Tag Archives: facebook

The Future of Facebook

I've said it before, but I think in 10 years, it's even odds that people think of Facebook the way they think of AOL now. Since this column is one of the first I've seen to agree, I'm obviously going to link it.
In the world of technology even giants can stumble – or fail. Once upon a time AOL was the reigning online behemoth. At its peak in the 1990s it had 30 million paying subscribers (which at the time was a significant proportion of the online population in the US and Europe) and thought itself big enough to take over Time Warner. There was even a schmaltzy movie – You've Got Mail – based around its email service. Now it's a business-school case study in hubris.

AOL was also a study in corporate strategy from which the Facebook founders learned avidly. Initially they conceived of their service as an AOL-type "walled garden" – which implied trying to keep subscribers inside that controlled space. If one of your Facebook friends sent you a message then you had to be logged in to read it.

“If You Turn Your Head I Win”

I LOL'd. This post is as good a place as any to note that the media response to Chat Roulette echos the response to Twitter around this time last year. Basically, they had been so burned by ignoring Myspace, and took too long to understand Facebook, they weren't going to get fooled by Twitter and so they jumped in both feet first. Chat Roulette went from internet sensation to all over the media in record time. I imagine that the next platform to take off will get covered in the traditional media BEFORE it becomes popular online, thus creating an interesting paradox.

More Damning Facebook Stories

Silicon Valley Insider has a long story on how Facebook was founded with some purportedly new accusations.

New information uncovered by Silicon Alley Insider suggests that some of the complaints against Mark Zuckerberg are valid. It also suggests that, on at least one occasion in 2004, Mark used private login data taken from Facebook's servers to break into Facebook members' private email accounts and read their emails--at best, a gross misuse of private information. Lastly, it suggests that Mark hacked into the competing company's systems and changed some user information with the aim of making the site less useful.

Ruh roh. It's hard to tell how much of this was new information, though the fact that the accusations from ConnectU came a week after Facebook launched gives the accusers credibility in my book. Also, the $65 Million settlement... Well, yeah. That says Facebook is giving them some credibility, as well. And the accusations of using user data to login to the email addresses of users? That jibes pretty closely with how (un)seriously Facebook takes user privacy. I wonder if any of this will get picked up by the traditional media, and I wonder if the SVI investigation will hold up to journalistic standards...

Via Eric Andersen

Quick Thoughts on Google Buzz

As of this writing, I still don't have Google Buzz on my computer - these thoughts were gleaned from find it enabled on my iPhone. First reaction: Holy crap, I love it.

This app wouldn't have worked 3 years ago, but Facebook and Twitter have been doing heavy lifting, training "Social Media Experts" and technophobes alike how to (over)share. Broadly generalizing here, but a lot of people probably find their Facebook accounts bloated with too many people they don't care enough about. By limiting Google Buzz to the users you communicate most with, Google has made the hard cuts for you.

I wonder if people will share differently than they do on FB or Twitter. What do you think?

Microsoft probably invested millions of dollars and several months to come up with a word they could turn into a verb like 'To Google', but Buzz feels natural right off the bat. For what it's worth, I like 'to Buzz' infinitely more than I like 'to Tweet'.

Since I only saw it on my iPhone, this may change, but it's potential as a mobile app is amazing.

Privacy issues aside, the Buzz Map and the "Nearby" feature of the mobile app are incredibly voyeuristic and addictive. With links to a users Google Profile, it also makes the web a lot more local and personal.

What will Facebook's undoubtedly ham-handed response be? Another move that outrages privacy experts, looks bad, and is hard to use?

When Google exposes my data, somehow I expect it, maybe I'm an apologist. When Facebook does it, people get MAD MAD MAD.

I think Twitter remains relatively useful, but this hurts Facebook a lot.

Also, whither Foursquare?

What do you think?

Facebook/iPhone Contact Sync

The latest update to Facebook's iPhone app offers push updates, which is nice. Also, the ability to sync your iPhone contacts with your Facebook contacts, which sounds nice, but ruh roh, what's this? "Please make sure your friends are comfortable with any use you make of their information." To tell you the truth, I probably wouldn't have minded sending the info to FB, but this warning is so sketchy as to be alarming. FB is now saying that you're not responsible for your privacy, your friends are. How does that make any sense? I wonder if this is an example of FB's last few privacy moves. Overreach inappropriately and then walk it back if there's an uproar. What do you think?

Facebook Notice

Blake Schwarzenbach to Write for Huffington Post?

According to Facebook, Blake Schwarzenbach from Thorns of Life, Jets to Brazil, and Jawbreaker will be writing at Huffington Post starting "Monday, July 25". Seeing as how today is the 25th and Monday is the 27th, it's not clear if this is a joke, but I'll definitely be looking for totalaccord@huffingtonpost.com on Monday. I'll post something on the article if it happens. Still no word on the album that was rumored to be releasing on June 30th.

“Twitter is a media/marketing vehicle disguised as a social network.”

Or full quote from this Mediaite.com interview with Bill Simmons: "Facebook is a social network; Twitter is a media/marketing vehicle disguised as a social network." It's interesting to see how hard Bill Simmons has fallen for Twitter because a couple months ago he was bashing it. In general, I think his take on media/journalism is too simplified, but this quote about Twitter is right on.

Google Reader, Like, Follow, Share

4 different people mentioned to me today that I ended up in their Google Reader at some point and they wanted to know why. I had noticed that certain articles I was scanning were "liked" by people I didn't know, which I thought was weird. Obviously, Google made a change. To me it looks like a strike against both Facebook AND Twitter. Not only are you able to connect with and read the articles shared by people you do know (Facebook), but you'll be able to do the same with people you don't know, as well (Twitter). Seems like a good idea to me.

Oh, and you're damn right I'm gonna "share" this, Captain Obvious, you better "like" it.