Mr Kirkland was recently interviewed by a journalist from Infoworld (IDG) regarding experiences with facebook development, here’s an excerpt from the whole article – those quotes sound a little harsh!!!
Facebook attracts developers — and controversy
Third-party developers must balance social-networking giant’s generous money-making opportunities with communications and administrative pitfalls
By Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service
August 31, 2007
Many Web developers these days feel a sleep-depriving mix of unbridled enthusiasm and nagging concern over Facebook’s social-networking platform.
Facebook’s user experience has traditionally been considered significantly more elegant, controlled, and organized than the one from key rival and social-networking leader MySpace.
Although MySpace remains more popular, Facebook has been gaining momentum for the past 12 months. Its user ranks have ballooned to 37 million active users today from 12 million in December. More than half of its active members return to the site daily.
A company called Slide, which creates “widget” applications for social-networking sites and is big on MySpace, jumped on the chance to set up shop on Facebook, which has quickly become one of its most important platforms.
Although Slide has created some of the most popular Facebook applications, its detractors have criticized it for engaging in some of the inappropriate tactics flagged by Morin.
But Slide’s CFO Kevin Freedman said that Slide is as interested as anyone else in providing a good user experience on Facebook and elsewhere.
“We listen to our users’ feedback first and foremost. Regarding some of those [critical] comments, we haven’t necessarily seen the same response from our users and that’s really what drives us,” Freedman said.
Chris Kirkland, CEO of MrKirkland.com, a Web design and development firm, has created three applications for Facebook, but has been unimpressed with the developer program. “I very much consider Facebook to be ‘learning on the job’ with the development platform,” Kirkland wrote in an e-mail.
The tools and resources Facebook provides to developers could be better, he wrote. “Overall we have been extremely disappointed. The documentation is reasonable, though sometimes inaccurate, but by far our main complaint is the diabolically poor level of communication. We have a feeling that we are dealing with a bunch of overbusy college kids,” Kirkland wrote.
He blames this lack of communication for a situation that led Facebook to yank one of his company’s applications from the site with, he says, nary an explanation and, in his view, without justification.
The application, designed to let members track visits to their profiles, received initial approval from Facebook, but then the company turned around and banned it because it lacked a feature Kirkland says they never told him would be required.
He’s fuming that a similar application from a competitor continues on the site. “We were given no opportunity to alter the application, no warnings that they would do this, and my attempts at discussing the erroneous TOS reports with Facebook merely received generic replies,” he wrote.