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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Facebook Has Made The Poke An Annoying Joke

Facebook found a way to make the poke annoying.
Since the beginning of Facebook, the philosophical question of, "To poke or not to poke?" has been asked. Some people love it. Some people hate it. In a September 29th MASHABLE article, Pete Cashmore called for the end of the poke. I wouldn't go that far, but Facebook doesn't seem to know what to do with the poke and, honestly, Facebook has made the poke an annoying joke.

The poke has always been a way to say "Hey" to someone. Just a reminder that you're thinking of them. However, my experience has been that the poke becomes a game of poke-tennis. You get poked, you return the poke and within seconds the poke comes back, so you poke back. This can get quite maddening if you have a rapid response philosophy about poking.

I got tired of the constant volleying and chose to wait until I've accumulated 100 pokes, then take five minutes to return them all. To me, it's a good time management practice.

Even when I wait several days to accumulate the 100 pokes, as soon as I return them, they are blasting back within seconds. I make light of it and generate a few laughs about the maniac POKE, POKE, POKE responses.

Facebook isn't sure what it wants to do with the POKE. In it's new layout, the poke is hidden under a drop down menu in the upper right of a person's profile. So, you get the impression that the poke is slowly phasing out, right? NO! Now in your notifications, every time you get a POKE, you get a notice. This is way more annoying than the way it was.

It was perfectly fine to look at your home page and see that you had X number of pokes. But for them to show up in the notification, especially if you get a lot of pokes, it is really a pain in the  - wherever you get poked.

Unlike, Cashmore, I'm not for killing the poke. But I think Facebook is making a big mistake by making it an item of urgency by sticking it in the notifications. Facebook needs to let us POKE each other in private. Keep it subtle, low key, somewhat mysterious.

The poke has never been one of my favorite features on Facebook, but I've learned to live with it and have some fun with it. Now, Facebook has mad the poke an annoying joke and I might be voting to kill the poke after all.

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