I can’t even agree with that statement. Without getting into a debate here, I’m a no-exceptions guy. I ended up selecting “strongly agree,” but I hope this illustrates the point I’m making. Even on an issue where I have strong feelings, which should be easily categorized, I don’t think the compass succeeded. The softer issues are a mess waiting to happen.

Your thoughts?

I think I’ve ranted on too long. Mainly I wanted to direct you to Brett’s new blog. Go visit or subscribe to his feed. And provide any constructive feedback you might have as well.

If you have any thoughts on Facebook applications (love ‘em, hate ‘em, want more), drop a quick comment below. I love talking with you!

[tags]facebook, brett mckay, facebook applications, compass[/tags]

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7 Responses to “Facebook Applications Take Over the World”

  1. Andrew
    June 21st, 2007

    It’s an unfair position to be in, because if you say you disagree, the application gives you a liberal rating on abortion, when really it’s the opposite. So you had good reason to say “strongly agree.”

    I would just emphasize talking with the creator of the application, if you haven’t already, about the unfairness of the question.

    Thanks for sharing your sharing your concerns! Cool blog.

  2. Brett McKay
    June 21st, 2007

    Thanks for the shout out! Yeah, the compass quiz definitely asks some leading questions. When you’re talking liberal v conservative, are we talking social liberals/conservatives or economic liberals/conservatives? I was surprised I ended up on the left side moderate. The way I answered the questions, I thought I would be on the right side. Hmmm…

  3. Rich Minx
    June 21st, 2007

    It’s very childish and slightly ridiculous, but I have a soft spot for the LOLcats application. You can’t say it doesn’t work – gives me a smile every morning.

  4. Rich Minx
    June 21st, 2007

    PS Andrew, your template rocks. I have template envy!

  5. Andrew Flusche
    June 21st, 2007

    Hi everybody. Thanks for all your comments!

    Andrew – Awesome name! The compass was made by The Washington Post, so I’m skeptical that they’d be receptive to my thoughts. But I guess it never hurts to try.

    Brett – I thought you’d be on the “right” side too! ;)

    Rich Minx – I haven’t tried out LOLcats, but I might give it a go. A positive recommendation always helps. Thanks for the compliment. I’ve really enjoyed your writing, and I’m looking forward to your travel tips!

  6. Andy
    June 28th, 2007

    I agree the political compass quiz is a bit crap, just like a lot of the new Facebook applications that have been severely rushed and are therefore buggy.

    The best political quiz is this old-school one:

  7. Ian from www.thenewsroom.com
    August 4th, 2007

    Hi! Great app! It’s a good example of potentially useful apps, which I love about this one: http://apps.facebook.com/thenewsroom

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