A lot of people have been asking about Facebook Connect and how it may or may not be used for Social Media Ministry in terms of our personal properties (blogs, ministry websites, portals, etc).
I’ve been hestitant to blog about it (except the news-flashy-type) because I’ve been having a lot of doubts about it. Thankfully, Chris Brogan gave me the “gift of going second” (love this term! OffTheBlogs.com used it recently…).
See, the basic premise is that while using a 3rd party login system / chatting system / social platform to power your blog you’re actually limiting yourself to the amount of data that you can capitalize and data mine long term. Instead of you being able to directly manipulate and leverage the data, Facebook, Google, etc has all of that and you don’t have direct access to it.
Essentially, as Chris points out, you’re giving up control. I’m not really down with that.
You see, ever comment and every “interaction” on this blog here is under my control, almost literally. I can track where you’re going and what you’re doing and I’m not piping anything back to Google or Facebook (although the bottom Google bar is somewhat of an experiment… expect that to disappear soon.).
People have been clammering to “get connected” and become “more social” but I don’t believe having those platforms on your blog “makes” it more social. I think it enables a different way to engage, but not necessarily a beneficial one.
It’s up to you, ultimately, how you want to engage and interact with your users. I can see pros and cons to the argument, but for now, I’d like to control the data.
And if I’m able to better establish robust relationships through the mining of my data then I’d rather keep that control than have something “cool” like Facebook Connect.
What do you think?