Facebook & Flixster Wasted My Time

So while I’m waxing eloquent about Facebook and its new applications, there’s one thing I’m not so keen on. They just wasted my time.

I recently launched a new book review and movie review blog and added them to my sidebar. The main functionality I was going for–namely easily ranking and reviewing books and movies and being able to add them to my blog–are exactly the things you can do with Flixster. And while I’m not a fan of Flixster itself (it feels too ‘MySpace,’ all flashy and bloated with ads–which I think should be the new Internet insult), the fact that I can use it through Facebook means that I tried it out. And though I still don’t like Flixster’s interface, I can use it through Facebook which means I probably will use it. The partnership with Facebook enabled Flixster to find new users and overcome their site’s own shortcomings.

So how is my time wasted? I think all that time I spent setting up my new movie and book review blogs was a complete waste–Flixster does all that and more.

I spent quite a few hours trying to figure out how to do ratings. Once I figured that out, I had to reconfigure my blogs, set up new templates, and update all my content. Let’s just say I don’t want to count up the hours.

I can add a Flixster badge to my blog that does basically the same thing my movie review blog does. And the added bonus–I can tap into all my Facebook friends and see what movies they like or don’t like. Suddenly it’s not just an isolated review on my site, it combines with all the other reviews and interacts with people. I was doing web 1.0 reviews, this is web 2.0 reviews.

Dang it.

And what Flixster is for movies there are other applications on Facebook that do the same for books (of course they’re just not as popular–who spends lots of time on Facebook and also reads?!).

The only downside I see to shutting down my new review blogs and going with these other services is that I get a kickback from Amazon on my review blogs. If you buy something from Amazon after clicking on those links I get a cut. It’s not loads of money, but it all adds up. Facebook and Flixster don’t seem to have any kind of revenue sharing type feature (yet). I wish more web 2.0 sites were clued into the reality that people like to make money, and if you let them make money, they’ll hype your product (see Squidoo).

It just feels kind of silly to give away my reviews and ratings on Flixster (or any other site) and not get something in return. I suppose I get the interaction with my friends and the helpfulness of seeing what other people like. But it seems like I should be able to have my cake and eat it, too. Throw me a few pennies for my trouble.

I’ll have to wait and see, but I think my days of my own review blog are numbered.

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