Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

A free and open Internet, which I support, is frightening to most people. We all know the Internet’s a crazy place because many sites rely on their communities to police user-generated content. On social networking sites, we worry about predators and malware developers. And around every corner someone is trying to scam us out of our credit card number. We know this, but it’s still frightening.

There are two news items today that need some discussion.

pee-wee-hermanThe first comes from MySpace [via TechCrunch.] They’re boasting an increase in safety on their network, citing that 90,000 sex predators have been found and removed from the site. I’ve gotta say, that’s like me telling you that I cleaned out 90,000 rats from a mall… It’s a little disgusting.

Now, most of us view MySpace as a creepo stompin’ ground. But I think MySpace is doing the best job it can in the free and open Internet. Could it be more private like Facebook? Sure, but they don’t need to mimic Zuckerberg’s site.

Parents, your kids already think Fbook is infinitely cooler. If they don’t, introduce them to privacy settings.

Pervos, ugh, just take your stache somewhere else, or MySpace will find and remove you.

See? This free and open Internet isn’t too bad.

Now the second item is a stickier situation because it involves the saintly Google. If you don’t know, Google is on the vanguard of the battle against legislators who’d love to remove neutrality from the Internet.

It turns out that 4 Google executives are being accused of criminal activity. Now, we’re used to executives facing jail time for white collar crimes, but these four execs didn’t even commit a crime. A user posted a video on Google video of bullies teasing a kid with down-syndrome. The prosecutors intend to prove that the execs are to blame rather than the user.

It’s sticky. Is MySpace to blame if a sexual predator uses their service to create an improper relationship? If an airline sells a murderer a ticket that he will use to escape the crime scene, is the airline an accomplice? This case gets into the nitty gritty of community-regulated content.

YouTube can’t pull down all those naughty vids alone. They need help from the users. Just like Ebay can’t monitor all potentially fraudulent auctions. See, the execs can’t block all harmful videos, and they can’t monitor all videos because, let’s face it, the number of vids is in the millions.

Google released this statement:

As we have repeatedly made clear, our hearts go out to the victim and his family. We are pleased that as a result of our cooperation the bullies in the video have been identified and punished. We feel that bringing this case to court is totally wrong. It’s akin to prosecuting mail service employees for hate speech letters sent in the post. What’s more, seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet. We will continue to vigorously defend our employees in this prosecution.

Basically, Google’s service does a lot of good too. It’s a neutral platform that news organizations, entertainers, and teachers can utilize to spread information.

MySpace, on the other hand, is also a great service. It’s a neutral place to connect to your friends and their friends, as well as socially interact with music and television content.

If the Internet were to lose its neutrality we’d lose our ability to create new and exciting services. The big dogs would run the show, and the little startups wouldn’t have a chance. The Internet doesn’t favor one company, one idea, one country, one religion…it is a truly diverse place because of its neutrality. Let’s keep it free (er, with a few, minor conditions…)

Read Full Post »

Have you ever paid for a professional account on LinkedIn. Jesus, talk about expensive. A small account – which really doesn’t offer much more than the free account – is $20/month. Making this expense $240 a year. Not bad.  But not really worth your money.

But while we’re talking about things not worth your money, the professional account costs $200/month. Yup, math wizards are now gasping at the $2,400 a user pays for a professional account. I mean good god, I do not have that much money to use a simple service.

For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it’s a social network dedicated to allowing business professionals to build connections and introduce your current associates to new people.  Basically, everything you do at a conference. You can upload your pic, current position, experience, skills, resume, and connect to third party apps.

The golden $200/month professional account (as well as the smaller paid accounts) allows you to send messages to people….cool? Er, and the professional account let’s you only send 50 of those per month.. Use ’em wisely. Plus you get more search results when looking for people…..yay, more search results…. And send requests for introductions.

So, actually, the features are pretty sh***y at $200/month.

But there’s something else going on. Some of you might have guessed it.

Perceived value.

If you’re a Fortune 500 business person, why on earth would you use Facebook? There’s no value to it, or I should say no gates to control who gets prominence.

So, there are all these business people, a lot of them unfamiliar with social networks in the first place, who are willing to throw their money at LinkedIn because it costs some coin.

By all means, it’s inferior to Facebook’s ability to control privacy and integrate with 3rd party applications that assist business networking. But Facebook is free, has a bunch of teenagers, and has that goofy bumper sticker app. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is somber and costs money.

This is why I’m starting my social network, RICH AS F*CK. It’s open to the first 3 people who give me a million dollars each. And premium features include the abillity to message the other two members of this super exclusive network. Anybody wanna sign up?

Read Full Post »

“Dude, tomorrow don’t sign onto your Facebook account.”

“Why?”

“Because we gotta show those Facebook admins that they can’t walk all over us! It’s a revolution against the new layout. You in?”

“No…”

“What? Dude, this is like tots important.”

“If you’re unhappy, why don’t you delete your account?”

“Because then I couldn’t use Facebook…”

Tomorrow, you can make an impact (not really) on Facebook. A group of people have decided to make a bold statement by not signing into their accounts for 24 hours. They’re pissed off that Facebook ignored their criticisms of the new layout, on top of other minor problems.

1 million people from around the world say they’re attending tomorrow’s blackout. That’s only 1% of Facebook’s total users.

So, I was not a fan of Facebook’s new layout. I hated it. I wrote letters to Facebook with curse words and dirty innuendos. (Maybe.) But now I dig it. I guess it was a lesson in how people resist change.

But tomorrow there will still be a blackout. Nothing will change Tuesday.

Read Full Post »

Google Friend Connect allows Developers to make sites social without PHP & JavaScript.

Google just announced that your personal site can be a social network thanks to Google’s Friend Connect.

As someone who wants to design for arists, this new feature will be great for actors and artists that want an easy way for people to connect with them.

People can add you as a friend via OpenID (?), and you can add other friends from other websites. You can also have a wall for friends and clients to post on as well as a review function. More gadgets are on their way, and you can already use OpenID custom gadgets.

I tested it on my website (you can find the test at http://michaeltobias.com/connect.html) It’s really easy to add to any site. And you can customize the gadgets by color and size.

picture-61

I added it to my website in 20 minutes, using the simplest color screens available. I only needed to copy and paste code into 3 files, making the process hassle-free.

I even tested how easy it is to add yourself to a website’s social gadget. SUPER EASY. I went to another computer, and went to my site. I clicked to add myself, and Google detected that I was logged into my Gmail account. I added myself using that. Done.

Here’s a video from Google on Friend Connect:

Read Full Post »

Why niche social networks will become more lucrative.

There is a group of people that despise mainstream ventures. People that despise the Miley Cyrus/Jonas Bros. of the moment. People that despise the Hollywood blockbuster (or to theatre folk, those that despise film’s popularity over performance art.) This group instead prides itself in being part of a smaller group.

If you think about it, we’re all part of this group. Our social nature is not to be a part of the largest mass, but of a niche. Most of the time it’s easier to buy the mass produced product, but our social interactions are different.

Out of my friends, I can name a niche for each of them. They’re not iconoclasts — they don’t pride themselves in going against the grain — but each finds themselves part of a very exclusive group that shares their passions (even some you or I would find silly.)

Singer, politico, actor, photographer, they can each interact with others from their niche on social networks. The thing is that there’s a difference between being on a mainstream network and a niche network.

We have social networks like Facebook and MySpace, sites that allow users to accomplish interactions similar to Twitter, Flickr, and even community forums. It’s the mainstream, not the niche. They’re popular because they allow the easiest interactions. The primary use of a social site is to communicate, and no one does it better than these two sites.

Websites like Broadway Space, Flickr, DeviantArt are social network services for specific niches. Less users, but everyone on them has a more common thread. There is passion shared amongst users.

Most social network users will, in addition to their Facebook account, also have an account with one of these niche sites, despite the fact that Facebook can do it, and despite the integration of third party applications.

Everyone can upload photos to Facebook, and photographers can surely share their work with friends. Flickr enables the photographer niche to be a community. Suddenly, when the interactions become about photography Flickr makes it easier to interact with other photographers.

People can start groups on Facebook about Broadway and performance art, but Broadway Space enables them to be a community. So the users find themselves on Broadways Space instead of Facebook.

If you’re looking to create a social network, do not look to compete with Facebook and MySpace. Start a niche site. Yes, by nature you’ll never be as popular as a mainstream site. That’s okay. Your users will be more faithful and more active than Facebook users.

Read Full Post »

{via DListed}

080505_b_lohan

So, I saw this post on DListed and couldn’t help but share.

Apparently the Facebook crew does not believe that Lindsay Lohan is in fact Lindsay Lohan. They think her account is a fake. So, they disabled her account.

It’s no biggie because Facebook doesn’t delete our information. She’ll probably get her account back. But oh, Hohan. The adventures you get yourself into!

Read Full Post »

Many sites want you to sign up, but the tumblelog My Soup actually lets you play around before you sign up.

picture-35

I’m surprised this doesn’t happen on more social networks. Before I give you my personal info, let me make a test profile. Let me see if your interface is user-friendly.

Before I settled on WordPress, I started a Blogger, Tumblr, Vox, LiveJournal, Pownce… I had good experiences, but ultimately I had bad experiences. Now all of those sites have Michael Tobias info in their servers…and I would’ve saved a lot more time and headaches.

Or for social bookmarking sites, develop a temporary plug-in that allows me to see how your toolbar is feng shui on my browser. (After all, Facebook has a nice little share button that doesn’t complicate my browser.) What does your toolbar look like on my browser? Let me see it, even if the temporary toolbar isn’t functional (Oh, and slap a sign up button on that temp toolbar in case I’m ready to give in to your site.)

Just a few ideas.

(Psst…I think I still like Tumblr more than My Soup for micro-blogging.)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »