joined:Nov 23, 2000
Well, first off, let me say I'm not a FB expert, nor a coder, so you need to take everything I say with a grain of salt. But I am an ex-SEO and I have an eye for seeing patterns in complex systems... so I'm posting half cocked, and only because I know how much collective energy is being wasted by webmasters on this, and FB was writing off all the integration issues on us being clowns, as this was their first experience bringing their tools to the public, and they were anticipating some issues.
In fact, the way this all started was I didn't really have a *deep* working understanding of what the new FB plugins were capable of offering, so I decided this was my excuse to create a little 'case study' site for myself so I could get some 'hands on' experience on what tools were available to the public, how they were used, and why I needed to know about them (from a marketing standpoint).
Anyway, it took me 20 hours to conceptualize and build out a little website that I thought had a chance of going viral... and then another 20 trying to correctly add this damn button. And let me make that clear: we are talking about a 'Like' Button FOR A WEBPAGE, OUTSIDE of FB.
As I said in that developer's thread, "A single simple grid telling webmasters what each tool is, what it does, where it shows up, when to use it, how it's different than other similar tools, etc. would help tremendously. Most people would never guess the 'Like Box' and 'Like Button' are not different expressions of the same thing."
...not saying you were confusing them, Bill, but I want to make sure I'm being clear so FB can solve the problem, and others (like me) wont inadvertently screw themselves. So to answer your question, I think a 'page', 'app', or 'group', is easier to set up without issue, because the webmaster understands what he/she is going to do conceptually.
If you make a Facebook 'page', 'app', or 'group', the process is initiated by the user. And the first thing the user does is begin to manage the admin page. So if there was no admin page, the user would be immediately aware there was an issue.
In the case of the 'Like' button, the admin is NOT inside their user admin panel... they are at a code generator tool on FB... and they honestly don't know what to expect. So if they type their domain in the form, and get some code to paste, they think they they did everything fine. The problem is that they will forget to add the meta tags, which gives the tool added admin functionality.
I don't want to double post, so read my response in the WebmasterWorld link I posted (in the second post of this thread) about why this bug is affecting such a high percentage of non-technical users. If FB would have presented their tools better, this bug may never even have surfaced. In other words, if you are a hard core coder, and you are planning a full FB Connect integration, you probably wont make the same mistakes as hack, like myself, who was trying to see what their most basic tool (which doesnt require the FB SDK) does.
Basically, if you tell me something is simple and stick a big code generator in front of me and spit out code that looks good, I'm not going to read the full docs on the subject. And many others are the same way. And THAT is the issue. The bug was pretty serious, but they are leading a disproportionate amount of people into it because of how they set expectations and present their offers.
So to come back to the question, do their tools 'work' as describe, I would guess, for the large part, yes, if you follow their docs. But this idea of writing to the social graph without the ability to delete stuff is most likely a systemic issue, but one that doesn't pop up frequently enough to get on the radar yet.
Look, I know this is kinda confusing for some people, and I'm doing my best to be clear, but if you don't get the issue yet, let me try to clarify...
- I have a website w/ a 'Like' button on it.
- You come by and 'Like' the homepage on my site.
- A connection is now made on the graph that YOU like this URL.
- I have no way to admin the tool because I inadvertently set it up with no admin panel to admin, initially.
- I cannot fix the issue, because even though I can delete my old code, I can't delete that you once 'liked' it... that has to do with you and the url, not me.
- To solve the problem, all the 'liking' data associated with the url needs to be deleted. And now the users (not the admin) are the only one who can do this. But how is the admin supposed to tell them without an admin panel tools to communicate with them? And the button itself only shows a few of the people who liked it (if you even set it up this way) not all of them, so the admin cant track them down individually to tell them.
Anyway, Bill, to get back to your question, I just don't know how deep this goes, but if does give you a glimpse at the social graph, how data is entered and removed, and who owns and has access to it. Once FB solves their site's UI flow issues into their tool section, they will solve this issue as well. Like I said though, they will have an issue with authenticating a user as the true admin of a domain, so who knows how they will handle this or how long that might take.
I'm obviously hoping the squeaky wheel will get the oil:)