2009-06-27

Facebook's Toilet Paper Model for Post Search and Recall

When Mark Bahti asked me to resend an old Facebook post made from a third party content provider, this seemed like a modest request, requiring trivial effort. Wrong! While there's work underway to remedy this, Facebook doesn't provide an easy to search status posts to retrieve previous content -- neither one's own, or the posts of others. Nor are such posts readily disgorged from Google or Bing.

The screenshot at right shows the result of thirty minutes' effort at retrieving posts, one painful scroll at a time, only to learn that FB would cease showing posts older than a few weeks.

Facebook's limitless single-page scroll model has seemed lame from day 1. In a recent fit of annoyed clairvoyance, the underlying analog became clear: a Facebook post is torn from a continuous roll of HTML toilet paper -- not intended for reuse.

2 comments:

Darth said...

Any developments with this?

mark underwood | knowlengr said...

Not so far as I can tell. The Search box still has no qualification or scope options. There's some movement to separate Facebook "pages," but it's still pretty much a disorderly mess compared to, say, the LinkedIn social networking features.