I've just wasted 20 minutes of my life registering and playing with Facebook. By sheer coincidence I looked at it a couple of days ago, thought that doesn't look very interesting, and went away. But today Chris started banging on about it, saying it was what all the kids were into, like MySpace and Bebo, and he was happily signed up. Paul also mentioned Tony was on there, so I figured there must be something I'm missing here, despite my reservations as to the point of it all.

Well this evening I registered on Facebook, and haven't yet been surprised by it. In fact I've found it damn frustrating. The most fundamental flaw I find with the site is adding friends. I have to enter my email address and password and it imports contacts from my GMail account (one of only a few email providers they support) and then from my contacts I pick out friends to add. WTF? I enter my email password into their site? I know this isn't unheard of, but what about a secure redirect to the email site to login, then return me to Facebook with a secure token? And the annoying thing, this is the only way to add / find friends. Seriously, where is the find by name or email option? Do I really have to add people as a contact to GMail, then import them just to see if they are on Facebook? What gives?

And adding yourself to a network isn't much better. Whilst a regional network is relatively simple, a school, college or workplace network seems to throw up barriers in the way, like entering an email address.

The only saving grace of Facebook at the moment is that it has an API, and so has some mashup potential in the future. But for now, unless I see some benefit from it once friends accept me, Facebook isn't for me. (Even so you can now find my Facebook profile top right!)

Update: Ok, so Tony and James have accepted me as a friend, and I can start to see how this can be a bit addictive, but I'm still struggling to find my way around.