Tag Archive for 'Facebook'

Stuck on Facebook

How cool is that?

Facebook asks you to import contact data from almost any popular email provider. As for the other direction, getting your contact data out of Facebook again, they aren’t quite as liberal as tech geek blogging celebrity Robert Scoble found out:

Why do this?

I wanted to get all my contacts into my Microsoft Outlook address book and hook them up with the Plaxo system, which 1,800 of my friends are already on.

It’s ironic that you can import your Gmail address book into Facebook but you can’t export back out.

2008 will bring us a lot more superb stories about social networks I guess. Monetizing the social graph has just begun. Personally I’ve observed myself withdraw information and increase privacy settings on some services. Until it becomes clearer what social network marketers have in mind, I’ll be more careful with personal information.

Facebook lies!

Facebook lies

Or Blog Friends, a Facebook application for your friend’s blogs. Strangely Michaela isn’t even registered at Facebook… well, never trust the friend finder!

Lessons learned today

  1. Google killed the hyperlink by introducing PageRank. The idea behind PageRank (the more links point to a site, the higher the site’s relevance) makes some of us be suspicious before clicking a link. Why is this link there? Does it provide further information for me or is it just a backlink to increase the target site’s PageRank? Am I’m going to be cheated? Before Google came, hyperlinks provided information and content, not backlinks. Yes, once upon a time, content was the scale for relevance.
  2. Internet is fun. Social software is even more fun and questioning male ranking concepts is allowed. People, don’t take it too serious!
  3. The last word on blog-usability isn’t spoken yet. The constantly changing chronological site structure is irritating. And that’s only the beginning.
  4. In Austrian rural areas you can do solid business while enjoying a relaxing life.
  5. None of the BarCamp alpha geeks today had an iPhone. The iPhone is an illusion.
  6. Currently there is no way to make easy money with blogs.
  7. I support the Free Burma Action because I felt the need to do something. I’m a lucky person, I was born into a world where previous generations already had fought for my rights. I’m deeply impressed by the people in Burma, who stand peacefully up in front of armed soldiers, demanding nothing more than democracy. Something I experienced my entire life as given. Nobody can tell if this action will help, but it’s still better than do nothing and wait what happens next. Thanks to all the valuable input at the Free Burma Session!
  8. Who’s a blogger, who’s not. Or, does anybody really care about that term?
  9. Metablogs are out, real life stories are in. Even in the german speaking blogoshpere.
  10. Note to myself: adjust Facebook application’s privacy settings immediately and change email address annually!

Facebook does make me think

Facebook onlineFacebook is telling me I’m online while viewing my profile. Hmm, that’s interesting, why is it saying I’m online? Are there actually people not knowing they are online when they access a website?

The situation reminded me of Steve Krug’s web usability bible “Don’t Make Me Think!”: because of telling me I’m online I started thinking if I could view my profile without being online. It won’t be possible, right? So why does Facebook then say I’m online when there is no other option to view my profile. Note: users must log-in to see anything more than Facebook’s welcome screen. So there really is no other option like being logged-off and going through profiles.

Increasing the gap?

Not surprising, participation in social networks strongly correlates with social origin. The following charts about a recent Facebook poll (clever polling btw, Facebook knows the basic information as age, gender, etc. of users who respond to polls) shows that Facebook is mainly a young white thing. Well, originally it was developed as and a good part of it still is a college student network.

Facebook Ethnic group

Facebook AgeWhereas in that case I’d rather say that white can be substituted with the term “(upper) middle class”. Without being aware of any detailed research, I suppose the overall picture about the Web 2.0 audience here in Europe wouldn’t differ a lot from this basic Facebook poll results.

So, the question popping into my mind was: are social networks increasing the Digital Divide instead of narrowing it? Are social networks an exclusive toy for (upper) middle class people?

One of the most compelling arguments for Web 2.0 are the low barriers of entry. So, where is everyone? Or maybe it’s because members of a family of six sharing a 50sqm apartment have other things to worry about than updating a blog.

However, I’m quite convinced that being familiar with social software (blogs, wikis, networks, etc.) will be a crucial requirement for future work environments. Just like as it’s now naturally to know how to perform a Google search or handle Email correctly. Thus I think it’s time for politicians to start a discussion about how to bring this knowledge to socially disadvantaged people. Students and other well-skilled people will learn this anyways over the next years…