Facebook

What should you think about when using Facebook?

Vicki Boykis:

Facebook started as a way for college students to connect with each other, and has eventually gotten to the point where it’s changing people’s behavior, tracking their usage, and possibly aggregating information for the government.

The problem is that each person, whether he or she uses Facebook or not, is implicated in its system of tracking, relationship tagging, and shadow profiling. But this is particularly true if you are an active Facebook user.

So the most important thing to is to be aware that this is going on and give Facebook as little data as possible.

An alarming – but unsurprising – analysis of the data Facebook collects and who has access to it.

Don’t Be Evil, and Get Rich Trying

My short break in California has so far included four hour-long trips on Caltrain as I hop between the cities of San Francisco and Palo Alto. These short periods disconnected from the web, have allowed me to catch up on my reading list.

Instagram Didn’t Get The Tone Wrong

Fantastic commentary regarding Instagram’s clarification of its controversial (if not unexpected) policy changes:

If anything, this whole episode is a demonstration of the slippery charms of tone of voice. The terms and conditions were an example of clear language being used to convey information as simply as possible – it just happened to be controversial information.

The ‘clarification’ is an example of tone of voice being used to obscure and mollify. Almost like a filter applied to a photo, giving it nice fuzzy edges and an air of authenticity.

After Gowalla

Over the past few years, I’ve often meant to write about the location-based social network Gowalla. Recently acquired by Facebook and with closure imminent, now is my last opportunity to do so.

The End of the Web as We Know It

Adrian Short:

You can turn your back on the social networks that matter in your field and be free and independent running your own site on your own domain. But increasingly that freedom is just the freedom to be ignored, the freedom to starve. We need to use social networks to get heard and this forces us into digital serfdom. We give more power to Big Web companies with every tweet and page we post to their networks while hoping to get a bit of traffic and attention back for ourselves. The open web of free and independent websites has never looked so weak.

A timely post. When read in tandem with Nik Cubrilovic’s post ‘Logging out of Facebook is not enough’, the features announced at Facebook’s most recent f8 event aren’t just creepy, but downright sinister.

Change the World

Facebook’s continuing hoovering up of top design talent has been worrying me for some months. The shopping spree continued earlier this month with the acquisition of Push Pop Press, a promising start-up building an innovative digital publishing platform.

Short Term Benefit

Andy Budd:

Humans have the tendency to focus on short term benefits over long term harm. This helps explain Facebook.

Facebook is a Ponzi Scheme

Joseph Perla explains how Facebook’s business model is built on sand:

Eventually, though, and this might take a long time, but it is finite, everyone will have tried Facebook ads and know that they are useless. Eventually, after 10 million businesses have invested $1000 each, and Facebook has earned $10 billion in revenue in total, then they will have run out of new customers and their revenue will dry up. A useless product is never sustainable.

Purge

A number of half-written posts have remained on my hard drive for so long that their incompleteness only serves to annoy me. So I’ve salvaged the pertinent bits and published them here.

The Problem with Facebook’s ‘Places’

Garrett Murray:

It’s not that Facebook’s Places feature is bad, it’s just that it’s boring. It’s nothing special. They didn’t do it better than anyone else.

That’s the problem with Facebook. They are slowly destroying independent web applications with boring versions that immediately win due to Facebook’s population. There’s no demand for excellence.

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