Category Archives: social media

One of the central problems with Facebook

A great post from John Battelle. (As Rand Fishkin commented: “I’m both afraid of the time suck & unwilling to subject myself to the obligation of the feed.”).

Excerpt from Hey Facebook: Put Your Users In Control:

But unlike me, most of my true friends put a lot of care and feeding into their Facebook pages. It’s become a place where they announce important milestones, like births, graduations, separations, deaths, the works. These insanely important moments, alas, are all interspersed with random shots of pie, flowers, cocktails, sunsets, and endless, endless, endless advertisements for s**t I really don’t care about.

Taken together, the Facebook newsfeed is a place that I’ve decided isn’t worth the time it demands to truly be useful. I know, I could invest the time to mute this and like that, and perhaps Facebook’s great algos would deliver me a better feed. But I don’t, and I feel alone in this determination. And lately it’s begun to seriously f**k up my relationships with important people in my life, namely, my…true friends.

I won’t go into details (it’s personal, after all), but suffice to say I’ve missed some pretty important events in my friends’ lives because everyone else is paying attention to Facebook, but I am not. As a result, I’ve come off looking like an asshole. No, wait, let me rephrase that. I have become an actual asshole, because the definition of an asshole is someone who puts themself above others, and by not paying attention to Facebook, that’s what I’ve done.

That kind of sucks.

Read the full post: Hey Facebook: Put Your Users In Control

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Proof Of Concept

I’ve spent the last couple of days mucking around with Twitter. I can’t gauge how many people are using in New Zealand yet but I’m keen to get everyone on it.

In a nutshell:
Twitter lets you broadcast “what I am doing” by updating your online profile. Those “following” your profile can choose how to receive your updates i.e. email, text messaging, instant message, RSS.

To understand this, your friends can be “following” your profile and if you’re going out for drinks you can update your profile with that information, your friends get updated and those keen can join you for drinks.

The cool thing about this is that it is free. You also don’t need to update your profile for everyone, it is possible to send twitter messages or “twits” for short directly to individual users following you. If you understand that correctly, it is possible to send text messages for free…as long as they are on Twitter.

If you use an Instant Messaging client, i.e. Google Talk, it’s possible to update your Twitter profile directly from your client which makes that process easy and accessible.

The most interesting functionality I’ve discovered so far is if someones profile I am following is updated, I get that twit on my Google Talk. But if I sign out of Google Talk I get the twit on my cellphone. Which makes sense & is functionality I would want if it weren’t available.

Sign up to Twitter. If you live in Auckland, follow my profile!