Archive for the ‘Facebook’ category

Dear Facebook: Bite Me

7, July, 2008

This ad on my Facebook page today:

Yes, Facebook, I’m 51. And yes, I’m overweight. *

But at least I have friends.

I wonder if you’ll be able to say that a year from now.


* “overweight” only according to standardized Body Mass Index assessments, which are widely known to be highly inaccurate and often defamatory. I actually have really dense bones and an extraordinarily heavy head–it’s like a freakin’ anvil–so this targeting of me as an advertising prospect is unfair, wrong and possibly actionable.


GSP Liveblog: The Future of Facebook Commerce

10, June, 2008

Liveblog from Graphing Social Patterns East is boring even me. My sincere apologies for two dull entries just posted. New format: Three Points

Session: Facebook

1. By using attributes from profiles, marketers can target ads and applications to people by geography, interests, activity on network, etc. Use [Facbeook] people “like you do keywords” when buying Adwords keywords. [Note to self: Icky but fascinating.]

2. Application example: Open Table permits restaurant reservations across network rather than requiring people to visit their site to make reservations. Could be targeted geographically, by interest, by network activity, etc.

3. Another example: Someone “friends” a dentist and their friends see an ad for the same dentist. [Ickier than the rest, for some reason.]

My takeaway: People’s Facebook home pages will soon fill with [more] targeted commercial clutter [than there is currently]. What’s that I hear in the distance? Could it be a death knell?

FaceBlogLinkedWikiVibesGroups: Mommy, Make It Stop

15, November, 2007

New media salonista Amy Gahran recently wondered aloud in the “My Questions” module of her Facebook page whether she should create a Facebook group for readers of her popular blog, Contentious.

Jim Lackey–a Facebook friend of Amy’s, but not of mine [note to Jim: Since we’re both friends of  Jim Brady, he of fame, I  really ought to “friend” you soon]–responded to Amy’s query this way:

One potential drawback: If you start a new Facebook group and I join it, does that mean I’ll feel like I have one more group to check on? I’m already in too many groups that I never have time to visit!

To which I say: Testify, brother! You’ve asked the question of the moment.

I, like Jim–and Amy–and [I’m guessing here] you–are beginning to suffer social network circuit overload. It is the ’07 version of the ’06 RSS feed flameout, of the ’04 bookmarking debacle, and the ’02 e-mail catastrophe.

Take my social networks, please:

  • Joining blog reader communities was a kick at first–I regularly ventilated my opinions at about five. Then I launched by own blog, and needed to tend to that community.
  • Next came LinkedIn, with its invitations, closed-circuit e-mails, questions and “see who’s checked out your profile” gimcracks.
  • NetVibes isn’t so much of a community, but it sends me dozens of RSS feeds, some from blogs whose communities I still participate in.
  • Next up, Facebook, and all the good people I’ve gathered there, followed by the inevitable Facebook groups that spawn additional interactions with like-minded strangers.
  • Oh, and the wiki I’ve set up for about a dozen folks I’m collaborating with on a year-long project. Lots of discussion threads to follow there.
  • Oh, I forgot, the Technorati tags I track.

It’s getting to the point where I hardly have time for my full-time job, which of course is tending my e-mail inbox and writing my blog.

The point is that this is unsustainable, for me and all of us who have been sucked into the social network vortex. We have become servants of a networks of networks of our own making.

The only way to regain control at this point is to drop out, tune out and log out. Or, less apocalyptically, pick one or two communities that matter the most personally and professionally and [respectfully, regretfully as appropriate] step away from the rest.

So: Amy, please don’t set up that Facebook group. And Jim, please don’t be offended if I don’t friend you on Facebook. If you want to talk, just drop me an e-mail.