Archive | September, 2011

Would you pay $5.55 to own your Facebook?

28 Sep

Or, how do you put a value on love, I mean, Facebook?

Money by Thomas Hawks

Photo credit to Thomas Hawks

I’ve been following (and participating in) the discussions of the Facebook changes announced at f8 (for more on that, see my previous post), and have been feeling that the Facebook changes are more directed at supporting further funding sources for Facebook than they are about improving user experiences.  (Facebook seems to take the bread and circuses approach to keeping people happy – the pretty new timeline/cover aesthetic is the newest circus.)

The Guardian’s article “Why Facebook’s new Open Graph makes us all part of the web underclass” was the first piece that I’ve seen that really took the issues that I’ve been grappling with and fleshed them out. Continue reading

Old Facebook Posts Don’t Die, They Just Fade Away

26 Sep

Or, I’ve seen the future of Facebook and it’s beautiful… and scary

Facebook Protest, Red Fist above Facebook Logo

Get ready for all kinds of anti-Facebook Facebook groups. And no, the members don't get the irony. Don't both pointing it out.

This week, we have a new Facebook.  Small changes have been rolled out to the public already (about which there has been much whining and fake petitioning), but the big ones are yet to come.  Speaking at the F8 Facebook developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced the implementation of the open graph and the shift from profiles to timelines.  Although the open graph (which will bring your actions across the Internet into Facebook) will arguably have a much bigger impact on real issues, like privacy concerns and the further monetization of your social actions, I expect all the yelling to be about timelines.  (Yes, there will be yelling – there’s always yelling with Facebook changes.)

So, I decided that I wanted to experience timelines for myself, before all the yelling started.  Thanks to what I learned from an article on TechCrunch, I was able to convince Facebook that I was an app developer and that I needed access to timeline to see how my app would play in the new timeline/open graph environment.  (Don’t worry, I crossed my fingers while I did it, so it’s not really a lie, right?) Continue reading

Ugly Ducklings and Social Media Success

16 Sep

Or, I’m really good at Facebook.

Swan DucklingsRecently, a lot of people have been asking me to explain Klout.  What is it?  Why does it give me free stuff?  And, I’m left to say, “I’m really good at Facebook.”  There’s no better explanation, and it’s true.  I’ve figured it out.  I know how to get comments and likes.  I know which types of content will engage my friends.  It sounds terrible to admit that it’s as calculated as that, but it is.  And here’s the secret: everyone that works in digital strategy or social media marketing does the same thing.  We all use our personal accounts as a way of testing follower growth and engagement strategies.  (Will following Crowdbooser’s suggestions improve my retweet rate?  Will Twellow’s directory help me to get targeted followers?  How far can I push mass follow/unfollow efforts without getting delisted?) Continue reading

Hey Amazon, It’s Called a Library

12 Sep

Or, You can pry my free books from my cold dead fingers

Library by ellen forsyth

Photo credit to ellen forsyth

So, today I’m on LinkedIn and I see this as a “top headline in online media”: Amazon Working on a Netflix for Books.  You know, Amazon’s come up with this revolutionary idea: you can check books out and the return them and then get more books.  It’s gonna be big.  Um, hi, it’s called a library.

Except that actually, it’s a pretty sucky library.  According to Mashable:

“The details about the project are scarce, but it appears that the library would primarily contain older works with restrictions on how many books a user can access each month.”

So, it’s a library with only old books that limits how many I can take out – oh, and it charges me for the privilege?  Doesn’t really sound like a library that I would use, even if it were free.  (Okay, I lied, I’d use it, but I’d complain about it – a lot, probably on this blog.) Continue reading

Memory as Augmented Reality

6 Sep

Pennellwood Water Tower, OvergrownOr, Pennellwood: Years Later

Pennellwood was summer.  It was childhood.  It was long days of sunscreen and endless nights of bugspray, weeks that seemed to last for months – it was summer camp, for the whole family.

Pennellwood was underwanter; the business plan wasn’t sustainable.  It closed, but our family traditions didn’t.  So we looked for something else, a new place in which to continue.  We found it, but it wasn’t the same.  We spent days by the pool and nights tending bar.  (Some things about family camp change when you grow up.)  But a large part of the time, we spent talking about Pennellwood.  Remembering it, missing it, wishing that we were there instead.  Leaving the new camp today, someone suggested that we go to Pennellwood.  Just to see what it had become. Continue reading

My Social Media Vacation

4 Sep

A failed, or not, experiment

Cousins at CampThis weekend, I took a vacation from social media.  Over Labor Day weekend, my family resumed a long-standing tradition to attend family camp with our cousins.  It’s the kind of place where you’re perpetually dirty and the big event of the day is a game of ultimate Frisbee.  Where you actually sit and talk with your grandparents about what it was like when they were kids and interact with your parents like they’re your friends.  It’s great.

And it’s been great since I was a kid.  Since before there was social media.  Since before Facebook had even been thought of.  (Although I’m sure that, if pressed in a law suit, Mark Zuckerburg would say that he had been tinkering with the idea even back then.)  So, I figured that if I had loved camp without social media then, I would love camp without social media now.  I took getting away for the weekend as an opportunity to unplug for the weekend, too.  (Of course, I still brought my laptop, because I can’t unplug completely.  It’s my hard and clunky security blanket.) Continue reading

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