Apr 13 2012

Recommended Reading: Tech News Roundup

Facebook Allows File Sharing With Rollout Of .Edu-Exclusive “Groups For Schools”

Study: Half Of The Top 100 Blogs Now Use WordPress

Amazon Now Lets You Trade In Your Old CDs In Exchange For Gift Cards

Oct 5 2011

Sharing Without Caring? Facebook’s Open Graph/Timeline

We’ve all seen the Ticker and the News Feed updates, and we either love them or hate them. I find it particularly amusing when people get so fed up with Facebook’s incremental changes they whine and moan about something they can simply opt out of. It’s like complaining about how bad smoking is for you when you continue to smoke a pack a day. That analogy works well, unfortunately; it could be argued social networking is just as addictive. Probably now more than ever.

Because where are you gonna go? Google+, huh? The only friends I have on Google+ are the early adopters, the techies who were going to join anyway, no matter what. The Reddit readers, the iPad buyers, etc. Everybody else? Still on Facebook. And it’s not like those early adopters deleted their Facebook accounts, either.

If anyone should bitch about anything Facebook does, it’s not the layout changes, but their stance on privacy, which started off awful and has only gotten worse. The new Open Graph, in particular, pretty much makes you as a Facebook user vulnerable to every third party that wants any sliver of info about you. And to customize it otherwise is already a hassle, but at least for now it’s optional. Take Spotify, for example. All of us who use the service have seen what we were listening to broadcasted to our friends whether we wanted it to or not. At least currently, there are ways to opt out (the new “private listening” function should have been included initially – seems a bit obvious), but it made a lot of regular joes mad, for the short term anyway.

Those of us who follow tech, who are keen on new apps and features and software, we knew something like the Open Graph and Timeline was on the way. We knew Facebook’s history of wanting to share and share and share. We had an idea of the hidden algorithms; how else can Facebook attract advertisers? Third party apps? Zynga? Spotify? Every person and company in the world? This was a long time coming. But just because you see the train doesn’t mean it’s good when it hits you. And it hurts even worse for the average joe, who wasn’t really aware, or intuitive, about how exactly Facebook operates. Who had never heard that old cliche about free sites – if you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.

That old adage is now truer than ever. But at least Facebook is being more transparent and gradual with their rollouts and intentions this time around. It seems they may have learned a thing or two from the “Like” button scrutinies.

But users should be more aware of what’s getting out there, because it just might be something you don’t want. We all have an individual responsibility to control our digital spaces and perceptions, and we can’t expect, or trust, Facebook or any Big Web entity to necessarily incorporate acceptable defaults. This has ALWAYS been the case.

Facebook is taking a large leap with the Open Graph – an enhanced marketing tool that aggregates data enrichment and progressively precise analytics.  There are several things Facebook can do to adapt to our privacy concerns, and once they roll out the Open Graph for all, this will become more apparent.  The question is, will they do them?  In the meantime, users can adjust their Web social habits accordingly and still enjoy what I deem as necessary for the 21st century – personal, business, or otherwise: a social media presence.  Abandoning it altogether hurts you in the long run.  Facebook is rock and roll – it’s hear to stay. You can jump ship, but the world turns without you.

Oct 11 2010

Reccommended Reading – Random Articles 10/11/10

Facebook Groups Give Rise to Social Nicheworking

In Which We Eagerly Await Aaron Sorkin’s Friend Request

Tech Industry Vs. RIAA Radio Biz

The Ten Most Glaring Lies In The Social Network

The Social Network – The Real Story

Aug 1 2010

Random Web Findings: Happy Birthday to Me

Last Words Of The Executed

The Unemployment Chronicles — Ten College Grads, Ten Stories

Script Surfaces for Lost SNL Movie Co-Written by Conan O’Brien

The Web Means the End of Forgetting

The 8 Sexiest Subway Systems in the World

The Top 20 Gayest Cities

Top 10 Celebrity Music-Video Cameos

How To Find A Job NOW: 7 Crucial Tips From A Career Expert

The 10 Most Sacrilegious Music Videos of All Time

The 15 Most Annoying Ringtones You Can Get

9 Amazing Attempts To Live Off the Electricity Grid

Nine Movie Pitches Based On Facebook Apps

Nine Nostalgic Nintendo Games to Secretly Play at Work

Moogy Blues: Ten Quintessential Moog Songs

10 Ways Darth Vader Might Be Spending the Money He Stole

10 Great Movie Plot Twists (And Five We Totally Saw Coming)

10 Books That Will Help You Improve Your Writing (Or Your Sanity)

Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Indie Film

Minimalist Album Covers

Crap At My Parents’ House: An Homage To Mom & Dad’s Terrifying Belongings

The Celestial Jukebox: Unlimited Music Services Face Off

The 25 Greatest Boot Camp Clik Songs Of All Time

13 Of The Most Ridiculous Things Overheard In Bookstores

The Most Obvious Headlines Of All Time

The Coolest Minimalist Websites Ever

10 Moments of Cynical Sincerity in Adam Sandler Comedies

Racist, Racy, ‘Derogatory’: 13 Facebook Posts That Got People CANNED

The Funniest Notes Left For Thieves Ever Written

Colleges NOT Worth Their Cost

Is M.I.A.’s 2010 Cursed?

The Most Expensive P.R. Bait Restaurant Dish Gimmicks

9 of the Most Amazing Bookstores in the World

15 Films the Geek Crowd Really Wants to See

The BEST Colleges to Work For

Bizarre Magazine’s 31 Geekiest Places

The 19 Most Regrettable Pop Culture Tattoos

The 15 BEST iPad Apps Every User Should Try

10 Reasons To Label Genetically Engineered Foods

Austin: Top Ten Things Newbies Should Know

11 Of The Best MFA Writing Programs

Top 30 Cable News Programs

The Top Ten Rap Supergroups That Never Happened

Top 10 States With The SLOWEST Internet Speeds

10 Weirdest Sites To See In America

Top 10 TV Theme Songs

40 Comics That Should Be TV Shows

The Best Tweets of Kanye West’s First 24 Hours on Twitter

The World’s 15 Best Countries For End-Of-Life Care

The Definitive Beastie Boys Sample Source Collection

The 15 Biggest Bestsellers EVER After The Bible

Overly Distracting Actors

20 Overrated Classic Films

The Funniest Facebook Page Suggestions Ever

2010 Is the Worst Year for Movies Ever, Just Like Every Year Before It