Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Google vs. Facebook seems to be the many topic of discussion these days around the Interwebs. Some studies show Facebook clearly dominating Google in terms of quantities of visitors (other resources don’t show this). Despite a decade and a half of proving that traffic does not equal success, everyone thinks Google is being dethroned by Facebook like Google dethroned Yahoo years ago.

Google is even feeling the “social” pressure and has responded with a myriad of social failures like Buzz and Wave. Still, Google has the best search engine, best email system, best video sharing system, etc. Facebook… You have your best friends (unless they are like the other 60% of Americans who either aren’t on Facebook or don’t use Facebook).

Do your friends really provide you with the “search results” that would truly interest you? Are your friends a replacement for searching the Internet?

I’d venture to guess that most people’s friends do provide them with topics, resources, etc. that they will be interested in. However, I’d also suggest that most people have a limited spectrum of friends. By that, I mean that like-minded liberals will hangout with each other. Same with conservatives, religious folks, etc.

So, if your news goes social, are you really going to get the full news? Look at someone who only watches MSNBC. Or someone who only watches Fox News. They have a very skewed perspective. Now, Fox argues it’s “Fair and Balanced”. MSNBC argues that Fox News isn’t and admits to having a liberal bias but adhering to a higher calling (got my shovel ready). Besides “The Daily Show“, I can’t think of any news show that actually provides an objective perspective on current events.

Socially skewed news and search results can lead to Groupthink, which is extremely dangerous when it comes to politics as well as limiting when it comes to problem resolution and research. This becomes particularly dangerous when it comes to news and social issues as it essentially places blinders on those performing searches on the Internet. One becomes tunnel visioned in his or her pursuit of knowledge because their social network dictates their search results.

Groupthink and tunnel vision can lead to mediocre and even disappointing results or failure. When outside perspectives are not put in front of us or the resources are not available to find such outside resources, our development is stifled. We become limited to our social network. If our social network claims that something cannot be done. We won’t do it. If our social network claims that something is wrong. It becomes wrong. When our social network claims that something is right. It becomes right.

In other words, if all roads lead to Rome, that’s exactly where we’re going to end up.

Still those with a different social network will find other rights and wrongs and what can and cannot be done. This means that now more than ever, one must expand his or her’s social network exposure. Broadening one’s social network to include both liberals, conservatives, states rights advocates, and others who are outside our normal spectrum is more important than ever. Otherwise, you could ultimately end up in a virtual (social network) cave.

Seems like every month there is something released in the press talking about how social networking is taking over the world. It’s the greatest revolution since the dawn of the Internet. Of course, the Internet was supposed to be running everything by now, right? Stanley Kubrick had us on the moon, finding the Monolith… or SkyNet was taking over the world. Take your pick. Either way, we ended up with the iPod in 2001 instead of a second sun or a machine revolution.

So, we need something else to sink our sensationalist teeth into. Enter Zucker: The Man and his Social Network. Facebook is exploding in numbers. Everyone is on Facebook. We need to reorganize our entire lives because our grandma friend requested us and Tom from MySpace keeps friend requesting us because he wasn’t automatically added to our friend list! God forbid the boss friend requested you on Facebook either (although that was very unlikely given that people over 40 don’t use Facebook).

Of course, we have plenty of time for all this social networking because nobody has jobs! Comscore says email usage is down and social networking is up among teens. Besides those who hold a doctorate degree in mathematics, I can’t think of another demographic that has a higher level of unemployment than teenagers! This isn’t a dig at teenagers, it’s just an observation of fact. Teenagers don’t really have 9-5 jobs, and they certainly won’t get an office job if they know how to use Facebook but don’t know how to use a spreadsheet and attach it to an email.

Ultimately, the point I’m trying to make here is that there is an eerie correlation between the unemployment rate and the rise of social networking. I’m not saying that social networking causes unemployment. I’m saying that unemployment causes social networking. Traffic on Linked-in has shot up big time because people are trying to network with long lost friends from the pre-dotcom bubble to find jobs. Traffic on Facebook has shot up because there’s plenty of time to spend stalking your friends and hoping to find something to do with your abundance of free time because you haven’t had a job for 15 months.

Yes, Facebook has every right to monitor and censor it’s content posted by users. It’s their network and their website. However, their recent choices to censor the links I post on my profile have brought about a new found love of blogging and tweeting. I could go on and on about how they have removed 5 posts of mine in the last 3 days, but I’ve already found a great blog about Facebook’s censorship idiocy.

Facebook’s censorship goes far beyond censoring links posted on a profile though.

Here’s a tip for Facebook’s search team. Return search results from my own posts that match what I’m searching for. I post quite a bit on Facebook (much to the dismay of my friends, I’m sure), so posts from earlier in the day or a day before don’t show up on my profile page. Yet, it would be nice to be able to find something I posted on there before. Yes, there are ways I can filter around things, but I like search. Search is my friend.

Where this becomes useful is that I’m not alone in posting things that I find interesting or useful. Often time, I want to reference those links or quotes and either didn’t bookmark or can’t remember exactly what the information was. If Facebook could become a reference point for people, it would make Facebook more useful than it is now and in some ways trump Google.

We all know that Facebook wants to be a search source, but honestly how much time is spent searching for people on the Internet (except by stalkers). I search for resources and research for resources on Google all the time. Most of the time I find a good resource, I post it on Facebook. By utilizing this information and giving me easier access to this information, Facebook search would become HIGHLY relevant for resource searching (which is really want the Internet is all about).

TechCrunch just posted an interesting article about Myspace’s “Hail Mary Strategy”. Ultimately, what Myspace is going to “discover” out of any strategy they have is that they cannot succeed with NewCorp. Yes, NewCorp pumps a ton of money into Myspace. Yes, Myspace would not have been able to spend as much as it did over the last several years if it wasn’t for NewCorp. However, that doesn’t mean that Myspace would have failed without NewsCorp.

I’m going to liken Newscorp’s purchase of Myspace to a bailout. Much like the bank and auto industry bailouts, it is a failure. Pump a bunch of money into a failed system and you get Saturn, GM, Chevrolet, Pontiac, AIG, and Myspace.

To be sure, Myspace had plenty of opportunity to join the rest of the Internet in the innovation that took place over the last several years since the purchase of Myspace by NewsCorp. The most notable failures I can think of by myspace:

  • Failure to popularize and authentication system like FB Connect
  • The continued used of Cold Fusion
  • Failure to go ugly (let’s face it, Facebook and Google have shown the world that ugly generates traffic. And by ugly, I mean a simple, clean interface that isn’t cluttered with banner ads)
  • Failure to implement AJAX everywhere
  • Too little too late with implementing integrations with out websites

I think the last item is the biggest failure and that the mentality inside Myspace stemmed from the culture of NewsCorp. If you look around at the Internet today, the Facebook share button is everywhere. It wasn’t like that not too long ago. Myspace could have integrated with Digg, Youtube, College Humor, and scores of other content aggregation websites. And that’s not all they could have done. They could have developed an elaborate “my space” that allowed users to integrate their information along with their favorite bands, friends, trends, twitter, etc.

What would have happened if Myspace had gone geo last year? Yes, that would have taken development time and a push to jump ship from Cold Fusion (honestly, who uses that anymore?)

Imagine going geo with a combination of calendar, photos, and social networking! Has anyone noticed the lack of a functional web calendaring system in all of the social networks?

Myspace’s focus was on “cool”, which is a huge failure on the Internet. The Internet is not cool. It’s geeky! It’s nerdy. Cool is so not cool anymore!!!

Watching Myspace over the last couple of years is like watching Dr. Evil when he first meets Scott. Myspace continues to try to be cool. Its latest “discover and be discovered” is an attempt at making Myspace cool to use “again and again”. It will only continue the path of Failspace.

How can Myspace be saved? Drop the Newscorp bailout, innovate, leverage the connections with the Entertainment industry, and go ugly.

Facebook is quickly becoming far more than just a social network. The ability to build applications that integrate with Facebook make it perhaps one of the most useful tools for a business. I talked about this with Dean on the Words Cause Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio.com this morning.

For example, my business is going to launch an integration with Facebook that will provide customers will FB notifications when there is an update to their order. Our customers will also have further interactions and special promotions available on Facebook that we cannot necessarily provide through our own system. I predict many other businesses going down this route with Facebook rather than Myspace (which is bloated) or Twitter (which is not private).

The other day, I felt like I was going crazy. I was bursting into uncontrollable laughter. I had received a message on Facebook that I was tagged in a photo. It was one of those collage photos, so I figured I check it out sometime later. Those things can be pretty entertaining. I eventually got around to checking it and discovered I had been tagged as “the asshole” in the picture.

Now, the person who tagged me as “the asshole” is the real reason I was laughing my ass off. This is the same woman who I had been dating off and on for five-and-a-half years when she told me that my friend Rich committed suicide because I’m such a lousy friend and then left me because she was so hurt by me. Mind you, she did this 10 days after Rich killed himself.

To be sure, I’m no innocent person. I happen to be a human being, and I’ve made some very big mistakes in my life. I’ve hurt quite a few people along the way, and I have no problems with people considering me an asshole. I have certainly been an asshole to many people, and anyone who has dealt with me in business will tell you that I have a brutal streak of shrewdness.

Still, I’m not sure that someone who I helped build her career and her personal life should be calling me an asshole. Of course, I’m sure she has long forgotten about how so much she has in her life right now has come from the support that I have given her over the years.

Now, the whipped cream and cherry on top came today. Her best friend decided to tag me as “the asshole” as well  on what would have been Rich’s 33rd birthday.

I feel for them both. That somehow they feel comfort in labeling me as an asshole while I am wandering through the grieving process  of having lost a close friend of nearly 20 years is beyond me. Is it too much to ask them to at least wait a couple months?

This Thursday, Dean and I are hosting a very special edition of the Jared and Dean WordsCause Radio Show. You may have seen the stuff on Myspace the other day with Hayden Panettiere promoting her cause (very worthy cause BTW, Whaleman). Well, SocialVibe.com is the service she’s using to promote her cause and SocialVibe is what we have!

We’ll have Joe Marchese, a social networking genius, on the show talking about how you too can utilize SocialVibe to make a difference for your cause. With widgets for the great social networks like Myspace and Facebook, you don’t want to miss this special edition of the Jared and Dean WordsCause Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio.com!

Today I received another question from a “member” on Fanbox (which I now refer to as SPAMbox). So, I search Google for: fanbox spam. At the time of this writing, I’m #4 on the list, but what cracks me up is the obvious seeding that SPAMbox has done on the web.

For example, take the posting they’ve done on the Office Tweaks blog. There is a comment there by a guy named “TJ Brown” that is an obvious seed for Fanbox.

I love FanBox! They have so many cool applications and features on their desktop! Their social network aspect rivals even MySpace and Facebook! I looked up the old stuff on SMS.ac, and who cares? It wasn’t even a big deal and they have since discontinued offering sms service. So stop crying and give the site a chance.

– TJ

Give me a friggin break! Sounds like he’s trying to sell me a used Pinto. Fanbox is SPAM, plain and simple. No other company out there sends me emails with “questions” from people I don’t know and “questions/invites” from people I do know. Fanbox will phish your password, SPAM your friends, and phish their passwords.

Fanbox is a scam. Every message I receive, I mark it as SPAM and post another blog to help spread the word. Judging by the number of posts I have about Fanbox, you can see that I’ve been SPAMMED a lot lately. Keep the emails coming, I’ll keep posting.

Helping spread the word one SPAMMER and Phisher at a time…

I’ve been receiving emails from “people I know” that “have questions”, “want to share a picture”, etc. The links lead to a very elaborate phishing website: fanbox.com. Despite all the really cool web 2.0 features, utilizing AJAX to make things look like a Windows desktop, make no mistake about it, Fanbox is SPAM. They will phish your password and SPAM your friends. There are a few other bloggers out there helping to spread the word. Please do the same.

Spamhuntress

Steve Riley

Spread the word to your friends on Myspace, Facebook, Hi5, where ever you network. Let’s get Fanbox to have to change their name again. They used to be sms.ac, until they got ferreted out. Cheers!